7 Indian Musicians You Have To Know

Sitar mogara/
Sitar mogara/ | ©Jan Kraus/WikiCommons
Vidushi Trivedi

Indian music takes many forms: classical, folk, and pop music. India has been blessed with a number of gifted musicians, who have mesmerized listeners from around the globe with their art. Let’s take a look at seven Indian musicians you should add to your playlist.

Loved by over 40s

Ustad Bismillah Khan (1913 – 2006)

A spectacular shehnai player, Khan was a musician who was able to grasp the essence of Indian culture through his art. His name will forever be associated with shehnai, the instrument which he made popular through his music. Ustad Bismillah Khan is an iconic figure for Indian music, and has played in national events such as the first Independence Day, as well as the first Republic day of the country. He has been bestowed with honorable awards like the Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, to name a few.

Check out the full video here.

Pandit Ravi Shankar (1920-2012)

Known for his invaluable contribution to Hindustani classical music, Pandit Ravi Shankar was one of the best known players of the sitar. Born in 1920, he became one of the most prolific music maestros of the 20th century. His music has had a global impact, with ardent admirers and students including rock group The Byrds and George Harrison from The Beatles. He was bestowed with innumerable awards and honors in his lifetime, notably receiving the Bharat Ratna (the highest civilian award in India) in 1999.

Ravi Shankar/

Hariprasad Chaurasia (1938 – present)

A legendary Indian flautist and counted among the greatest masters of the north Indian bamboo flute, Hariprasad Chaurasia is a Padma Shree and a Padma Vibushan recipient. Unlike many Indian musicians who were born in muscial families, Hariprasad Chaurasia was the son of a wrestler. He had to rebel against his father and he secretly began learning classical vocal music at the age of 15 from his neighbor. Upon meeting the famous flautist Pandit Bholanath Prasanna of Varanasi, he was deeply influenced by his music and began learning to play the flute under his guidance.

Hariprasad Chaurasia/

Pandit Shivkumar Sharma (1938 – present)

A renowned santoor player, Sharma is single handedly responsible for making the instrument a popular in classical music. Recipient of the Padma Shree and Padma Vibhushan awards, he has also won accolades around the world. He is one of those rare musicians who have also been able to make a mark in the world of popular film music. His compositions for blockbusters such as Silsila and Chandni are a manifestation of his musical brilliance.

Shivkumar Sharma/

R.D. Burman (1939 – 2004)

Popularly known as ‘Panchamda’, he was the man who introduced Western tunes in the Hindi film industry. His musical ideas were innovative and fresh to Indian ears. Heavily inspired by Western music, especially Arabian and Persian music, he experimented with several genres to create fusional music and some boundar-breaking songs.

Jagjit Singh (1941 – 2011)

This renowned Indian singer, writer and musician was famously dubbed as the ‘Gazal King’. He achieved incredible success with his soulful and mesmerizing voice in several genres of music; ranging from romantic melodies, to sad compositions, and devotional hymns. He was married to another leading singer, Chitra, and the duo created musical magic together. Sadly, his personal life was deeply troubled by the death of his only son, after which his wife gave up music. However, Jagjit Singh continued to sing and enthralled audiences by communicating with the deepest human emotions through his art.

AR Rahman (1967 – present)

A living legend, his music has the potential to touch the deeper places in the human heart. He has revolutionized Indian film music over the past two decades. From Roja to Rockstar, his musical genius has charmed audiences, making him one of the world’s all-time best-selling recording artists. He has won two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA award, four National awards, fifteen Filmfare awards and thirteen Filmfare Award (South).

A.R. Rahman/
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.


Keen to explore the world?

Our passionately curated premium small-group trips are an invitation to connect with like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences.