The celebrated Indian Vadya Shiromani of the Benares Gharana, Kanthe Maharaj, was born in 1880 in the Kabir Chaura Muhallah of Varanasi city. He expired at the age of 90 in Varanasi in 1970. He was an accomplished Indian tabla player who performed at various places in India and overseas. He was coached by the acclaimed celebrity Baldev Sahaya. He was also Nepal’s court musician with Baldev Sahaya. He spent most of his life in Calcutta. Later in his life, he trained others in playing the tabla. His disciples are Badri Maharaj, Krishna Kumar Ganguli, Nanku Maharaj, Ashutosh Bhattacharji, Ramnath Misra, Kishan Maharaj, Shamta Prasad (also regarded as Gudai Maharaj), Nanhe Sahaya and Sital Misra.
Kanthe Maharaj Tabla
Kanthe Maharaj inherited playing the tabla from his father, Pandit Daleep Mishra, an experienced and magnificent tabla player. He learnt all the significant lessons of tabla playing from his father and was subsequently trained by Baldev Dahayaji. Kanthe Maharaj is the first tabla player who has expressed stuti, which means admiration of Lords through his tabla. Kanthe Maharaj delighted the whole world with his mastery of tabla for about 70 years. He set a record of playing the tabla for about two and a half hours in 1954. He is considered an eminent personality in music and is celebrated for playing the tabla in numerous ways and styles. He was an exceptional tabla maestro who could create an extraordinary and marvellous variety of tones with his tabla for any rag. It is believed that he rehearsed daily with a slow, Na Dhin Dhin Na, to concentrate and focus on his art form. He will always reminisce as an ace table player.
Awards and Recognitions
He was honoured with the Sangeet Natak Academy award in 1961.
He made history by playing the tabla for about two and a half hours in 1954.