Shubha Mudgal
Shubh Mudgal Performing at Bharat Bhavan Bhopal
Shubh Mudgal Performing at Bharat Bhavan Bhopal
Background information
Birth nameShubha Gupta
Born1959 (age 64–65)
Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
GenresPop, folk, Indian classical, playback singing
Years active1986-2006

Shubha Mudgal (born 1959) is an Indian musician, composer, singer, and multi instrumentalist known for her works in Hindustani classical music, Indian pop, and Tamil cinema.[1][2][3] Her repertoire includes the genres of khyal, thumri, dadra.[4] She has received the Padma Shri in 2000.[5]

Early life

Shubha was born in Allahabad into an academic family.[6][7][8] Her parents, Skand Gupta and Jaya Gupta, were both professors of English literature at Allahabad University, and both of them had a deep interest in Hindustani classical music and kathak.[9][10] Shubha's paternal grandfather, P. C. Gupta, had also been a professor at Allahabad University.[11]

Education and musical training

Shubha grew up in Allahabad and after finishing school, attended St. Mary's Convent Inter College. As children, she and her sister were sent by their artistic-minded parents to a dance class to learn kathak.[7] However, her interest in dance was never great and the fact that she attended a non-descript dance-class in the neighbourhood did not conduce to high levels of accomplishment. She once replied to a dance examiner's routine query of "Aap kis gharaane ki Kathak naachti hain? (what is the style/school of Kathak to which you belong?)" with the retort, "Hum apne gharaane ki Kathak naachte hain (I dance my own style of Kathak)".[7] She later switched to Hindustani classical music as her vocation of choice while maintaining the same individualistic attitude. Her first traditional teacher (guru) was Ramashreya Jha in Allahabad.

Shubha Mudgal Reforming at Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal in July 2015

After completing inter-college, Shubha moved to New Delhi and enrolled at Delhi University for her undergraduate studies. In Delhi, she continued her musical education under Vinay Chandra Maudgalya, who was the founder of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, a school of fine arts located in Maudgalya's residence in Connaught Place.[12] Apart from being an outstanding classical musician, Maudgalya was also an accomplished lyricist who wrote the song "Hind Desh ke Niwasi", used in the animation film Ek Anek Aur Ekta by Vijaya Mulay.[13]

After graduating from Delhi University, Shubha continued her training under Vasant Thakar in Delhi, and more informally with other established singers as Jitendra Abhisheki, Naina Devi and Kumar Gandharva.[14]

Performing career

Shubha Mudgal performing in 2007

Shubha Mudgal started performing as a Hindustani classical singer in the 1980s, and gained a certain reputation as a talented singer. In the 1990s, she started experimenting with other forms of music, including pop and fusion varieties. She says, "I believe in music. Khayal and Thumri are my favourites, but that does not mean that I should not experiment with other forms. Why should I curtail my musical urges? ..... I want to allow the artist in me to come through. If you are a musician, how can you say, 'this one is from devotional poetry, so I am not going to sing it."[5]' In addition to her recordings and concerts, she briefly ran a website called aimed at lovers of Indian classical.[citation needed]

Mudgal sang the title track of Star Plus's serial Diya Aur Baati Hum along with Kailash Kher. She also sang on the soundtrack of the film Mystic India.[citation needed]

In 2019, she also turned into a fictional writer with her debut book titled 'Looking for Miss Sargam: Stories of Music and Misadventure'.[15]

Personal life

Shortly after graduating from Delhi University, she married Mukul Mudgal, son of her guru Vinay Chandra Maudgalya in 1982. Her husband, who was also an accomplished musician, chose not to pursue music as a profession, but instead became a lawyer and jurist. The marriage did not last. The Mudgals had one son together, namely Dhaval Mudgal, who is a lead singer in the Delhi-based band Half Step Down.[12][16]

Shubha Mudgal later married tabla maestro, Aneesh Pradhan.[17]


43rd National Film Awards
Civilian honors
Other honors


Tamil songs


  1. ^ "The Sunday Tribune - Spectrum - Article".
  2. ^ "Shubha charmed by Sufi music- Hindustan Times". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 18 June 2023.
  3. ^ "Account Suspended".
  4. ^ "Dance of the Wind - on a vulnerable, but strong tradition videos - Trailers, Hot Actresses, Music, Indian Stars, - Bollywood Movie". Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 18 June 2023.
  5. ^ a b SHUBHA MUDGAL’S TALES FROM LIFE Archived 12 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine, 2003.
  6. ^ "On a Personal Note: Shubha Mudgal". Governance Now. 16–31 December 2016.
  7. ^ a b c An Interview with Shubha Mudgal Archived 4 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine, 2000.
  8. ^ "Interview with Shubha Mudgal, singer". 26 April 2010. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  9. ^ Bhargava, Anjuli (27 March 2020). "Tea with BS: Shubha Mudgal on how she found herself in the world of music". Business Standard India. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  10. ^ "Tribuneindia... This above all".
  11. ^ thsgp. "The Hindu : Metro Plus Pondicherry / Interview : Call of the heart". Archived from the original on 23 April 2008. Retrieved 18 June 2023.
  12. ^ a b Telegraph, The (30 October 2017). "We did not state things we couldn't corroborate'". Archived from the original on 18 January 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  13. ^ "National Award For Best Educational/Motivational/Instructional Film". Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  14. ^ Indian Heroes Shubha Mudgal at
  15. ^ Bhatt, Neha (20 July 2019). "Shubha Mudgal shines in her debut book 'Looking for Miss Sargam'". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  16. ^ Dasgupta, Amrita (22 July 2010). "Life notes". The Hindu. Chennai, India.
  17. ^ "Music Maestros Shubha Mudgal and Aneesh Pradhan Engage with Students of GIM". The Times of India. 10 September 2022. Retrieved 3 July 2023.
  18. ^ a b Milestones[permanent dead link] Shubha Mudgal Official website.
  19. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  20. ^ "Singer Shubha Mudgal gets Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award". Archived from the original on 9 July 2020. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  21. ^ "Shubha Mudgal to get Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award". 3 August 2016. Retrieved 18 June 2023.
  22. ^ The pop diva goes classic Archived 12 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine, September 2003.
  23. ^ Shubha Mudgal straddles a range of musical worlds.. The Hindu, 14 July 2006.
  24. ^ Music Review: No Stranger Here Music Aloud, 1 March 2012.