The Odissi Project

A search for traditional musicians across Odisha

This is a project under


Odissi music is a system of Indian classical music with a history spanning more than a thousand years. It has its own repertoire of indigenous ragas, a vast body of literature in the Odia language and a distinct style of rendition. This project is an attempt to make more people aware of this rich tradition by providing carefully curated content, and bring some much-needed attention to the hundreds of dedicated musicians in the villages of Odisha who have kept alive this ancient art.

From my own research of the subject as a vocalist, this is my attempt to provide a single portal that collates never-before available lyrics, rare literary genres, lost tunes, gramophone recordings, interviews and other archival data to provide a holistic view of this distinct school of music.

Balaram Gouda

Sri Balaram Gouda is trained in the ancient tradition of Sakhi Nata in Ganjam. His repertoire spans odissi, chhanda, champu and a lot more, from the works of several authors.

I once saw a performance by his troupe and that was when I heard his voice for the first time. It did not take long to realise that the tunes and variations he employed were steeped in tradition. Since then I had been waiting to meet the gentleman; fortunately, things went well and we were able to sit with him for a wonderful session at Naikanipalli, Ganjam, Odisha. 

Chandramani Lenka

Sri Chandramani Lenka is a veteran Odissi musician. His voice has a distinct touch of Puri and his training was mostly under Singhari Shyamasundar Kar and Balakrushna Dash.

Recorded in September 2017
Not too high quality but documentation nonetheless; this is because it was one of my first attempts at documentation, and that too without any specialised equipment.