15 Facts About Alla Rakha


Ustad Alla Rakha Qureshi, popularly known as Alla Rakha, was an Indian tabla player who specialized in Hindustani classical music.


Alla Rakha was a frequent accompanist of sitar player Pandit Ravi Shankar and was largely responsible for introducing Tabla to the western audience.


At the age of 12, Ustad Alla Rakha ran away from home to stay with his uncle in the nearby Gurdaspur city to pursue his passion for music.


Mian Kadir Bakhsh, who had no sons, formally adopted Alla Rakha and called him the next head of the Punjab gharana of tabla players.


Alla Rakha took vocal training in classical music and Raag Vidya under Ustad Ashiq Ali Khan of the Patiala gharana.


Alla Rakha was married to his cousin Bavi Begum and their marriage produced three sons, Zakir Hussain, Fazal Qureshi and Taufiq Qureshi; two daughters, Khurshid Aulia nee Qureshi and Razia; and nine grandchildren.


Allah Rakha had a third daughter named Roohi Bano who was born in Pakistan and achieved a "legendary" status in television and film acting.


Alla Rakha composed for a total of 23 films between 1943 and 1964.


Alla Rakha popularised the art of tabla, playing across the globe, elevating the status and respect of this instrument.


Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha duo represented India at several international music festivals.


Alla Rakha was part of the ensemble accompanying Ravi Shankar during George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh shows, held in New York City in August 1971.


Alla Rakha collaborated and shared the stage with many leading figures in Indian music like sitar player Vilayat Khan and sarod player Ali Akbar Khan.


Alla Rakha was awarded the Padma Shri in 1977 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1982.


Alla Rakha was featured in a Google doodle on 29 April 2014, on the occasion of his 95th birthday.


The newspaper further stated that Alla Rakha was given the title Ustad or master musician and teacher of the art of tabla playing.