Siddheshwaridevi

Siddheshwaridevi was born in1907 in Varanasi. She was raised by her paternal aunt Rajeshwaridevi as she had lost her parents in childhood. The renowned Sarangi player, Siyaji Mishra taught music to Kamleshwaridevi, daughter of Rajeshwaridevi. While the music lessons were on, Siddeshwaridevi would be in and around that place, busy with household chores. On one occasion, Kamleshwaridevi was unable to pick up the Thappa she was being taught. This enraged her mother who started beating her. Siddeshwaridevi intervened and took the beating herself. Later she reproduced the same Thappa accurately, leaving everyone astonished.The following day, Siyaji Maharaj, who was childless, approached Rajeshwaridevi with a proposal of adopting Siddeshwaridevi. Siddeshwaridevi then started residing with Siyaji Maharaj and later started supporting his family. In Siddheshwaridevi’s biography, her daughter mentions that her mother always remembered this life changing incident.

 

Siddeshwarideviji also trained under Rajab Ali Khan of Devas and Inaayat Khan Saheb of Lahore. But her main Guru was ‘Bade Ramdasji’. She used to sing a variety of songs like Khayal, Thumri, Dadra, Chaiti, Kajra etc. Often in concerts, she would sing the entire night leaving the audience mesmerised.

 

In 1989, director Mani Kaul made an award winning documentary on her titled ‘Siddeshwari on the life’. She passed away in 1976. Her daughter, Savitadevi , is a musician and composer and currently resides in Delhi.

 

Awards Won

 

1.1966- ‘Padmashree’

2.1973 - D Lit degree

3. Title of ‘Desikottam’ awarded by Rabindra Bharati Vishwavidyalaya.