Lucknow is a land of Music and Art. Since the era of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Lucknow is blessed with the beauty of music and dance.
When people talk about music here in India, it is a celebrated subject. Talented individuals have defied the odds and became successful worldwide musicians. The talent which was considered as an option earlier has now become the first priority. People around the world have made successful careers in this stream
For music lovers in Lucknow, there is Bhatkhande University.
Being the only university in Lucknow, the stakes are highest for Bhatkhande. And so far, it has not disappointed. Established in 1926, (yes, 1926), Bhatkhande is the longest existing university in Lucknow. It was established by Pandit Vishnu Narain Bhatkhande and Rai Uma Nath Bali for the sole purpose of providing great Indian music. And it has not disappointed yet!
Pandit Vishnu Bhatkhande was a trained musician who lived in Bombay. Even after his music courses were over, Vishnu still developed an undying love for the craft despite being a lawyer by profession.
Over time, he lost his wife and daughter through death then he realized that he wanted to devote himself to music in any way that he could. It was the outlet that he needed. It is during this time that he had an epiphany that Indian music did not necessarily have a curriculum of teaching. And because of this motivation, he was able to build Bhatkhande as a music school.
However, before establishing the music university as a structure, Bhatkhande made constant trips to North India, in efforts to collect relevant information on music. He then moved to South India, and there, he met his music partner Rai Umanath through a concert.
They stroke a friendship and after a short while started talking about the possibilities of having a college for music. While these ideas may have seemed to be nothing but the banter between two friends, a decade later, they joined forces and established a university for music.
The Fate of Music
It goes without saying that the journey was not easy. The idea for the university had to be decided in an Indian music conference where the idea was approved in 1924 and the school was set up in the city.
The university is headquartered in Qaiserbagh area, it is located in a building that supports great music as well as musicians. Due to its long existence, Bhatkhande has remained a historical figure in the world of Indian music.
Thereafter, a music conference was held and one of its main goals was setting up a music academy. This college was not Bhatkhande, instead, it was the Teachers College of Music, which offered music as an elective course. This paved way for the establishment of the Marris College which later changes its name to the Bhatkhande University of Music.
It was in the year 2000 that this university received the accolades that it deserves. The name honoured Bhatkhande, as the scholar and music seeker who paved the way for many other Indians who had a love for music. Yes, it did, rightfully so!