Sakar Khan

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Sakar Khan
Born9 August 1938 (1938-08-09) (age 81)
Died10 August 2013
Hamira, Rajasthan, India
Resting placeHamira
27°00′N 71°04′E / 27.000°N 71.067°E / 27.000; 71.067
OccupationFolk,Classical musician
Spouse(s)Bubba Devi
ChildrenGhewar Khan
Firoze Khan
Darra Khan,Satar khan
Parent(s)Chuvar Khan
AwardsPadma Shri
Tulsi Samman
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award

Sakar Khan (aka Sakar Khan Manganiar) (1938–2013) was an Indian musician, considered by many as the greatest exponent of the Kamayacha (or Kamaicha), a Rajasthani version of the Persian musical instrument of the same name, popular among the Manganiar community of the Indian desert state.[1][2][3][4] The Government of India honoured Khan in 2012, with the fourth highest civilian award of Padma Shri.[5]


He was a folk artiste who reached world stage purely by way of his merit. He did not even know what publicity meant. But give him his kamyancha and the man was a rockstar, though an unknown one, says Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Grammy award winner
1969 Painting from Hasht-Behesht palace, Isfahan, Iran showing a Kamancha player

Sakar Khan was born on 9 August 1938 at Hamira, a small village in the Jaisalmer district of the Indian state of Rajasthan,[4] in the Manganiar community, known for their traditional music.[1] His father, Chunar Singh, was a renowned kamayacha (kamaicha) musician[2] and the young Sakar started learning kamayacha (kamaicha)from an early age under the tutelage of his father[6] to earn a name for himself later.[1]

Khan has performed in many parts of the world, notably in Brussels, at a concert at the Cirque Royal Auditorium, organized by the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation, titled, From the Sitar to the Guitar where he played alongside such musicians as Yehudi Menuhin and Pandit Ravi Shankar.[6][7] His concerts have taken place in countries such as US, France, Japan and USSR[2][6] and has performed with George Harrison, the Beatle, and Sultan Khan in London.[4]

Sakar Khan, who is credited with getting the Rajasthani kamancha noticed at the world stage,[4][7] is reported to have made innovations to the instrument, originally a rabab look alike[6] stringed instrument composed of a goat skin covered body and three or four main and fourteen sympathetic strings[2][6] by adding to the number of sympathetic strings to enhance the emotional appeal of the instrument.[3] His renditions of Bhairavi raga and Kalyani raga have been stored in the ethnomusicology archives of Smithsonian Folkways, the record label of the Smithsonian Institution.[6] His performance at The Manganiyar Seduction,[8] was as a guest of honour at the Purana Qila in Delhi[6] in November 2010, following which the organisers, Amarrass Records, made analogue field recordings of the maestro at his home in Hamira, Rajasthan, released as At Home: Sakar Khan (Amarrass Records) in September 2012.[2][6] This remains the only album released by Sakar Khan.[7][9] His last public performance was at the Amarrass Desert Music Festival 2012 in December in New Delhi, India.

Sakar Khan died on 10 August 2013[1][10] due to respiratory illnesses[6] and is survived by his wife, Bubba Devi, their four sons and two daughters.[7] Four of his sons, Ghewar Khan, Feroze Khan and Darra Khan,Satar[11] are known kamayacha (kamaicha)musicians and accompany their father on concerts.[1][2][4][6]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

The Government of Madhya Pradesh awarded Sakar Khan the Tulsi Samman in 1990.[1][2][4][6] The next year, in 1991, he received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award[1][2][4][6] from the Government of India who, eleven years later, followed it up with the fourth highest civilian award of Padma Shri, in 2012.[2][4][6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Amarass". Amarass. 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Amazon". Amazon. 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  3. ^ a b Nicolas Magriel (2013). "Growing into Music". Growing into Music. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Kamancha maestro Sakar Khan dies". Mumbai Mirror. 11 August 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Kamaicha maestro Sakar Khan dead". The Hindu. 12 August 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Indian Express". Indian Express. 11 August 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  8. ^ Aakar Patel (1 February 2013). "Manganiar Seduction". Live Mint. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  9. ^ UNESCO; UNDP (14 November 2013). Creative Economy Report 2013: Widening Local Development Pathways. UNESCO. ISBN 9789230012113.
  10. ^ "Sakar Khan: Musician who worked with Shankar, Menuhin and Harrison". The Independent. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  11. ^ "Darra Khan". Wishberry. 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2014.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]