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 Sawai Gandharva
October 11, 2022

Sawai Gandharva

A commemorative postage stamp on Sawai Gandharva Rambhau Kundgolkar, a Hindustani Classical vocalist from Karnataka, guru of Bharat Ratna Bhimsen Joshi :

Pandit Rambhau Kundgolkar : Kirana Gharana : Hindustani Classical vocalistIssued by India

Issued on Oct 11, 2022

Issued for : Department of Posts is pleased to issue a Commemorative Postage Stamp on Sawai Gandharva.

Credits :
Stamp/FDC/Brochure/Cancellation Cachet : Smt. Nenu Gupta

Type : Stamp, Mint Condition

Colour : Multi Colour

Denomination : 500 Paise

Stamps Printed : 212350

Printing Process : Wet Offset

Printer : Security Printing Press, Hyderabad

Name : Ramachandra Kundgolkar Saunshi

Born on Jan 19, 1886 at Amminbhavi, Dharwad, Karnataka, India

Died on Sep 12, 1952

About : 

  • Pandit Rambhau Kundgolkar, popularly known as Sawai Gandharva was born in Amminbhavi, a small village in Dharwad district of Karnataka on 18-1-1886. He lost his mother Smt. Saraswatibai when he was just 3 months old. Saraswatibai’s elder sister, Smt. Tulasakka took infant Ramachandra under her care and nursed him.
  • At the age of 10 years, young Ramachandra happened to meet Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, the Pioneer of Kirana Gharana school of Hindustani classical music at Shrimant Ranganagouda Nadgir’s Palatial house at Kundgol in Dharwad district. The Ustad listened to young Ramachandra’s voice and is said to have exclaimed “Gala accha hai” meaning “voice is good”. Shrimant Ranganagouda Nadgir requested the Ustad to teach Classical music to young Ramachandra. Ustad Abdul Karim Khan accepted the request and rigorously trained Ramachandra for the next 10 years.
  • After this training, Pt. Rambhau Kundgolkar toured and performed all over India and spread the sweetness of the Kirana Gharana school of music. He also set up his own drama company but, unfortunately, he was forced to shut it down due to heavy losses.
  • He once again returned to classical singing, but with a new vigour. His voice was very melodious, that combined with his rigorous training and mastery over voice control, he soon became very popular and was held in high regard. His singing career spanned almost half a century.
  • He performed before the Maharaja of Mysore Krishnaraja Wodeyar Nizam of Hyderabad, the Maharajas of Sangli, Kolhapur and Aundh etc., all of whom were impressed with his renderings and held him in high esteem.
  • In the year 1924, AICC meeting was held in Belgaum where Mahatma Gandhi was the President. Pt. Sawai Gandharva performed there and Gandhiji, impressed with the singing, honoured Panditji with khadi garland.
  • In 1929, the electrification of the main line between Mumbai and Pune was inaugurated by Sir Frederic Sykes, Governor of Bombay. The Governor had sent a special invitation to Pt Sawai Gandharva to perform before distinguished guests in Pune. The Governor was very happy to listen to Hindustani Classical music and honoured Pt Sawai Gandharva with a silver plate full of Victorian coins and exclaimed “What a great music, I have never listened to such divine music. Panditji did not allow me to change my posture for three hours and I got completely immersed in the music which is nothing but heavenly”.
  • Pt. Sawai Gandharva was invited for the singing by the Secretary of Vijayanagar Empire Sixth Century Association. The luminaries present in the programme included the Maharaja of Mysore, Jnanpith awardee Dr. D R Bendre, Dr. V K Gokak, great historian Alur Venkatarao and others. Panditji’s singing was responded to by a standing ovation.
  • Prince Dadasaheb Khaparde, Head of Varhad state bestowed the title of Sawai Gandharva upon Panditji.
  • In 1946, Bharat Ratna Pt Bhimsen Joshi arranged ‘Ganda Bandhan’ ceremony by his guru Pt Sawai Gandharva at Railway’s North Institute of the Madras Southern Maratha Railway at Hubli in Karnataka. On this occasion, inspite of ill health, Pt Sawai Gandharva rendered Rag Jayajayawanti and Marathi abhangs.
  • Pandit Sawai Gandharva’s disciples include, Padma Vibhushan Dr. Gangubai Hangal, Bharat Ratna Pt Bhimsen Joshi, Padma Bhushan Dr. Basavraj Rajguru, Padma Shri Feroze Dastur, Shrimant Nanasaheb Nadgir and Dr. Nanasaheb Deshpande.
  • The essence of the music of Sawai Gandharva was emotion and intellect. He never displayed virtuosity for his own sake, but concentrated on the spirit of his Ragas. His ‘Asthaiji’ revealed a leisurely pace and meticulous unfolding of musical notes. The quite unhurried progression punctuated by soft swara-alap and the gradual exploration of the different dimensions of the Raga framework was the hallmark of his performance. This made his repertoire pleasing and at the same time subtle to the listening ears. Sawai Gandharva Rambhau Kundgolkar breathed his last on 12th September 1951 at Pune.
  • Text : Referenced from the contents provided by the proponent.
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