Remembering legendary Odia singer Banikantha Nimain Harichandan

Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s legendary singer Padma Shri Banikantha Nimain Charan Harichandan was born in the royal Narendra family of Kendrapara, the abode of Lord Sri Baladev Jew on 9th July, 1901.

Harichandan’s father Brundabana Chandra Harichandan was the grand son of the famous Radhesyama Narendra, who, at his time was being called as the Indra (king of heaven) of Earth, for his popularity, and his mother, Indramani Devi was also from a very wealthy family.

In 1916, Nimain began learning music by playing Mrudanga and Harmonium, before his family god Shri Shri Radhagovinda Jew. Looking to the interest of Nimain his famous musician paternal-uncle, Guru Gokul Chandra Srichandan started teaching him music.

He also started learning music from Artabandhu Patra of Kendrapara and tabla from Jagabandhu Nayak of Cuttack. In 1922, Nimain learnt Hindustani Vocal from Ustad Madho Rao of Cuttack, Who modulated his voice and his tone become melodious, whom he never forgot in his life time.

The legendary singer’s voice was distinct from others. His name and fame had already preceded him and people in the film industry were already aware of this talented singer and soon, he was flooded with offers. However, he preferred to render his voice only for the film “Sri Jagannath” (1949), as this was about his beloved god Lord Jagannath, where the songs, “Nila Sindhu Tire” and “Chakadolaa Kimpaa Dakaa” were smash-hit and ensured the box office successes of the movie. He has rendered his voice in more than 100 records for HMV till 1977. He himself was the music composer of most of his songs.

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