Mallikarjun Mansur

  • Birth Name Mallikarjun Mansur
  • Born 1911
  • Occupation Singer
  • Year Active 1928 - 1992
  • Origin Dharwad
  • Career Graph

    Career beginnings

    Mallikarjun Bheemarayappa Mansur (1910 1992) was an Indian classical singer of the khyal style in the Jaipur Atrauli gharana.He received the three national Padma Awards Padma Shri in 1970,Padma Bhushan in 1976,and Padma Vibhushan in 1992.Mansur was born in Dharwad, Karnataka in a poor family of cultivators.His father,a farmer by occupation was an ardent lover and patron of music,though he lived from a hand to mouth condition.Spotting the talent in his son, Mallikarjuns father engaged him to a travelling Yakshagana (Kannada theatre) troupe.As he hailed from the village Mansur,he was nicknamed so and this accompanied him for the rest of his life. The owner of this troupe took a liking to the tender and melodious voice of Mallikarjun and encouraged him to sing different types of compositions during the drama-performances. Hearing one such performance, he was picked up by Pundit Appaya Swamy under whom he had his initial training in Carnatic music.Sometime later,he was introduced to classical Hindustani music under Nilkanth Bua Alurmath of Miraj who belonged to the Gwalior Gharana.The latter brought him to Alladiya Khan (1855 1946),the stalwart and the then partiarch of the Jaipur gharana, in the late 1920s, who referred him to his elder son,Ustad Manji Khan. Following Manji Khan's untimely death, he came under the tutelage of Ustad Bhurji Khan,the younger son of Ustad Alladiya Khan.This grooming under the Khan Brothers had the most important influence on his singing.Mansur was well known for his command over a large number of rare (aprachalit) ragas such as Shuddh Nat, Asa Jogiya,Hem Nat,Lachchhasakh,Khat,Shivmat Bhairav,Bihari,Sampoorna Malkauns Lajawanti,Adambari Kedar and Bahaduri Todi,as well as his constant,mercurial improvisations in both melody and metre without ever losing the emotional content of the song. Initially,his voice and style resembled that of Manji Khan and Pandit Narayan Rao Vyas,but gradually he developed his own style of rendition.Mansur wrote an autobiographical book titled Nanna Rasayatre in Kannada,which has been translated into English as a book titled My Journey in Music by his son,Rajshekhar Mansur.Mallikarjun Mansur was married to Gangamma. He had seven daughters and a son Rajashekhar Mansur.Amongst Pt Mansurs children,Rajashekhar Mansur (son) and Neela Kodli (daughter) are vocalists.

    Latest Awards


    • Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship

      Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship -1982


    • Padma Shri Award

      Government of India

      Padma Shri Award -1970
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