Pandit Bhagwan Das Mishra (b.1993) was an outstanding sarangi player of Banaras, one of the last. Bhagwan Das learnt from his father Madhav Mishra and also from the great Banaras vocalists Bare Ram Das and Mahadev Mishra. He spent much of his life in Lucknow as a staff artist of All India Radio. His sons Santosh and Vinod learned mainly from their paternal uncle Narayan Das Mishra in Banaras. I organised a concert for Bhagwan Das-ji in the Spring of 1994 at Amar Bhavan in Assi, Banaras. In 1997 visted him in his house in Lucknow where I filmed him and his son Vinod Kumar Mishra.

In his frail old age, Bhagwan Das moved back to Banaras. When I last saw him—in 2011 on the roof of Santosh Mishra's house—he couldn't walk and had forgotten everything. Of his four sons Santosh Kumar and Vinod Kumar are excellent sarangi players. The other two brothers play tabla and violin.

The first group of videos below are from Bhagwan Das Mishra's programme at Amar Bhavan, Banaras on 24 April,1994. He began with a full khayal rendition in rag Bhairagi:

 

He went on to play a thumri in Bhairavi:

 

Then a tappa in Bhairavi:

 

Then a hori in Kafi:

 

Then a dadra in Bhairavi:

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Finally a thumri in Khamaj. While packing up, Bhagwan Dasji bemoaned the fact that no one is learning sarangi anymore because no one wants to do the amount of work needed—at least 14 hours a day. He said he doesn't practice anymore—his heart, not his fingers, does the playing.

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