Shashwati Mandal (b. 1971) is a Hindustani classical music vocalist.[1] She is an exponent of the Gwalior gharana.

Shashwati Mandal
Shashwati Mandal's performance at Vishnu Digambar Jayanti in Delhi, 2010.
Shashwati Mandal's performance at Vishnu Digambar Jayanti in Delhi, 2010.
Background information
Birth nameShashwati Mandal
Also known asShashwati Mandal
Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India
OriginGwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India
GenresHindustani classical music, Khayal, Tappa, Bhajan
Occupation(s)Indian Classical Vocalist
Years active1979–present

Early life and training


Shashwati was born in Gwalior in a family of musicians. Her maternal grandfather Pt. Balabhau Umdekar 'Kundalguru' was a darbar-gayak (court musician) at the royal court of Gwalior, and a singer of the Gwalior gharana.[2] Shashwati started her early classical training under the guidance of her mother, Smt. Kamal Mandal, at a very young age. From 1987-1992, she received a Department of Culture (Govt of India) scholarship to study under the veteran Gwalior gharana singer Pt. Balasaheb Poonchhwale.[3] Balasaheb instilled into her the finer nuances of Gwalior gayaki, and also trained her into the art of Tappa singing, the vibrant semi-classical genre. She continued her training with her gurus, Balasaheb Poonchhwale and Kamal Mandal until their deaths in 2005[4] and 2006, respectively.

She also studied briefly under Purnima Chaudhuri for Thumri, Gundecha Brothers for Dhrupad, and Sarbat Hussain for Ghazal[1] singing. In 2009-2010, she received Sanskriti Foundation's Mani Mann Fellowship[3] to study under Madhup Mudgal of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, New Delhi. In addition, she is heavily influenced by the gayaki of Kumar Gandharva, and the repertoire of Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana.

Shashwati has integrated these eclectic musical leanings into her gayaki (musical style). She has received praise for her full-throated resonant voice, and clarity of taans and murkis.[1][5] She is widely regarded as one of the foremost exponents of Tappa singing.[6][7][8][9]

She currently resides in New Delhi.



As a child prodigy Shashwati started giving public performance at the young age of seven.[1] She has performed extensively in India and abroad. Some of her major performances include Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav in Pune, Maharashtra in 2006 and 2022,[10][11] Darbar Festival in United Kingdom in 2008,[12] Saptak Annual Festival of Music in Ahmedabad, Gujarat in 2010,[13] Vishnu Digambar Jayanti Samaroh in New Delhi in 2010 and 2018,[14][15] Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan in Jalandhar, Punjab in 2012 and 2019,[5][16] ITC Sangeet Sammelan in Kolkata, West Bengal in 2014,[17] Hridayesh Art Festival in Mumbai, Maharashtra in 2019,[18] and Tansen Samaroh in Gwalior (several years, most recently in 2021).[19] She is a 'top' grade artist at All India Radio and is an empanelled artist at Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

Shashwati also served as a staff artist in All India Radio, Bhopal and an Assistant Professor of Music in Mumbai University, Mumbai.


  • Shashwati Mandal, Alurkar Music House (2006) - Raag Dev Gandhar, Todi, Kalingada Tappa, Bhairavi Tappa
  • Sasha: A Tappa Journey, Sense World Music (2007). Nominated to top ten of Songlines Music Awards 2009.[20]
  • Pratah Swar, Pancham Nishad (2014) - Raag Lalit, Bhatiyar
  • Studio Series I, RagaNXT (2016) - Raag Malgunji, Sohni Bhatiyar, Yaman, Brindabani Sarang Tappa


  1. ^ a b c d C. S. Sarvamangala (5 October 2012). "The Eternal Note". The Hindu.
  2. ^ "Biography: Shashwati Mandal Paul". Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Past Fellows - Mani Mann". Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Springtime Sonata". The Times of India. 18 April 2005.
  5. ^ a b "137th Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan 2012, Day 2". 4 January 2013.
  6. ^ Shuchita Rao (7 September 2013). "A successful exponent of tappa". Sruti.
  7. ^ Nayan Ghosh (22 March 2015). A Conversation with Pt. Nayan Ghosh on Hindustani Classical Music.
  8. ^ "संगीत जगत की तीन हस्तियों की याद में गूंजे राग मल्हार". Amar Ujala, Varanasi. 5 September 2016.
  9. ^ Shashwati Mandal (26 October 2014). ZEE24TAAS : 26th October 2014 Diwali Special - Shashwati Mandal.
  10. ^ "Sawai Gandharva: excellence, simplicity, genuineness". 17 December 2006.
  11. ^ Amit Karmarkar (15 December 2022). "Stunning performances on Day 1 mark return of Sawai music festival". The Times of India. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  12. ^ "Festival Profile Darbar Festival" (PDF). 2009.
  13. ^ "Saptak Annual Festival 2010 – Viraasat". 30 December 2009.
  14. ^ "Gandharva Mahavidyalaya presents Vishnu Digambar Jayanti Sangeet Samaroha 2010". 2010.
  15. ^ S Sahay Ranjeet (2018). "Festival: Eminent artists will come together in Delhi". India Today Hindi. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  16. ^ "144th Stage Decorated with a Theme Incorporating the Dance Form for the First Time". Dainik Bhaskar. 27 December 2019.
  17. ^ Manjari Sinha (25 December 2014). "Fresh as ever". The Hindu.
  18. ^ "29th Hridayesh Festival 2019". 11 January 2019. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  19. ^ Shailaja Khanna (1 March 2022). "North India's oldest classical music festivals". Sruti. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  20. ^ "About the Artists". Retrieved 28 September 2017.