Panchetgarh was one of the highest seats of Hindustani Classical music in this part of the country. So great is its contribution to the development and propagation of various forms of Hindustani classical music, that we find ,in course of its past history, very famous and illustritious musicians have passed through its haloed portals and have left a distinct footprint on the history of Indian Classical music. Still now, active research is going on in universities like Benaras Hindu University to unearth the true impact and influence of Panchetgarh in the domain of Hindustani Classical music.
The Zamindars of Panchetgarh were true conosuiers of Music, Art and Religion. The Central Hall of the Rajbari also called “ The Jalshaghar” (Hall where jalshas were performed) was the hall which has been witness to the performance of some of the biggest names in Indian Classical music.
Panchetgarh during its time was also one of the central centers of the growth of Indian Bhakti sangeet and Kirtans. Members of the family like Choudhary Upendra Nandan Dasmohapatra ,Choudhury Jogendra Nandan Dasmohapatra and Choudhury Jitendra Nandan Dasmohapatra were great exponents of these music forms.
These are some of the illustritios musicians who had visited and stayed in Panchetgarh and strengthened the roots of various zonnras of Hindustani classical music here.
1. Ustad Fakir Baksh : (Pakhawaj & Tabla). He was one of the highest exponents of coming out of the “Punjab Gharana” and was the disciple of Saddu Hussain Baksh. Old historical records show that he was in Panchetgarh on two occasions in his Lifetime.
2.Kanialal Dheri: ( Esraj). One of the greatest Esraj Players coming out of the “ Gaya Gharana”. Subsequently we see that Esraj as a musical instrument gained popularity in the Panchetgarh seat of learning
3. Kashinath Mishra: ( Tabla). Pandit Kashinath Mishra the great Tabla maestro was also in Panchetgarh.
Ustad Abdullah Khan Saheb: ( Vocal) He was a part of the” Kirana Gharana”. He was the Royal Court Musician of both Raja of Darbhanga and the Royal Court of King of Dacca. He was a an expert in vocal and Sarengi.
5. Halkeram Bhat:( Esraj). He was a great Esraj player from the Maihar Gharana.
6.Chandrikaprasad Dubey: ( Sarengi). He was an expert in Sarengi and was one of the most famous deciples of the “Gaya Gharana”.
7. Jadu Bhatta (Jadunath Bhattacharjee): One of the most illustritious sons of Bengal and the most famous exponent coming out of the “Bishnupur Gharana”. Jadu Bhatta was a guru of Dhrupad and the “Dhrupad Khanderbani” form of classical music. His early taleem was from his father Madhusudan Bhattacharya and also later on from Ganganarayan Chottapadhaya who was the Royal Court Musician of the Raja of Bishnupur. The Court of Bishnupur were the main flag bearers of the “ Bishnupur Gharana”, which later on became as famous as the “ Maihar” and the “ Gaya Gharana”. Dhrupad is Bengals indigenous contribution to the world of Indian Classical music.
Jadu Bhatta was the Royal Court Musician in Panchetgarh for a brief period of time. He also taught music to some of the members of Panchetgarh Royal family and his influence to the development of Panchetgarh , as a high seat of musical learning is very prominent.
Jadu Bhatta also taught music to Rashtra Kavi Guru Rabindranath Tagore and also to Bankim Chandra Chattopadhaya who latter on penned our Rashtra Gaan “ Vande Maataram”.