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From the Courts of Mewar

Maharana Bhagwat Singh Mewar

Even after the severance of the states and the merger of the royal House of Mewar with independent India, Maharana Bhagwat Singh Mewar (1921-1984) maintained the tradition of the conservation and perpetuation of the arts and cultural activities in Mewar.

The extraordinarily accomplished Dagar brothers Ustad Naseer Ammenuddin Khan and Ustad Naseer Moinuddin Khan introduced the Jod and Aalaap techniques to the perfectly set raga and taal padas of Ashtachaap. They practised this style to great acclaim both within the country and abroad.

In this style particular to the Dagar family, the complete circle of the aalaap moves around the bol of "Antar Taran Taran Tu". The character of the raga is also contained in this movement. This ancient classical style is retained only in the Dhrupad style.

Maharana Bhagwat Singh Mewar hosted the Dagar brothers in Udaipur in the late 1950's and used the occasion to record their performances. The Maharana then formulated the Maharana Kumbha Sangeet Kala Trust and collected all the recordings of the Dagar family and housed it in the archives of the Trust. A true lover of music, he held musical performances in the great The Durbar Hall of the The City Palace.

Apart from the Dagar family, performances were also held by Pandit Omkar Nath Thakur, Dr. Premlata Sharma (Benaras), Pandit Jaganath Prasad (Udaipur), Pandit Dharmandhikari (Mumbai), and Shri Purshottamdas Pakhavji (Nathdwara) etc.

The late Maharana was a true patron and provided sanctuary and financial assistance to a wide spectrum of artists. The Maharana also lent support to the theoretical side of music. Manuscripts and other treatises were collected under the aegis of the Maharana Kumbha Sangeet Kala Trust.