Benaras Gharana

Benaras Gharana is also known as Janaki Prasad Gharana. He was the native of Benaras. In fact, he along with his two brothers Dulha Ram and Ganeshilal had come to Benaras from Jaipur and settled down here. It was in Benaras where his Gharana prospered. Janaki Prasad had three main disciples: Chunnilal, Dulha Ram and Ganeshilal. Chunnilal received Kathak training from Janaki Prasad for 15 years and was appointed Court dancer in Bikaner. Janaki Prasad trained his younger brother Dulha Ram. Dulha Ram trained Ganeshilal.

Dulha Ram had three sons: Biharilal, Hiralal and Puranlal. Ganeshilal also had three sons: Hanuman Prasad, Shivlal and Pt. Gopalji. They were all great dancers of their times. Hanuman Prasadj i also had three sons: Nawal Kishore, Bansidhar and Omkar Prasad. Shivlal also had three sons: Sukhdev, Durga Prasad and Kundanlal. Pt. Gopalji had only one son: Krishna Kumar, who is not alive any more. Sitara Devi, daughter of Sukhdev Maharaj is the most famous exponent of this Gharana.

Janaki Prasad Gharana is based on purity of dance, Bols, purity of Bhav (Satvik Bhav) and Tatkar. In this Gharana, stress is laid on Nikasi by footwork. Whereas, others tap feet 4 times in “Tigda Din Din’, in this Gharana feet are tapped 6 times. Heel is most extensively used.

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