Birendra Krishna Bhadra

Birendra Krishna Bhadra[1] (Bengali: বীরেন্দ্রকৃষ্ণ ভদ্র) (1905–1991) was a radio broadcaster, playwright, actor, narrator and theatre director from Kolkata, India and a contemporary of Pankaj Mallick and Kazi Nazrul Islam. He worked for the All India Radio, India's National Radio broadcaster for several years during its early, starting 1930s, and during this period he produced and adapted several plays.[2]

Birendra Krishna Bhadra
বীরেন্দ্রকৃষ্ণ ভদ্র
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991).jpg
Birendra Krishna Bhadra
Born(1905-08-04)4 August 1905
Ahiritola, Kolkata, Bengal, British India
Died3 November 1991(1991-11-03) (aged 86)
Kolkata, West Bengal, India
OccupationBroadcaster, Playwright, Actor, Theater Director
Known forMahishasura Mardini (1931)
Parent(s)Kali Krishna Bhadra
Saralabala Devi

Today, he is most known for his soaring Sanskrit recitation and India's oldest radio show, Mahishashura Mardini (1931),[3] a collection of shlokas and songs broadcast by All India Radio Calcutta (now Kolkata) at 4:00 am, in the dawn of Mahalaya.[4] He also acted and directed several plays in Bengali theatre and even wrote the screenplay for the film, Nishiddha Phal (1955). A Bengali short film Birendra Krishna Bhadra - The Voice Since 1936 Was released In 2019 By Haalum Digital Media Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.

Early life and educationEdit

Birendra Krishna Bhadra was born on 4 August 1905, to Roy Bahadur Kalikrishna and Sarala Bala Devi at a rented house in Ahiritola his maternal home, in the north Kolkata. Later the family moved to 7, Ramdhan Mitra Lane, the house bought by his grandmother Yogo Maya Devi. His father, Kali Krishna Bhadra was a linguist, fluent in 14 languages, and employed as an interpreter in a lower court and later became a known figure in the Bengali literary circles of the time. Kali Krishna married Sarala Bala Devi the second child of the then famous Police Court lawyer Kalicharan Ghosh, and in 1927 was awarded the title of Roy Bahadur. Roy Bahadur Kali Krishna had two sons, Bhupendra Krishna and Birendra Krishna. In 1926, Birendra Krishna Bhadra passed Intermediate, and in 1928 graduated from Scottish Church College, Kolkata.


He adapted and restructured several classics to produce notable radio plays. In the 1930s All India Radio, Kolkata started broadcasting a two-hour program called Mahishashura Mardini which describes the epic battle of goddess Durga with the demon king Mahishashura. The script of this program was written by Bani Kumar and the music was directed by Pankaj Kumar Mallik.

Bhadra wrote some plays including Mess No. 49, and directed a theatre production Sahib Bibi Gulam, a stage adaptation of the celebrated novel of famous author, the Bimal Mitra. In 1952, he dramatised Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay's novel Subarna Golak which was filmed in the same name in 1981.


His rendition, Mahisasura Mardini, is still played by All India Radio, every Mahalaya, marking the beginning of Durga Puja festivities. So popular was his version of the recitation that when in 1976, the voice of noted Bengali actor, Uttam Kumar was employed for the programme, it didn't get a favorable response from the audience and it was shifted back to the original version of Birendra Krishna Bhadra.[5]

Subhasish Mukherjee portrayed him in his biopic Mahalaya,[6] written and directed by Soumik Sen, highlighting the 1976 fiasco.[7] Jisshu Sengupta portrayed the role of Uttam Kumar.[8]

On the Mahalaya day in 2006, Sujata Bhadra, daughter of the late Birendra Krishna Bhadra, got a cheque for Rs 50,917 from music company, Saregama India Ltd as a royalty for her father's famous work.


  • Hitopadesa, Publisher: Hanthawaddy publication, 1948.
  • Bisvarūpa-darśana. Publisher: Kathakali, 1963.
  • Rana-berana, Publisher: Bihar Sahitya Bhavan, 1965.
  • Bratakathā samagra, Publisher: Mandala end Sansa, 1985.
  • Śrīmadbhagabata: sampurna dvādaśa skandha, with Upendracandra Śāstri. Publisher: Mandala eyāṇḍa Sansa, 1990.


  • Blackout
  • Sat Tulsi 1940
  • he wrote a script of a Bengali movie name mahisasur vadh


  1. ^ "Mahalaya 2018: Eight decades on, Bengalis continue to tune in to 'Birendra Krishna Bhadra'". The Indian Express.
  2. ^ বেতারের প্রাণপুরুষ, বাঙালির প্রাণনাথ. Anandabazar Patrika (in Bengali).
  3. ^ "86 years: Meet the voice behind India's oldest radio show". Gulf News.
  4. ^ "Birendra Krishna Bhadra's 86-year-old 'Mahalaya' still rules hearts". Business Standard.
  5. ^ "Voice from the sky". The Telegraph (Calcutta).
  6. ^ "Mahalaya Movie Review". The Times of India.
  7. ^ যা বীরেন্দ্র সর্বভূতেষু (in Bengali). Anandabazar Patrika.
  8. ^ "Mahalaya'is a confluence of historical nostalgia and artistic excellence". United News of India.

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