Siddheshwari Devi

Siddheswari Devi (1903-1977) traced her musical lineage to her maternal grandmother Maina Devi, a reputed singer of Kashi of nearly a century ago. She was the inheritor of great musical traditions from a family, which produced several famous singers like Maina Devi, Vidyadhari Devi, Rajeswari Devi and Kamaleswari Devi. She got her initial training from Siyaji Maharaj, Ustads Rajab Ali Khan of Dewas and Inayat Khan of Lahore. However, her greatest guru, the one to whom she attributes most of her musical training was Bade Ramdasji of Varanasi. Siddheswari's vast repertoire included a large number of khayals, thumris, dadras, tappas, kajaris, chaitis and bhajans. In recognition of her valuable contributions to the enrichment and perpetuation of the Benaras (Poorab) ang of light classical music, Siddheswari was honoured with the Presidential Award in 1966 and the title of "Desikottama" from the Viswa Bharati University.