Abdul Karim Khan

Abdul Karim Khan

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Category: Music

Abdul Karim Khan Profile

  • Name:
  • Abdul Karim Khan
  • Born:
  • November 11, 1872
  • Died:
  • October 27, 1937
  • Father:
  • Kale Khan

Abdul Karim Khan Biography

Abdul Karim Khan was a doyen of Hindustani music and founder of Kirana Gharana. Famous vocalists of Kirana Gharana, Saraswati Rane, Sureshbabu Mane and Hirabai Barodekar were his children. He got separated from his wife Tarabai Mane, a member of Royal family of Baroda and later their kids were looked after by her. Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan was his cousin, who trained his kids later. Apart from singing, he was an expert in sarangi, been, sitar and tabla.


Abdul was born in November 11, 1872 in Kairana of UP in the family of great musicians Ghulam Ali and Ghulam Maula belo. His father, Kale Khan was the grandson of Ghulam Ali. Abdul received initial training from Abdulla Khan and father Kale Khan. Later he was guided by another uncle Nanhe Khan. Initially he was a sarangi player. As he felt that sarangi is of low profile, he switched to vocal singing and fully concentrated in it. In early years he used to sing with his brother Abdul Haq and both were influenced by Murtuza's style. They were the court musicians of kingdom of Baroda. It was during this time when he met Tarabai Mane, who was the daughter of Sardar Maruti Rao Mane, a member of the royal family. Karim Khan was earlier married to the sister of great Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan.


His marriage with Tarabai Mane faced opposition from Royal family and the couple moved to Mumbai and settled there. However when Tarabai Mane left him in 1922, it made a great impact on his singing. He became meditative in singing. Among his kids, Sureshbabu Mane got initial training from him and the remaining kids didn’t get much. When he was invited to Mysore court, he was influenced by Carnatic music also. During this time, he taught his most famous disciple Sawai Gandharva. He has also recorded a Tyagaraja kriti.

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Updated: February 19, 2014

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