Padma 2024 Awardee Pandit Laxman Bhatt Tailang passes away before receiving award

In a solemn turn of events, the esteemed Dhrupad maestro Pandit Laxman Bhatt Tailang, who was recently announced as a recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri award by the government, has departed from this world before he could be bestowed with the honor. The revered musician and educator breathed his last at 9 am on Saturday at the age of 93. He was admitted to Durlabhji Hospital in Jaipur, Rajasthan, for treatment of pneumonia among other ailments that had ailed him in the past few days.

Pandit Tailang’s demise has left a void in the Indian classical music scene, especially in the genre of Dhrupad, which he not only mastered but also dedicated his life to propagating. His daughter, Professor Madhu Bhatt Tailang, herself a noted Dhrupad singer from Rajasthan, shared that Panditji’s condition had been deteriorating, leading to his admission to the hospital where, despite receiving care, he passed away.

The life of Pandit Tailang was a harmonious journey through the realm of music. His legacy includes the extensive musical training he imparted to his children. His son, Ravi Shankar, and his daughters, Shobha, Usha, Nisha, Madhu, Poonam, and Aarti, all benefited from his tutelage, becoming proficient in various musical genres under his guidance.

Pandit Tailang’s career as an educator spanned more than four decades, during which he served as a music lecturer at institutions such as Banasthali Vidyapith from 1950 to 1992, and at the Rajasthan Music Institute in Jaipur from 1991 to 1994. His passion for music led him to found and direct the ‘Rasmanjari Sangeetopasna Kendra’ in Jaipur in 1985, and he later established the ‘International Dhrupad-Dham Trust’ in 2001 to further the reach and understanding of Dhrupad music both in India and internationally.

Pandit Tailang’s commitment to music education was not merely academic; his efforts extended to the preservation and dissemination of the Dhrupad tradition. He was known to hold workshops, masterclasses, and concerts, often engaging with younger musicians and enthusiasts, igniting within them a passion for this ancient art form.

His reputation as a stalwart of Indian classical music crossed borders, with his performances being celebrated both at home and abroad. He had the distinction of collaborating with other eminent artists and participating in numerous music festivals, thus enriching the fabric of India’s cultural heritage.

The recognition of his contributions came with the announcement of the Padma Shri, one of the highest civilian awards of India, which he was due to receive for his unparalleled service to the field of music. The award, which would have been a fitting tribute to his lifelong devotion to arts, now stands as a posthumous honor – a reminder of the melody and wisdom he left behind.

Pandit Tailang’s family, students, and admirers mourn the loss of this musical doyen as they celebrate his life and accomplishments. His melodies may have ceased, but his influence resonates through the corridors of Indian classical music, his teachings continue to inspire young musicians, and his spirit remains an indelible part of the Dhrupad legacy he cherished so deeply.

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