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Ustad Bismillah Khan's Death Anniversary: 10 amazing facts about his life

Ustad Bismillah Khan died on August 21, 2006, at the age of 90. He received 21 guns salute from Indian Army during his burial ceremony

Ustad Bismillah Khan

Ustad Bismillah Khan

Sudeep Singh Rawat New Delhi

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Ustad Bismillah Khan needs no introduction, he was popularly known for his impeccable art. He was India's one of the finest classical musicians and he played Shehnai for more than eighty decades. After M S Subbalakshmi and Ravi Shankar, Bismillah Khan is the only third classical musician who received the Bharat Ratna. He also has won several national and international awards for his performances. 

Born on March 21, 1916, he was the second son of Paigambar Bux Khan and Mitthanbai. His father was the court musician of the king of the Bhojpur. He settled down with his father, Pighamber Bux Khan, at a very young age in Varanasi.

Here are some interesting facts about Ustad Bismillah Khan.

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Ustad Bismillah Khan: 10 interesting facts about him

  1. When Bismillah Khan was born in March 1916, his name was Qamaruddin Khan. According to some stories, when his grandfather heard the news of his birth, he thanked god and said "Bismillah." Since then, his name has become Bismillah.
  2. Bismillah started his music training at the age of 6 with his uncle Ali Baidu Vilayatu.
  3. He travelled all over the countries like Iraq, Iran, Japan, USA to perform his show.
  4. When India got Independence in 1947, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru invited Bismillah Khan to perform live on the occasion from the ramparts of Red Fort in Delhi.
  5. He treated Shehnai, which is his favourite instrument, as his begum (wife) and the instrument was also buried with him at the Fatemain burial ground in Varanasi.
  6. Bismillah Khan's first public appearance was at the Indian Music Conference in 1937 in Kolkata, he received appreciation for his performance all over the country, and he got recognition from there.
  7. A large auditorium was also made in Tehran (Iran) in the year 1992, which was named after Bismillah Khan. The name of the auditorium is "Talar Mousiqui Ustad Bismillah Khan.”
  8. The great Indian musician has received all three Padma awards, such as Padma Shri in the year 1961, Padma Bhushan in the year 1968 and Padma Vibhushan in the year 1980.
  9. During the burial ceremony of Ustad Bismillah Khan, the Indian Army gave a 21-gun salute to him.
  10. Ustad was popularly known for his simple living, and he lived that way throughout his life. He used to eat simple food and used to travel locally in a cycle rickshaw.
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First Published: Aug 21 2023 | 1:03 PM IST

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