Narayan Shripad Rajhans
(), better known as Bal Gandharva
() (1888–1967) was one of the greatest Marathi
singers and stage actors. He was famous for his roles of female characters in Marathi plays, since women were not allowed to act on stage during his time.
Bal Gandharva got his name after a performance in Pune as an aspiring singer. Lokmanya Tilak
, the great freedom fighter and the grand old man of the Indian independence movement
was in the audience, and after the performance, reportedly patted Rajhans on the back and said that Narayan was a "Bal Gandharva"
which means "Young Gandharva
Narayan Shripad Rajhans was born in Nagthane village in Palus
taluk of Sangli district
. Bal Gandharva's first wife died in 1940. Bal Gandharva married Gohar Karnataki in 1951. Gohar was an actress in his drama company. Gohar died in 1964.
Bal Gandharva began his career with Kirloskar Natak Mandali
in 1905. The company was run by Mujumdar and Nanasaheb Joglekar. After Joglekar's death in 1911, there was discontent about Mujumdar's dictatorial and manipulative style. Bal Gandharva, Ganesh Govind Bodas
and Govindrao Tembe
left the company in 1913 to form Gandharva Sangeet Mandali. Bal Gandharva became the sole owner of the debt ridden company in 1921. The debt was paid off in 7 years' time. But the company accumulated debt again over next 6–7 years. Bal Gandharva... Read More