About Gharana

Gharana means a house – The house or the place or the family where a particular type of education is imparted. In other words, it is a school of thought or education or training. Regrading tabla, the style used in its playing is of special importance in the same as people in various regions use a language such as bhari, Braj, Awadhi, Bakhari etc.

These people are know by nomenclature wherever they settle down. Similarly, the tabla players employing a particular style, which is different from there contemporaries and colleagues are know by that style. This is called a particular Gharana (School). In India there are six principles tabla styles or gharana (School) like Delhi, Ajrada, Lucknow, Farrukahbad, Banaras and Punjab.


  • Delhi Gharana
  • Punjab Gharana
  • Ajrada Gharana
  • Gharana means a house – The house or the place or the family where a particular type of education is imparted. In other words, it is a school of thought or education or training. Regrading tabla, the style used in its playing is of special importance in the same as people in various regions use a language such as bhari, Braj, Awadhi, Bakhari etc.

    These people are know by nomenclature wherever they settle down. Similarly, the tabla players employing a particular style, which is different from there contemporaries and colleagues are know by that style. This is called a particular Gharana (School). In India there are six principles tabla styles or gharana (School) like Delhi, Ajrada, Lucknow, Farrukahbad, Banaras and Punjab.

  • This is considered as independent style of school. There hardly any western influence here. The Punjab style was born when the closed notes of phakhawaj where played on the tabla in a new way. Although the tabla in Punjab is an offshoot of the phakhawaj, the playing of open notes with a free hands lends it novelty and individuality.

    The Punjab school gain recognition and popularity because of the unique style. Ustaad Alla Rakha Khan is a proud product of this style. As well as Ustaad Zakir Hussain.

  • Ajrada is a village in meerut district near Delhi. The originators of this school where two brothers – Ustad Kallu Khan and Ustad Meeru Khan. They where Ustad Sitab Khan disciples in Delhi. They returend to Ajrada after completing there training and it was there that day gave birth two an developed school.

    The Ajrada style is similar to the one at Delhi except that it is a different style with ” AADI – LAYA” rhythm and an enviable intermix of and the left and right hand percussion. But this style appeals to the heart easily.

About Gharana

  • Banaras Gharana

    This is also a branch of lucknow gharana. PT Ram Sai Ji of banaras trained under Ustaad Mondu Khan at lucknow for about 12 years. He played the tabla at Nawab Wajedali’s court for 7 days continuously. The Nawab was pleased and showered many gift  on him. PT Ram Sahai became famous. After he returned to banaras he founded his own gharana.

    Banaras is an important center for pilgrimage, religion and ancient Indian Culture. The influence of Sanskrit and Chhand poetry (COUPLETS) can be felt in the forceful rendering of the table here. PT Ram Sahaiji’s forcefull bazz finds an echo today in Dhrupat, Dance, String instruments, Songs, Thumri, Dadra and solo playing of the instrument all over India.

  • Farrukahbad Gharana

    It is a village near Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. Ustaad Bhakshu Khan of Lucknow’s daughter was married in the family of Vilayat Ali Khan (Haji Saheb) in Farrukhabad. As a part of dowry Haji Saheb received many kayadas, Gatts and Parans. It is said that after Haji Saheb returned pilgrimage, he met a noted tabla player and expressed desire to be proficient in playing this percussion instrument. His wish was granted. Today, the style developed by Haji Saheb has its own special space in India with its remarkable use of Ghatts.

  • Lucknow Gharana

    Ustad Mondu Khan and Ustad Bakshu Khan were sent from Delhi to Lucknow at the request of the Nawabs there. They founded there own style called the Lucknow style. Since dance was an inseparable part of Lucknow’s Culture at that time. The tabla took on the open and re-sounding notes that accompanied it as it had to keep pays with the rise and fall. (Uthan, Paran, Gatt, Tukkda etc). All the fingeres were employed to produce these notes, thus drawing the soft, dulcet Delhi style to dance beats.


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