Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Bahti Ganga Kaashi teerath aaya

Posted on: March 19, 2021

This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in If this article appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of, then it is piracy of the copyright content of and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

4627 Post No. : 16278 Movie Count :


Today’s song is very special. It is from a totally unknown film- Sach hai-1939. Still, it is a special song. I say so because it is the First song sung by Suresh babu mane on this Blog. I know, nay, I am sure that 99 % of our readers may raise their eyebrows with this name, because they will not know who he was.

Suresh Babu Mane was an expert Classical singer in the late 30’s and 40’s decades. He was the first child of Abdul Karim Khan c- founder of the Kirana Gharana. The name of Kirana Gharana came because Abdul Karim Khan was born in village Kirana in Uttar Pradesh.

It is as if Hindustani Classical Music and Hindi Film Music have inimical or hostile relationships. Hindi film music is music for the masses, where as classical music was born in Palaces and Temples and had Royal patronage. It was understood and enjoyed by and meant only for the connoisseurs. For the common public, classical music was anethema and they could never identify themselves with it. As a result, classical music was kept at a distance by common people.

When the Film Music prospered, spread everywhere and became the people’s choice, the classical singers kept a distance with it. Most were averse to singing for films. It was considered below their dignity to sing for films. If you see the Hindi film song list, you will find that songs by the well known classical singers are not even 1 % of the total songs, so far !

I just casually found out the number of songs that some well known classical singers have sung in Hindi films and this is what I found (not an exhaustive list) –

S No Singer Films No. of songs
1. D.V.Paluskar 1 1
2. Bade Ghulam ali khan 2 3
3 Bhimsen Joshi 6 12
4. Ram Marathe 6 11
5. Shobha Gurtu 16 19
6. Manik Verma 13 17
7. Hirabai Badodekar 3 9
8. Saraswati Rane 11 26
Total Songs 98

From Carnatic Musicians, I only know that M.S.Subbu Lakshmi sang 17 songs in her only Hindi film ” Meera”-1947. They were all Meera Bhajans. Singer Ram Marathe’s 11 songs mentione above are only as a Child Artiste. Once he left films and dedicated himself to Classical music, he never sang again in Hindi films, as far as I know. Experts may know better. There may be some more classical singers and songs other than what is shown above as only an example, but the end result would not change in any case !

It was Naushad, who first understood this predicament and strongly advocated mixing classical music (Raagas) and Folk music for film songs. He actually did this in his films, like Baiju Bawra and some others and we can see that he honestly tried successfully too. Shankar-Jaikishen, C. Ramchandra, S.D.Burman and some other composers followed suit and we had some excellent songs based on classical music (Raagas).

No wonder, then, thast Suresh Babu Mane the Classical singer ( elder brother of Hirabai Badodekar and Saraswati Rane), gave music to only 2 Hindi films in the 30′;s period. Let us know more about Suresh Babu Mane.

According to archives in history, Tarabai Mane was the daughter of Sardar Maruti Rao Mane, one of the brothers of the Rajmata of Baroda.

During her childhood years in the early 19th century, Tarabai Mane used to learn music from Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, who was a mere court musician in Baroda. The two gradually fell in love, a feeling that was not supported by any of the family members precisely because of the gap between their status and ranks in the society. The couple had no other option but to flee Baroda to settle in Bombay city. Ustad Abdul Karim Khan and Tarabai Mane, had fled from the city of Baroda to settle in Bombay after their affair was not accepted by their extended families. However, their fleeing away from their roots did not mean the end of the road to the music career their children had. Tarabai Mane and Abdul Karim Khan married in Bombay and gave birth to five children, two sons and three daughters.

Khansaheb became very busy with his many tasks and concert tours throughout India. As a result, he could not attend to the needs and music education of his children. Compounded with some household family problems, Tarabai decided to separate from him and left him in 1918. In the beginning, she stayed in Bombay for some time and then moved to Pune with her five children.

She decided to change their Musilm names. She was the daughter of Sardar Mane of Baroda state. She used Mane and Barodekar as the surnames. Barodekar was derived from her native place whereas Mane was her surname before marrying Khansaheb. Thus Abdul Rahman became Suresh (god of music notes) babu Mane. Out of her 5 children, Champakali became Heerabai Badodekar, Sakina or Chhotu tai became Saraswati Mane and after marriage Sarawati Rane.

The original name of Suresh Babu Mane was Abdul Rahman. He was the eldest son of Ustad Abdul Kareem Khan and Tarabai Mane alias Tahirabibi, born in 1902. His pet name, in house, was ‘Babu’ and later ‘Baburao’ among his friends, and family members. His first teacher was father Kareem Khan and he also learnt music along with the first batch of disciples of the Arya Sangeet Vidyalaya founded by his parents. His voice, swar lagao and style were ditto to his father. He received talim till the age of sixteen years when his parents separated. He had by then become a teacher and concert singer. Like his father, his thumri was a speciality and listeners would name it as a ‘Maharashtri’ thumri. He was not only an expert vocalist but also could play harmonium, tabla, sarangi, tabla tarang, kashtha tarang, jal tarang, shahanai, and piano.

Tarabai opened up new music school ‘Nutan Sangeet Vidyalaya’ with Sureshbabu as a teacher along with other teachers and students. Sureshbabu also began to teach his sister Heerabai. However, they were all in their teens, and hence Tarabai persuaded and appointed uncle Abdul Wahid Khan as the teacher for children. Later on, with the help of Sawai Gandharva (Rambhau Kundgolkar) she opened up drama wing of Nutan Sangeet Vidyalaya. They staged several old and new drama and all brothers and sisters played roles. Sureshbabu and Heerabai also played roles in Hindi and Marathi films during 1930-40. Sureshbabu also gave music to 2 films, composing 25 songs. (Sant Tulsidas-34 and Sach hai-39). He acted in 2 films – Amrit Manthan-34 and Chandrasena-35 and sang 7 songs in 2 films too – Chandrasena-35 and Sach Hai-39.

In 1926, with the efforts of Bai Sunderabai, HMV recorded two songs sung by Sureshbabu – ‘Balam mora naina tere rasile’ (Khamaj thumri) and Marathi pad ‘Ram Ayodhya nagari’. This record (HMV P 8756) was issued on black label and is very very rare. In 1930, Odeon record company released two songs of Mr. N. S. Phadke from his drama ‘Yugantar’ staged by Nutan Natak Company. In 1940, Columbia company released four songs – ‘Balam nainoka jalim’ (Dadra), ‘Bajuband khul khul ja’ (Bhairvi), ‘Piya tirchee najariya’ (Khamaj thumri), and ‘Dekho Jiya bechain’ (Tilang thumri). He has sung for Marathi film ‘Devayani’ and Hindi film ‘Sach Hai’. His voice from these two films is available on the gramophone records. One record featuring ‘Chandrama ha saticha’ song from Marathi drama ‘Khalvadhu’ written by Barrister Khasgiwale is also available. He used to broadcast from All India Radio frequently. Shuddha Kalyan recording of a radio program is a collector’s item.

Sureshbabu was not successful as a performer and he did not pursue this as a career. However, he was an excellent teacher. Some of his welknown disciples are: Heerabai Barodekar, Saraswati Mane/Rane, Prabha Atre, Vasantrao Deshpande, Menkabai Shirodkar, Vitthalrao Sardeshmukh, Bhimsen Joshi, Arvind Mangrulkar, Dattopant Deshpande, Madhu Kanetkar and Gajananrao Watve. Towards the end of his career he turned to mysticism and alchemy. This had a very bad effect on his health. At the young age of just fifty years, this ‘Cursed Gandharva’ left this world, leaving behind just over one hour’s recordings. He died on 15-2-1953.

Film Sach hai-1939 was made by Saraswati Cinetone of Dadasheb Torne (who had earlier introduced Indurani also). It was directed by a veteran R.S. Chaudhari and the cast was Motilal, Rose, Jagdish Sethi, Usha and others. i do not know what was the film story, but from the advertisement of this film in 1939 issues of Film India, I guess it was a Love story which was unusual and which wins at the end.

With this song, film Sach Hai-39 makes its debut on this Blog. The lyricist makes his debut as well in the blog. Suresh Babu Mane, who had earlier made his debut in the blog as a music director, makes his debut in the blog as a singer with this song.

Song- Bahti ganga Kashi teerath aaya (Sach Hai)(1939) Singer- Suresh babu Mane, Lyricist- Pt. Niranjan Sharma ‘Ajit’, MD- Suresh babu Mane


Bahti Ganga
Kashi teerath aaya
Bahti Ganga
Kashi teerath aaya
Bahti Ganga
Kashi teerath aaya
Bahti Ganga
dho le sadho mann ki maaya
dho le sadho
dho le sadho
dho le sadho
dho le sadho
mann ki maaya
jhoothh hai kanchan kaaya
bahti Ganga
Kashi teerath aaya
Bahti Ganga
dho le sadho
mann ki maaya
dho le sadho
dho le sadho
mann ki maaya
jhoothh hai kanchan kaaya
bahti Ganga
Kashi teerath aaya
bahti Ganga
Kashi teerath aaya
devi thakur poojen saare
devi thakur poojen saare
aa aa aa
aa aa aa
aa aa aa
aa aa aa
aa aa aa
devi thakur poojen saare
man ke andar Ram ko paaya
man ke andar
man ke andar Ram ko paaya
jhoothh hi man bharmaaya
bahti Ganga
Kashi teerath aaya

4 Responses to "Bahti Ganga Kaashi teerath aaya"

Arun ji,
Whenever I read about Sureshbabu Mane, I feel very sorry about him. A promising concert vocalist of very high calibre could not make it to one of the top icons of Kirana Gharana. For me, he was as good as his father, Ustad Abdul Karim Khan insofar as his rendition of Hindustani classical music was concerned. His voice and style of rendition was almost the replica of his father. Just listen to his Bhairavi thumri ‘baazuband khul khul jaaye’ and it would be difficult to differentiate as to who has rendered this thumri – Sureshbabu or Ustad Abdul Karim Khan.

By the way, Sureshbabu Mane has already made appearance on the Blog as a music director through your own article:

Liked by 1 person

Sadanand ji,

I was expecting your comment today, because this post is about a Classical singer and I know your keen interest in this branch of music.

Under the information on film ” Sant Tulsidas “-1934, in HFGK, Hamraz ji has written a comment in Hindi, which says (rough translation) ” As per information given by G N Joshi himself, it seems he had enacted the role of Sant Tulsidas. Only 2 records of this film (featuring 4 songs of G N Joshi) were issued. The music of this film was composed by Sureshbabu Mane, except his own songs, which he had composed completely. Raghuveer Ramnathkar had only played Harmonium for the film’s music, nothing else.”

So, actually for all the 4 songs that are available, name of G N Joshi must be shown as MD. But generally we go by what is official information.

Thanks for your views about Sureshbabu Mane .

I had completely forgotten that I had written on a song from film Sant Tulsidas, seven years ago. Thanks also for reminding about it.


Liked by 1 person

Arun Ji,
Very informative.
There are (your) posts which tells about talented people, one has not known earlier. We take note.
There are other posts which tells a lot more about personalities one has somewhat known, but not in as many details as found in your posts. And that is more rewarding. I have known about Abdul Karim Khan, Hirabai Barodekar, Sarswaty Rane ,but not known about their family tree.
I did not know about guru shishya relationship of stalwarts like
Heerabai Barodekar, Saraswati Mane/Rane, Prabha Atre, Vasantrao Deshpande , Bhimsen Joshi, and Gajananrao Watve. – with Suresh Babu Mane.
Thanks for the post.

Liked by 1 person

Satish ji,
Thanks for your comment.
It is always a pleasure to know how the reader feels about the post or what is more interesting for the readers.
I write and try to pour out all that I know about the subject or the people involved in that film. Not that everything comes out at a time, but the relevant portion is carefully woven into the post.
I feel satisfied when I learn that the post has delighted the reader or added to his knowledge. My purpose is served to an extent.
Thanks again.


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This blog discusses Bollywood songs of yesteryears. Every song has a brief description, followed by a video link, and complete lyrics of the song.

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