The legend of Tansen

May 05, 2020

Destinations :: Gwalior

The great singer, Tansen, belonged to the Gwalior school of music. He was one of the nine jewels of the court of Mughal emperor Akbar. Itís said that Tansenís voice was so magical that when his enemy wanted to kill him he convinced the emperor to ask Tansen to sing a raga that would cause all oil lamps to ignite spontaneously. On the emperorís request Tansen sang that melodic sequence and the wicks burst into flame. But the power of the raga made his body burn with a terrible fever that no doctor could cure.


Tansenís beloved then sang a raga that caused a cloud to burst, abating Tansenís raging fever. Today, Tansenís tomb is found within the Gwalior fort complex. It is a simple pavilion of white marble. On one side of the pavilion is a tamarind tree. Chewing its leaves is supposed to improve oneís voice!