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Gwalior Is Now known As The Musical City

Gwalior City in Madhya Pradesh recently joined UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network due to its strong commitment to culture and creativity. It’s a significant place in Indian music history, especially for the Gwalior gharana, a musical tradition.

This gharana, or school of music, has its roots in the 15th century under Raja Man Singh Tomar. He came from a line of music enthusiasts, and his great-grandfather, Dungarendra Singh Tomar, gifted music treatises to a friend, the Sultan of Kashmir. These treatises contained detailed discussions on music and instruments.

Man Singh, who became king in 1486, played a crucial role in the development of Indian classical music. He is believed to have invented dhrupad, a classical music genre, and his Horis and Dhamars became quite popular. 

He made Indian music more accessible by replacing Sanskrit songs with simpler Hindi ones.

Man Singh also wrote “Manakutuhala,” considered the first music treatise in Hindi, which helped a wider audience understand this high art. 

He built large music halls in his palace and held regular music sessions. His music was appreciated not only by Sufi saints but also by Muslim Sultans. Gwalior’s rich musical heritage continues to shine today.

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