Pt. Krishnarao Shankar Pandit
Born(1893-07-26)26 July 1893
Died22 August 1989(1989-08-22) (aged 96)
Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India
Known forGwalior gharana
ChildrenLaxman Krishnarao Pandit (son)
Chandrakant Krishnarao Pandit (son)
Meeta Pandit (grand daughter)
AwardsPadma Bhushan
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
Tansen Award
Sangeet Bhishmacharya
Akashwani Award
Shikhar Samman
Gaan Maharishi
Bhuwalka Award
Swar Vilas

Gaan Maharishi Pt. Krishnarao Shankar Pandit (1893–1989) was an Indian musician, considered by many as one of the leading vocalists of the Gwalior gharana.[1] He authored several articles and 8 books on music and was the founder of Shankar Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, a music college based in Gwalior.[2] The Government of India awarded him the third highest civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan, in 1973, for his contributions to music.[3] He was also a recipient of several other honors, including the 1959 Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the 1980 Tansen Award of the Government of Madhya Pradesh.[4]


Krishnarao Pandit was born on 26 July 1893 in Gwalior, a town known for its musical tradition, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, to a notable musician by name, Shankarrao Pandit.[5] His early music training was under his father as well as the father-son duo of Nathu Khan and Nissar Hussain Khan and learnt Khyal, Tappa, Tarana and Layakari genres of vocal renditions. After his debut performance aged 11, he started his solo career at the age of 14 as one of the younger musicians of the Gwalior durbar.[6] In 1914, at the age of 18, he founded Shankar Gandharva Mahavidyalaya,[7] a music college, which has since become a recognized music institution.[8] Six years later, he was appointed as the State Musician of the Satara Principality but he returned to Gwalior after one year.[9]

Pandit was credited with designing the curriculum for vocal and instrumental music for which he wrote eight text books and several articles.[2] He tutored many notable singers including his two sons, Laxman Krishnarao Pandit and Chandrakant Pandit, and Meeta Pandit, his grand daughter.[10][11] However, he continued his concerts without break and many of his renditions have been archived.[12][13] In 1959, he received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Hindustani music[14] and Indira Kala Sangeet University honoured him with a doctorate, three years later.[9] The Government of India included him the Republic Day Honours list for the civilian award of the Padma Bhushan in 1973,[3] the same year as he received the Shikhar Samman from the Government of Madhya Pradesh. The state government honoured him again in 1980 with the Tansen Award. He is also a recipient of honours such as Akashwani Award, Swar Vilas title of Sursingar Samsad, Mumbai (1971), Gaan Maharishi title of the Jagatguru Shankaracharya Sankeshwar Peet (1975), Bhuwalka Award of Sangeet Saurabh (1982) and Sangeet Bhishmacharya title of the All World Marathi Sammelan, Mumbai (1989).[2]

His disciples include his sons, Chandrakant Pandit and veteran Gwalior gharana vocalist, Pt. Laxmanrao Pandit, Pt. Sharatchandra Arolkar and granddaughter, noted torchbearer of the Gwalior parampara, Dr. Meeta Pandit.

Krishnarao Pandit, who was associated with All India Radio and Doordarshan as a producer,[9] died on 22 August 1989, at the age of 96.[5] His life has been documented in a biography, Krishnarao Shankar Pandit, a Doyen of Khayal, brought out by Neela Bhagwat.[15] Another book, written by M. Chary also details the life of Pandit.[12] Recently, his granddaughter Meeta Pandit published a book, titled "India's Heritage of Gharana Music: The Pandits of Gwalior" in 2018, based on the life of the Pandit lineage and their invaluable contribution to the Indian classical music scene in all.

See also


  1. ^ "Pandit Krishna Rao Shankar Pandit". David Philipson. 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Padma Bhushan Pt. Krishnarao Shankar Pandit". Meeta Pandit. 2016. Archived from the original on 28 February 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Pt. Krishnarao Shankar Pandit on IAPA". Indian Academy of Performing Arts. 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Tribute to a Maestro". ITC Sangeeth Research Academy. 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  6. ^ "End of an era: Krishnarao Shankar Pandit". Mohan Nadkarni. 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  7. ^ Ameeta Gupta; Ashish Kumar (1 January 2006). Handbook of Universities. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. pp. 384–. ISBN 978-81-269-0607-9.
  8. ^ "Shankar Gandharva Sangeet Mahavidyalaya". Punjab Colleges. 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  9. ^ a b c "The virtuoso: Krishnarao Pandit". Mohan Nadkarni. 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  10. ^ Chakra, Shyamhari (27 November 2010). "Ongoing legacy". The Hindu. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  11. ^ "With music genres on tabs". Deccan Herald. 22 December 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Krishnarao Shankar Pandit on Parrikar". Parrikar. 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  13. ^ "Akashvani Sangeet". Prasar Bharati Archives. 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  14. ^ "Sahitya Akademi Award winners". Sahitya Akademi Award. 2015. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  15. ^ Neela Bhagwat (1992). Krishnarao Shankar Pandit, a Doyen of Khayal. Popular Prakashan. ISBN 978-81-7154-729-6.

Further reading