Allauddin Khan

Allauddin Khan was a renowned classical musician of India. He played the sarod. Belonging to a genre of musicians who believed music to be a divine way to reach God, Allaudin Khan was born into a musical family in Brahmanbaria ( Bangladesh ). He took a liking to music at a very young age. However, his family never wanted him to become a musician, as it was not considered to be a respectable profession. At the age of ten, he ran away from home and joined a Jatra (vernacular theatre) group. Later he went to Calcutta and became a disciple of Nulu Gopal and after training him for seven rigorous years Nulu Gopal passed away. So grieved was the Ustad that he decided never to take up singing. Allauddin Khan then became a disciple of Amritlal Dutt, with a burning desire to become an instrumentalist.

While he was in his twenties, the Ustad once found himself in the court of Raja Jagat Kishore. There for the first time, he heard Ustad Ahmad Ali playing the sarod and found his life’s calling. Ustad Ahmad Ali sensed Allauddin’s intense passion for music and made him his disciple. One day he summoned Allauddin and told him that he had learnt enough and it was time for him to go out establish his own identity.

Taking leave of Ahmad Ali, the Ustad went to Rampur and decided to take lessons from Wazir Khan the guru of the Nawab of Rampur and one of the greatest musician of those days. But Wazir Khan’s sentry would not allow him in.

In order to draw attention to his plight, the frustrated Ustad threw himself in front of the king’s chariot. When the king learnt about the reason, he was extremely impressed and put Allauddin Khan’s skill to test. Being convinced, he requested his guru to make him his disciple. Wazir Khan helped him acquire all the nuances of the sarod.

Allauddin Khan became the court musician of the Maharaja of Maihar. Here he composed many famous ragas. Some of his famous disciples were Ravi Shankar, Panna Lal Ghosh, Ali Akbar Khan, Nikhil Banerjee and his daughter Annapurna.

Allauddin Khan was bestowed with the Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 1952, the Padma Bhushan 1958 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1971. He died in the year 1972.