Pandit Ravi Shankar

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Pandit Ravi Shankar was a sitar player and musician. Ravi Shankar is counted among the famous musicians of the world. He has a special contribution in introducing Indian classical music to the western world. His achievement in music can be gauged from the fact that he is a 5-time Grammy Award winner.

NamePandit Ravi (Ravinder Shankar Chaudhary
Birth7 April 1920, Banaras
OccupationPlaying Sitar
TeacherAlauddin Khan
WifeAnnapurna Devi (Roshanara Khan) Sukanya Rajan
ChildrenShubendra Shankar (Mother: Annapurna Devi) Norah Jones (Mother: Sue Jones) Anushka Shankar (Mother: Sukanya Rajan)
Related BooksMy Life, My Music (1969) Raaga Mala (1999)
Famous Awards5 times Grammy Award, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Bharat Ratna
DeathDecember 11, 2012 (age 92) San Diego

Pandit Ravi Shankar was born on April 7, 1920 in Banaras. Hemangini Devi and Shyam Shankar Chaudhary were his parents. His father was originally from Jessore district, East Bengal (now Bangladesh). Shyam Shankar Chaudhary was a lawyer and politician. Besides, he was also the Diwan of Rajasthan.

Ravi Shankar’s childhood name was Rabindra Shankar Chaudhary, which he later changed to Ravi Shankar. Ravi Shankar received his early musical education from his elder brother Uday Shankar. Uday Shankar was a choreographer/dancer. Before learning sitar, Ravi was a dancer. He was a part of his brother’s dance group since the age of 10. Pandit Ravi Shankar started learning sitar from Ustad Alauddin Khan. For this he went to Maihar. He first married his guru’s daughter Annapurna Devi. Ravi Shankar and Annapurna separated after 20 years.

Pandit Ravi Shankar demonstrated his sitar playing in the country and abroad. During this time he shared the stage with many internationally renowned artists. He performed with legendary artists like George Harrison of the famous music group The Beatles, composer Philip Glass, composer Zubin Mehta, Ustad Alla Rakha, etc.

His fame in America can be gauged from the fact that Ravi Shankar, Harrison, and members of the touring band received an invitation to visit the White House at the invitation of John Gardner Ford, son of US President Gerald Ford.


Pandit Ravi Shankar was decorated with many awards and honors at national and international level. Based on the information received from Wikipedia, he was honored with many decorations which include Bharat Ratna and Grammy Award.

Honors given by the Government of India

  • Bharat Ratna (1999)
  • Padma Vibhushan (1981)
  • Padma Bhushan (1967)
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1962)
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (1975)
  • Kalidas Samman from the Government of Madhya Pradesh (1987–88)

Other government and academic honors

  • Ramon Magsaysay Award (1992)
  • Commander of the Legion of Honor of France (2000)
  • Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) (2001) for “services to music”
  • Honorary degrees from universities in India and the United States.
  • Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Melbourne, Australia (2010)

Art Award

  • Fellowship from the John D. Rockefeller Third Fund in 1964
  • 1957 Silver Bear Exceptional Award of the Jury at the Berlin International Film Festival (for composing music for the film Kabuliwala)
  • UNESCO International Music Council (1975)
  • Fukuoka Asian Culture Award (1991)
  • Imperial Premium for Music from the Japan Art Association (1997)
  • Polar Music Award (1998)
  • five grammy awards
  • 1967: Best Chamber Music Performance – West Meets East (with Yehudi Menuhin)
  • 1973: Album of the Year – The Concert for Bangladesh (with George Harrison)
  • 2002: Best World Music Album – Full Circle: Carnegie Hall 2000
  • 2013: Best World Music Album – The Living Room Sessions
  • Received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards
  • Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score for Gandhi with George Fenton.
  • Posthumous nomination at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards for his album “The Living Room Sessions Part 2”.
  • First recipient of the Tagore Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to cultural harmony and universal values (2013; posthumous)

What did Pandit Ravi Shankar play?


Who was the guru of Pandit Ravi Shankar?

Allauddin khan

When did Pandit Ravi Shankar get Bharat Ratna?


Bharat Ratna Award List

Year Recipients About
 Bharat Ratna 1954 C. Rajagopalachari Activist, statesman, and lawyer
 Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan  India’s first Vice-President and second President
C. V. Raman Physicists, mathematicians, and scientists
 Bharat Ratna 1955 Bhagwan Das Activist, philosopher, and educationist
M. Visvesvaraya Civil engineer, statesman, and Diwan of Mysore
Jawaharlal Nehru Activist and author served as the Prime Minister of India
Bharat Ratna 1957 Govind Ballabh Pant Activist and first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
Bharat Ratna 1958 Dhondo Keshav Karve Social reformer and educator
Bharat Ratna 1961 Bidhan Chandra Roy Physician, political leader, philanthropist, educationist, and social worker
Purushottam Das Tandon Activist and speaker of the United Provinces Legislative Assembly
Bharat Ratna 1962 Rajendra Prasad Activist, lawyer, statesman, and scholar
Bharat Ratna 1963 Zakir Husain Activist, economist, and education philosopher served as a Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University and the Governor of Bihar
Pandurang Vaman Kane Indologist and Sanskrit scholar, known for his five-volume literary work
Bharat Ratna 1966 Lal Bahadur Shastri Activist and served as the second Prime Minister of India
Bharat Ratna 1971 Indira Gandhi  First women Prime Minister of India
Bharat Ratna 1975 V. V. Giri Trade Unionist
Bharat Ratna 1976 K. Kamaraj Independence activist and statesman, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
Bharat Ratna 1980 Mother Teresa  Catholic nun and the founder of the Missionaries of Charity.
1983 Vinoba Bhave  Activist, social reformer, and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi
Bharat Ratna 1987 Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan First noncitizen, independence activist
Bharat Ratna 1988 M. G. Ramachandran Actor turned politician, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
Bharat Ratna 1990 B.R. Ambedkar Social reformer and leader of the Dalits
Nelson Mandela Leader of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa, President of South Africa
Bharat Ratna 1991 Rajiv Gandhi Gandhi was the ninth Prime Minister of India serving from 1984 to 1989.
Vallabhbhai Patel Activist and first Deputy Prime Minister of India
Morarji Desai Activist, and Prime Minister of India
Bharat Ratna 1992 Abul Kalam Azad Activist and first Minister of education
J. R. D. Tata Industrialist, philanthropist, and aviation pioneer
Satyajit Ray Director, filmmaker, writer, novelist
Bharat Ratna 1997 Gulzarilal Nanda Activist, and interim Prime Minister of India.
Aruna Asaf Ali Activist
A.P.J Abdul Kalam Aerospace and defense scientist
Bharat Ratna 1998 M. S. Subbulakshmi Carnatic classical vocalist
Chidambaram Subramaniam Activist and former Minister of Agriculture of India
Bharat Ratna 1999 Jayaprakash Narayan  Activist, and social reformer
Amartya Sen Economist
Gopinath Bordoloi Activist
Ravi Shankar Musician, sitar player
Bharat Ratna 2001 Lata Mangeshkar Singer
Bismillah Khan Hindustani classical shehnai player
Bharat Ratna 2009 Bhimsen Joshi Hindustani classical vocalist
Bharat Ratna 2014 C. N. R. Rao  Chemist and professor, author
Sachin Tendulkar Cricketer
Bharat Ratna 2015 Madan Mohan Malaviya Scholar and educational reformer.
Atal Bihari Bajpayee Elected nine times to the Lok Sabha, twice to the Rajya Sabha, and served as the Prime Minister of India for three terms.
Bharat Ratna 2019 Pranab Mukherjee Indian politician, and senior leader in the Indian National Congress.
Nanaji Deshmukh A social activist from India, education, health, and rural self-reliance.
Bhupen Hazarika  Indian playback singer, lyricist, musician, singer, poet, and filmmaker from Assam.

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