In her book on gharanas of pakhawaj and tabla entitled Pakhawaj & Tabla: History, Schools and Traditions, tabla player Aban Mistry mentions traditions that are presently not as prominent or widely represented compared to the ones we have discussed in our previous episodes about this percussion instrument.

These include traditions from Bengal, Gwalior, Raigadh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. In the final episode of our series on pakhawaj solo, we look at two styles of pakhawaj playing that fall in this category.

The first one is from Bengal and owes its origin to Lala Kewal Kishen, a pakhawaj player originally from Mathura. It may come as a surprise to some readers to learn that Swami Vivekananda also learnt in this tradition.

Here is a short video clip that features pakhawaj player Chanchal Kumar Bhattacharya, a representative of this tradition. He plays a solo in Chautaal, a rhythmic cycle of 12 matras or time-units. He is accompanied on sarangi by Ramlal Mishra.


The Punjab gharana of tabla evolved out of the original pakhawaj gharana from this region. At present, there are very few instances of the earlier pakhawaj style. But here is a track of pakhawaj exponent Talib Hussain from Pakistan. He plays a solo in the ten-matra Jhaptaal.