Biography of Gangubai Hangal:

Early Life:

Gangubai Hangal was born on March 5, 1913, in Dharwad, Karnataka, India. She hailed from a family of musicians and was introduced to classical music at a young age. Her father, Chikkurao Nadiger, was a well-known musician and her first Guru.    

Gangubai Hangal’s Musical Training and Career:

Gangubai Hangal received rigorous training in Hindustani classical music, particularly in the Kirana gharana, under the guidance of her gurus, including Pandit Rambhau Kundgolkar (Sawai Gandharva). Despite facing societal opposition to women pursuing music as a profession, Gangubai’s determination and talent prevailed.
She specialized in the khayal and thumri genres and became known for her powerful, soul-stirring renditions. Her deep, resonant voice and emotive expressions captivated audiences, earning her respect and admiration in the classical music community.

Career Highlights:

Gangubai Hangal’s career as a classical vocalist spanned several decades. She performed extensively in India and abroad, showcasing the beauty of Hindustani classical music to diverse audiences. She collaborated with renowned musicians and composers, enriching the musical landscape with her contributions.
Her renditions of classical compositions and devotional songs became legendary. She was particularly noted for her renditions of compositions in raag Bhairavi and her thumri performances.

Social Impact:

Gangubai Hangal was not only a musical icon but also a socially conscious individual. She actively participated in the Indian freedom movement, using her art to inspire and motivate people. Throughout her life, she advocated for the upliftment of women and the preservation of classical music traditions.

Awards and Honors to Gangubai Hangal:

Gangubai Hangal received numerous awards and honors in recognition of her contributions to Indian classical music. She was awarded the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibhushan, two of India’s highest civilian honors. Additionally, she was honored with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Karnataka Sangeet Nritya Academy Award, among others.


Gangubai Hangal’s legacy is immortalized in the annals of Indian classical music. Her rich, soulful renditions continue to inspire generations of musicians and enthusiasts. She played a pivotal role in popularizing Hindustani classical music, leaving an indelible mark on the cultural heritage of India. Gangubai Hangal’s life and music remain an enduring source of inspiration for music lovers worldwide.