78 rpm Records of Indian Music: Miss Gohar of Bijapur (Gauhar Karnataki)

Miss Gohar of Bijapur sings two Marathi devotional songs. Her voice is terrific, her delivery heartfelt, her intonation spot-on, her melismatic technique top-notch. What’s not to like?

Wikipedia notes that:

There were four singing contemporaries of Gauhar Jaan with first names pronounced the same way as hers and sometimes spelled in English in different ways:

– Gauhar Jan of Patiala;

– Miss Gohar, who was associated with Parsi Theatrical Company in Bombay (Mumbai);

– Gohar Mamajiwala, a singer actress who was associated with and mistress of Sardar Chandulal Shah of Ranjit Films (studio), Bombay; and

– Gohar Bai Karnataki of Bijapur.

I believe we are listening to the last-listed of these luminaries.

She was a fairly prominent name in Hindi Films in the ’30s, acting, composing and singing songs, most/all of which were never released on 78s and are probably lost for ever. Her sister
Amirbai’s name is far more famous and many brilliant songs sung by Amirbai are easily available today. Before her most prolific years in the ’40s, Amirbai sometimes sang under the name ‘Amir Jan’. Gauharbai’s name appears as ‘Gauhar of Bijapur’ in the Hindi Film Geet Kosh pages. Gauhar was devoted to Bal Gandharva; BG left his family to live with her. There were whispers around 1950 that Gauhar, whom BG used to call ‘Baba’, had cast an evil spell on Narayanrao Bal Gandharva, whose surname was ‘Rajhans’. The Gauhar
episode in BG’s life has been treated at some length in Ravindra Pinge’s beautiful article on BG, titled ‘Chandraast’ and included in the book ‘TuShaar aaNi Taare’. Whatever manipulations she may have resorted to, even her detractors concede that her devotion to Bal Gandharva’s style of singing was genuine. It is not surprising that many of her 78s are of Marathi songs sung in BG’s style.


Afaghaachi sansaar

Satata vimal bhaj nama

12 Nov 2017, 1:55pm
by dijay s

Misconception. She died much earlier than BG. It was one of her sisters who took care of BG till the very end

these songs send me in 1900s.they were too human.they took away their destiny .we will also.may i live in her era.thinking about her give me a sort of peace and satisfaction’your views welcome/00923322940451

I have translated a biography of Amirbai Karnataki from Kannada to Marathi and was published by Granthali in Dec 2014. Please have a look at it here:



27 Jun 2015, 1:36am
by Prakash Burde

I have written 2/3 articles in Kannada on Gohar. She was totally devoted to BG singing and till the end took care of him. She diedd at 53rd year of her life and P.K.Atre well known Editor,dramatist author wrote glowingly on her demise. She worked with Mallikarjun Mansur in Kannada dramas before her entry in films. She threw away her career to marry Gandharva when he was 63 year old bride groom and she was 40!

i was trilled to know that smt gohar bai a sister of amirbai karnataki. while in bijapur visited the theater built by smt amirbai karnataki.she is truly a daughter of karnataka.

I’m afraid I can’t tell you one way or the other.

22 Apr 2013, 7:22am
by ashok dambal

any book on Gauharbai bijappur available in marathi?kindly inform.

[…] View post: 78 rpm Records of Indian Music: Miss Gohar of Bijapur (Gauhar … […]

[…] here: 78 rpm Records of Indian Music: Miss Gohar of Bijapur (Gauhar … If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS […]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *