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Annapurna Devi
GharanaSitar - Rampur-Maihar
Annapurna Devi
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Allaudin Khan
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Annapurna Devi, daughter of Ustad Allaudin Khan was born in Maihar on Chaitra Pournima, i.e. 23rd April 1927. In the month of Chaitra, goddess Annapurna is worshipped for prosperity and calmness. Hence she was named Annapurna as the symbol of the goddess by the Brijnath Singh, the king of Maihar state. Her Muslim name was Roshan Ara.
At that period, the maestros would give their knowledge only to their sons. Only in very exceptional cases, they would teach the daughter. Jahanaara, elder sister of Annapurna Devi was sent back to Maihar after some months of her marriage due to her love towards music; and unfortunately she passed away in this period. Due to this incidence, it was impossible for Ustad Allaudin Khan to even think about teaching music to Annapurna Devi. One day, she was singing and teaching music to Ali Akbar when Allaudin khan was not at home. When Khansaheb returned home, he was surprised by seeing this; and from that day her music education was started. She was only 10 years old at that time. She was first taught to play Sitar and later she was taught to play Surbahar in Dhrupad style. During same years, Pt. Ravi Shankar was learning under the Ustad. Annapurna Devi was married to Pt. Ravi Shankar on 15th May 1941.
After being married to Ravi Shankar, she moved with him to Mumbai. Since then, she lived here and her contributions to music happened in Mumbai. On March 30, 1942, they were blessed by a son. He was named Shubhendra. Unexpectedly, Shubhendra, the budding Sitar player passed away on 15th September 1992.
Annapurna Devi performed solo performances as well as did Jugalbandi with Ravi Shankar. She also played in the background music of ballet composed by Ravi Shankar, for the ‘Discovery of India’ which was organized by the IPTA. But she stopped public performances in 1955, but she continued teaching music her students.
After many years of strained marital relationship with Ravi Shankar, she got divorced in 1982. In the same year, she got re-married to Prof. Rishikumar Pandya, who was an expert in the field of stress management and also a disciple of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Annapurna Devi.
She was honored with ‘Padmabhushan’ (1997), Sangeet Natak Academy Award (1991), and Vishwabharati award (1988). She received the title of ‘Deshikottam’ and D.Lit. in 1998 in Shanti Niketan. She was honored with the ‘Ratna’ award by Sangeet Natak Akademy in 2004.
Annapurna Devi's disciples include Pt. Nikhil Banerjee, Shubhendra Shankar, Sashwati Ghosh, Amit Roy, Dr. Hemant Desai, Prof. Rishikumar Pandya, Daniel Bradley, Chandrakant Sardeshmukh, Sudhir Phadke, Sandhya Apte, Leenata Vaze, Urmila Apte (for Sitar), Bahadur Khan, Ashish Khan, Dhyanesh Khan, Vasant Kabra, Pradeep Barot, Biren Banerjee, Amit Bhattacharya, Stuti Dey, Uma Guha (for Sarod) and Hariprasad Chourasiya, Nityanand Haldipur, Milind Shevde and Vivek Sonar (for flute).

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