For the thirteenth episode of our series on public spaces named after Hindustani musicians, we walk along Swararaaj Chhota Gandharva tatha Saudagar Nagnath Gore Chowk in Pune.

A noteworthy actor-singer and composer for Marathi musical theatre productions, Saudagar Nagnath Gore, more popularly known as Chhota Gandharva, was also known for his unique renditions of art music. According to information available on Marathi Vishwakosh, he had his initial musical training from Balwant Gowitrikar, Dattubuwa Bagalkotkar, Narharbuwa Patankar and Ganeshbuwa Padhye.

The same source mentions that he trained for a short while under Sawai Gandharva of the Kirana gharana.

Later, he formally became a disciple of Sende/Sinde Khan. In the mid-forties, Chhota Gandharva also studied under Bhurji Khan of the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana. Thus, his gayaki or vocal style displayed influences he had drawn upon from different gharanas.

The first track in today’s episode features a rendition of two compositions in the raag Bhupali, the first set to a medium-paced 16-matra Ikwai taal and the second to a drut or fast 16-matra Teentaal.


The second track includes a rendition of two compositions in the raag Nand-Kedar. The first is set to a vilambit or slow 12-matra Ektaal followed by a composition in drut Teentaal. The next raag on this track is Jansanmohini. The final raag on this track is Marubihag. Both compositions are set to Ektaal.


Chhota Gandharva created many new raags and used the pseudonym “Gunarang” in his compositions. The final track has a presentation of two compositions in Gunkauns, a raag created by him. The first composition is a sadra set to the ten-matra Jhaptaal and the drut composition is set to Ektaal.


A recipient of several awards, Chhota Gandharva resided in Pune for several years.

One of India’s leading tabla players, Aneesh Pradhan is a widely recognised performer, teacher, composer and scholar of Hindustani music. Visit his website here.