Suramani Pandit
Raghunath Panigrahi
ରଘୁନାଥ ପାଣିଗ୍ରାହୀ
Odissi music Guru Pt Raghunath Panigrahi.jpg
Background information
Born(1932-08-10)10 August 1932
Gunupur, Odisha, India
Died25 August 2013(2013-08-25) (aged 81)
Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
GenresOdissi music
Occupation(s)Odissi music Guru, singer, composer
Years active1956-2013

'Suramani' Pandit Raghunath Panigrahi (Odia: ରଘୁନାଥ ପାଣିଗ୍ରାହୀ, romanized: Raghunātha Pāṇigrāhi; 10 August 1932 – 25 August 2013) was an Odissi music Guru, vocalist, composer and music director.[1] He is most known for his renditions of Jayadeva's Gita Govinda and his vocal support for his wife, the Odissi danseuse Sanjukta Panigrahi. Raghunath belonged to a family associated with Odissi music for centuries, members of which were 19th-century Odissi poet-composer Sadhaka Kabi Gourahari Parichha and Gayaka Siromani Apanna Panigrahi who was the royal musician (raja-sangitagya) of Paralakhemundi.[2] He started his musical training from his father Pt Neelamani Panigrahi, who had been collecting traditional Odissi melodies of the Gita Govinda from the Jagannatha Temple of Puri.[3] Later, Raghunath continued learning Odissi music under Pt Narasingha Nandasarma and Pt Biswanatha Das.[4] He was widely known as 'Gitagobinda Panigrahi'.

He also sang in popular Odia, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu movies. Raghunath left a promising career in film music in Chennai to provide vocal support to his wife, Sanjukta Panigrahi, a legendary Odissi performer and composer.[5] He made a lifetime contribution of promoting, propagating and popularizing the life and works of Jayadeva and the cult of Lord Jagannatha. Sanjukta-Raghunath played for many years from the 1960s until the 1990s.

After the death of Sanjukta in 1997, he was associated with the Nrityagram and gave music for many of their productions.[6] He formed the 'Sanjukta Panigrahi Memorial Trust', in 1999, to promote the cause of Odishi dance. Since 2001, every year on her birth anniversary, the trust has been giving away scholarships to budding dancers, and awards excellence in the field of Orissi dance.[7][8]

Personal life

Raghunath Panigrahi was born on 10 August 1932 in Gunupur, Rayagada, Odisha. He started his musical training first under his father, Sri Nilamani Panigrahi, who later put him under the tutelage of Odissi music exponent Pt Narasingha Nandasarma of Puri. He met his future wife dancer Padma Shri Sanjukta Panigrahi at Kalakshetra dance school, subsequently they married in 1960[9] and had two sons.[10] He died on 25 August 2013 in Bhubaneswar at the age of 82.


Movie Language Year Role
Ilavelpu Telugu 1956 Playback singer
Jayabheri Telugu 1959 Playback singer
Aval Yaar Tamil 1959 Playback singer
Shri Shri Patitapabana Odia 1963 Playback singer
Chinnada Gombe Kannada 1964 Playback singer
Abhinetri - 1965 Choreographer
Sindura Bindu Odia 1976 Playback singer
Mukti Odia 1977 Playback singer
Ahalya Odia 1998 Music director
Nabajanma Odia - Playback singer
Kaa Odia - Playback singer



  1. ^ "Pandit Raghunath Panigrahi dead". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 29 August 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  2. ^ Sambardhita Silpi Parichaya (1992-2018) ସମ୍ବର୍ଦ୍ଧିତ ଶିଳ୍ପୀ ପରିଚୟ (୧୯୯୨-୨୦୧୮) [Biography of awarded artists (1992-2018)] (in Odia). Bhubaneswar, Odisha: Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi. 2021. p. 51.
  3. ^ Panigrahi, Raghunath; Patra, Ramarao (2005). Sri Jayadeba Kruta Gitagobinda Swaralipi : Musical Notes of Geeta Govinda ଶ୍ରୀ ଜୟଦେବ କୃତ ଗୀତଗୋବିନ୍ଦର ସ୍ୱରଲିପି. Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India: Sanjukta Panigrahi Memorial Trust. pp. 1–2. My father Pandit Neelamani Panigrahi was a great scholar in Sanskrit, music & philosophy and was also a freedom fighter of his time. During 1936, he was encouraged to collect detailed information about singers of Gitagovinda of different states. He used to visit Shri Jagannath Temple, Puri for rendering Ashtapadis before Lord Jagannath. In 1942, my father started teaching me Gitagovinda. I took eight years to complete the twenty four devotional verses. Since then I started singing these heartfelt compositions in music conferences and in front of Lord Jagannath consistently. With the blessings of Lord Jagannath, my father made an effort to globalise Gitagovinda through me and succeeded when he got an invitation to attend the silver jubilee music conference at Madras. There he was asked to express his views about the great poet Jayadeva. He demonstrated all the verses in different styles through my blessed vocal talent. These styles were collected from Jagannath Temples, Puri & Amlapuram. These styles of presenting the verses not only captivated the people of Madras but also each and every part of the country & abroad. The immense love and appreciation from the people led me to many invitations from various temples and music festivals, flooding my music carrier.
  4. ^ Panigrahi, Raghunath (November 2019) [July 2007 - republished in 2019]. Samanta, Iti (ed.). "Sangitara Siromani : Pandit Suramani" ସଙ୍ଗୀତର ଶିରୋମଣି : ପଣ୍ଡିତ ସୁରମଣି [Crest-jewel of music : Pandit Suramani]. Kadambini (Interview) (in Odia). Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India (November 2019). ISSN 2277-1131.
  5. ^ Odissi at the crossroads The Hindu, 13 May 2007.
  6. ^ Venkataraman, Leela (30 July 2010). "Nrityagram and the Passion for Dance". The Island.
  7. ^ First Sanjukta Panigrahi award The Times of India, 25 August 2001.
  8. ^ Sanjukta Panigrahi Awards
  9. ^ Publications, Europa (2003). The International Who's Who 2004. Routledge. p. 1281. ISBN 1-85743-217-7.
  10. ^ Sanjukta Panigrahi, Indian Dancer, 65 The New York Times, 6 July 1997.
  11. ^ a b Mudgal, Madhavi (29 August 2013). "He shaped Odissi' renaissance". The Indian Express. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  12. ^ "Padma Shri award to Orissa's Pandit Raghunath Panigrahi, Mayadhar Raut, Ignace Tirkey, Oriya Orbit". 25 January 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  13. ^ "Pt. Raghunath Panigrahi receives the First Jaydev Samman, Oriya Orbit". 5 November 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  14. ^ "Banichitra awards presented". The Hindu. Bhubaneshwar. 7 April 2008. Retrieved 16 January 2014.