Kumar Gandharva, Basavaraj Rajguru, Puttaraj Gawai, Mallikarjuna Mansur, Gangubai Hanagal, Bhimsen Joshi, Venkatesh Kumar… The list of musical supremos from Dharwad is endless. But how did Dharwad, a small poor man’s town in Karnataka become the hub of Hindustani and Carnatic music?
According to Ramachandra Guha; Dharwad was once upon a time a part of the Bombay presidency and hence two of the greatest musical centres, Pune and Mumbai influenced the culture here. Due to its closeness with the towns of Kolhapur and Miraj, where some famous Muslim teachers of music had settled, the culture here further took shape. Since Dharwad falls in South India, the musicians here drew deep influences from Carnatic music as well. As time passed, Dharwad emerged as the meeting point and melting pot of Hindustani and Carnatic music!
Dharwad has its own charm. The guru-shishya relationship is almost a way of life here. People here feel their child should know music. Music tuitions are taken almost as seriously as other school subjects. Dharwad is ‘the’ place in India where Purandaradasa meets Kabir!