Manik Varma
Born16 May 1926
Died10 November 1996 (aged 70)
AwardsPadma Shri (1974)
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1986)

Manik Varma (16 May 1926 – 10 November 1996) was an Indian classical singer from the Kirana and Agra gharanas (singing styles).[1][2]


Besides the pure classical khyal, she also sang semi-classical and light music like thumri, Marathi Natya Sangeet, Bhavgeet and Bhakti geet (devotional music). She was a disciple of Hirabai Barodekar and Sureshbabu Mane, daughter and son of Abdul Karim Khan, the founder of the Kirana gharana.She also took her rigorous training in Thumri Gayaki from Pandit Bholanath Bhatt of ‘Bhatt Parampara’ in Prayag, Allahabad. She took further training from Azmat Hussain Khan "Dilrang" and Jagannathbua Purohit "Gunidas" of Agra gharana.[3][4]

In April 1955, her songs became part of the Geet Ramayan, a presentation of songs on the Hindu god Rama, a weekly year-long programme by All India Radio (AIR), Pune, along with artists like Lata Mangeshkar, Yogini Joglekar, Usha Atre, Babanrao Navdikar, Lalitabai Phadke and Sudhir Phadke.[5]

She trained students including Asha Khadilkar and Shaila Datar.[citation needed]

Personal life

Her maiden name was Manik Dadarkar (Devanagari: माणिक दादरकर). Her daughters include Rani Varma, also a singer , Aruna Jayprakash, Bharati Achrekar, an actor, and Vandana Gupte, a Marathi stage, film and television actor.[2][6]


She received the prestigious Padma Shri award from the government of India in 1974,[7] followed by the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award given by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama in 1986.[8]


In her memory Manik Varma Pratishthan was established in Mumbai, which also presents Manik Ratna Award and scholarships. It also organises function on the birth and death anniversary of Manik Verma.[9][10] On her eighth death anniversary, on 12 November 2004, a musical programme Baharla Parijaat Daari was presented by Devgandharva Bakhlebua Trust at Tilak Smarak Mandir in Pune.[2][6]


  1. ^ "Torch-bearers of kirana and Agra gharana, and their followers". The Times of India. 26 January 2011. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "A tribute to legendary singer Manik Varma". The Indian Express. 10 November 2005.[dead link]
  3. ^ Manuel, Peter (1989). Thumri in Historical and Stylistic Perspectives. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 86. ISBN 81-208-0673-5.
  4. ^ Deshpande, Vaman Hari (1989). Between two tanpuras. Popular Prakashan. p. 151. ISBN 0-86132-226-6.
  5. ^ "Yesterday once more as Geet Ramayan turns 50". The Indian Express. 25 January 2005.[dead link]
  6. ^ a b "Remembering Manik Varma". The Indian Express. 15 November 2005.[dead link]
  7. ^ "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2009)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 May 2013.
  8. ^ "SNA: List of Akademi Awardees". Sangeet Natak Akademi Official website. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012.
  9. ^ "Stars shine down". The Indian Express. 7 November 1998.
  10. ^ "Melodies for your soul: Music". The Indian Express. 6 November 2003.[dead link]