The Knowledge Hub


AparnaDutta Created By AparnaDutta on 28-Sep-2018 -- 04:42 AM

A Gharana in Hindustani music is a system of social organization which links musicians, dancers by lineage or apprenticeship. The speciality of a gharana is the adherence to its unique style of music and ideologies. There have emerged several famous gharanas of Hindustani music. The literal meaning of the word Gharana comes from the Sanksrit word Griha meaning House. It typically refers to theplace where the particular musical ideology originated.


Let us now look at the different Gharanas of Hindustani Music:



Gwalior Gharana

This is the oldest Gharana in Hindustani music of Khayal music. It started during the Mughal reignof Akbar. One of the very famous gharanas of Hindustani music gave birth to the legendary musician Mia Tansen. He was basically from the city of Gwalior.

Speciality: The most distinguished feature of this Gharana is its simplicity. It focuses more on the straight taans and on melodic modes of ragas rather than the obscure ones. They also do not have slow-tempo ragas as in the Kirana Gharana.


Agra Gharana of Hindustani Music

Another of the famous gharanas of Hindustani Music is the Agra Gharana which is known to descend from the Nauhar Bani. It has been traced long back during the reign of Emperor Allauddin Khilji of Delhi

Speciality: The gayaki of this Gharana shows us the blend of Khayal Gayaki and Dhrupad-Dhamar. The method of singing notes of the Agra Gharana demands a full throat projection in a forceful and volumnious manner and also uttering notes open and bare i.e. without grace notes.


Kirana Gharana

The name of this school derives from Kirana or Kairana. It is a town and tehsil of Shamli district in Uttar Pradesh. It is also the birthplace of Abdul Karim Khan, He is regarded as one of the most important musicians of Hindustani Music in general. Kirana Gharana is known to be one of the most profilic gharanas of Hindustani music.

Speciality: The core feature of this style is the concentration on individual notes. In this style of gayaki, the swaras are independent realms. There are highly emotional pukars in higher octaves along with intricate sargam patterns.


Atrauli-Jaipur Gharana

This is a Khayal-based Gharana which was founded by Alladiya Khan in the later half of the 19th century. This style of singing evolved from Dhrupad singing though this gharana acquired its name in the early half of 20th century.

Specialization: This gharana is known for its unique layakari and rich repertoire of ragas especially when it comes to jog ragas and sankeerna ragas. Signature ragas of this gharana include Sampoorna Malkauns, Basanti Kedar, Basanti Bahar etc.


Patiala Gharana

Founded by Fateh Ali Khan and Ali Baksh Khan, the Patiala Gharana was initially sponsored by the Maharaja of Patiaa, Punjab. It was well known for ghazal, thumri and khayal styles of singing. The exponents of this gharana not only sing khayal form of music but also Punjab-Ang thumri.

Speciality: Ektaal and Teentaal are the most common taal chosen by the exponents of this gharana. The unique feature of this gharana style is its rendition of taans. They are known to be very rhythmic, vakra and not bound by any rhythmic cycle.


Mewati Gharana of Hindustani Music

This is one of the famous gharanas of Hindustani music of the late 19th century. It was founded by Ghagge Nazir Khan of Jodhpur. This gharana is known to be an offshoot of the Gwalior gharana. It owes its name to the region of its origin Mewat region of Rajasthan. The gharana gained recognition after the vocalist Pandit Jasraj came into the limelight.

Speciality: The unique feature of this gharana is its inclusion of theistic and spiritual elements.


Bishnupur Gharana

Following the Dhrupad style of singing, Bishnupur or Vishnupur Gharana originated in Bishnupur, West Bengal. History points to Ramasharan Bhattacharya who was a disciple of Bahadur Khan, as the founder of this gharana.

Speciality:The exponents focus on the raga through the alap in a very simple fashion which is deviod of ornamentation. It is also free from intricate play with rhythm.


Indore Gharana

Indore Gharana is one amongst the famous gharanas of Hindustani Music. It was founded by Amir Khan who amalgamated the essence of the styles of Abdul Wahid Khan, Aman Ali Khan, Rajab Ali Khab and Abdul Karim Khan.

Speciality: Slow-tempo raga development counts as one of the most unique features of this style. There are certain improvisations made mostly in lower and middle octaves along with great emphasis on melody.


Flag if the content is Inappropriate/Obscene or Broken

Browse by Topic

North Indian 


South Indian 

Music Genres 





Electric and electronic Instruments