Bhai Lal Amritsari

Jait Kalyan
Recording from Radio Pakistan Archives

Tilak Kamod



Bhai Lal Amritsari was a singer of the Kapurthala Gharana trained in the Gwalior style of singing. Bhai Lal hailed from a Amritsar based rababi family of musicians and received his initial training from his father Bhai Ata Muhammad, a disciple of Mian Bannay Khan of the Gwalior gharana. After his father’s death, Bhai Lal then learnt from Mian Mahboob Ali, a renowned sitar player of the Kapurthala Gharana.

Bhai Lal was a disciple of Pandit Bhaskarbuwa Bakhale. Bhaskarbuwa had learnt from Ustad Faiz Mohammad Khan (Gwalior), Ustad Bande Ali Khan (Kirana), Ustad Natthan Khan (Agra), and Ustad Alladiya Khan of Kohlapur (Jaipur).

At the Shikarpur Music conference in 1927, Bhai Lal received the title of Sangeet Sagar. In 1936, Bhai Lal’s elder son, Nissar Hassan died at the age of 26 due to tuberculosis. Bhai Lal then decided to train his younger son, Ghulam Hassan Shaggan to continue the family tradition.

After the partition of the sub-continent in 1947, Bhai Lal moved to Lahore in Pakistan, despite of strong requests from friends and disciples to stay in Amritsar. Bhai Lal was appointed music supervisor at Radio Pakistan and his son started performing at Radio Pakistan. The following 12 years proved to be extremely difficult for Bhai Lal and his family as recognition of classical arts was not readily forthcoming in the young country struggling with social and ideological questions.

Bhai Lal passed away in 1962 at Lahore. His musical legacy is continued by his son Ghulam Hassan Shaggan and his grandsons Qadir Hassan Shaggan and Mazhar Hassan Shaggan.

2 thoughts on “Bhai Lal Amritsari

  1. With your honor and respect.

    I am the son of great Ustaad Ghulam Mohammad Khan Sarangi player of the world, who was the ambassador of Pakistan in the whole world in the field of music. The world knows him as a unique Sarangi player of Pakistan. He is reorganization of Pakistan in the world & many music promoting organizations of the world introduce him in their websites.

    I am singing as a classical, semi classical, Ghazal and kafi singer from 1974 but unfortunately no chance is given to me to perform on PTV, ATV,PTV WORLD etc.

    On behalf of my family creditability & services for music of Pakistan ,Kindly give me a chance to perform my art in my country, because I have the sprit to fame and promote to my country music in the whole world with my art.

    I am ignoring from a very long time, so it is again humbly requested to you please give me a chance to perform my art in your own programs , and also promote me for other because I am the singer of your country.

    For your consideration my website is



    CELL:0092 300-6686006/0301-7138539

  2. Singers of old like Bhai Lal Amritsari have a charisma of their own. Perhaps it is because of the appealing quality of the voice, or perhaps it is due to the way they bring out the notes of each raga, or it could be because of the deep feelings with which they invoke the spirit of the raga they happen to be singing or it is all because of a combination of these and other factors. It could also be due to their learning at the feet of their gurus and the total dedication to the art of their choice.

    Lovers of Hindustani Classical must add this singer to their collection. I am grateful for the chance to listen to two ragas in this site. We have been seeing less and less true masters after the end of the golden age of Hindustani Classical around the 30s or 40s or when royal patronage declined dramatically.

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