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Shubha Mudgal

Mudgal playing the tanpura in 2006.
Background information
Also known as Shubha Mudgal
Born 1959, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
Genres Pop, folk, Indian classical, playback singing
Occupations Singer
Years active 1986 [1] – present

Shubha Mudgal is a well-known Indian singer of Hindustani classical music, Khayal, Thumri, Dadra, and popular Indian Pop music.

She has been awarded the 1996 National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Film Music Direction for 'Amrit Beej' [2], the 1998 Gold Plaque Award for Special Achievement in Music, at the 34th Chicago International Film Festival[2], for her music in the film Dance of the Wind (1997), and the Padma Shri in 2000.


Life and Early Career

Shubha Mudgal (née Gupta) was born in 1959 in an academic family to Skand and Jaya Gupta in [3] Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. Both her parents were professors of English literature at Allahabad University, with deep interest in classical Hindustani music and Kathak [4]. Her paternal grandfather, Prof. P. C. Gupta was also a professor at Allahabad University.

She attended St. Mary's Convent Inter College. As a young girl she started learning Kathak in Allahabad [3] following the foot steps of her sister. Even as a child, she was independent-minded. She replied once to a dance examiner's routine query of "Aap kis gharaane ka naachti hain (what gharana (house/style) do you dance from?)" with the retort "Hum apne gharaane ka naachti hain (I dance from my own gharana)"[3] . She later switched to Hindustani classical music as her vocation of choice while maintaining the same individualistic attitude. Her first traditional teacher (guru) was Pandit Ramashreya Jha in Allahabad.

Mudgal moved to New Delhi and enrolled at the Delhi University. She continued her musical education under Pandit Vinaya Chandra Mudgalya at the urging of her first guru. After graduating from the University, she married Pt. Mudgalaya's son, Mukul Mudgal who was a promising lawyer then. This union resulted in one child. Her training continued under Pandit Vasant Thakar in Delhi, and more informally with other established singer as Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki, Naina Devi and Pt. Kumar Gandharva [5].

She started performing as a classical singer in the 80s and gained a certain reputation as a talented singer. In the 90's, she started experimenting with other forms of music, including pop and fusion varieties. She says, "I believe in music. Khayal and thumari are my favourites, but that doesn’t mean I should not experiment with other forms, Why should I curtail my musical urges?" asks the singer and adds, "I want to allow the artist in me to come through. If you are a musician, how can you say, 'this one is from devotional poetry, so I'm not going to sing it.[6]' In addition to her recordings and concerts, she also briefly ran a website called aimed at lovers of traditional Indian music.

Fashion Style

She is known for her simplicity, cotton saris and no make up, with a dramatic bindi.


  • Ali More Angana (1996)
  • Ab ke Sawan
  • Pyaar Ke Geet
  • Mann Ki Manjeree
  • Kisson Ki Chadar (2003)[7]
  • Shubh Deepavali (2005)
  • Anand Mangal
  • The Awakening (2006) [8]
  • Jahan-E-Khusrau (2007)

International Performances

Friday, October 24, 2008, The kickstart of Deepawali festival by the melodious Shubha Mudgal. She sang great songs from her latest album "Pyar Ke Geet". Packed auditorium of Sunnyvale Hindu Temple and Community Center, community, visitors, devotees enjoyed the performance. Everyone danced to touching songs. Event started with Huna Huna, a song from the depth of heart.


  1. ^ Interview The Hindu, Nov 26, 2005.
  2. ^ a b Milestones Shubha Mudgal Official website.
  3. ^ a b c An Interview with Shubha Mudgal, 2000.
  4. ^ This above all The Tribune, August 15, 1998.
  5. ^ Indian Heroes Shubha Mudgal at
  7. ^ The pop diva goes classic, September 2003.
  8. ^ Shubha Mudgal straddles a range of musical worlds.. The Hindu, Jul 14, 2006.

External links



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