Thursday, April 27, 2017




ROBIN RAINA (Born 1967)..

Chairman, President and CEO
Company: Ebix ( Application Software . )

Fortune magazines’ recently declared Ebix among list of 100 Fastest Growing Companies in the US, with a market capitalization of less than $200 million. Ebix ranked 19th on this coveted Fortune list.

Robin Raina is Another Richest Person of kashmiri origin in USA .Born in Kashmir, Robin  belongs  to  a Kashmiri  Pandit family, the youngest of four children.

 Robin Raina is a developer and supplier of software and e-commerce products.In 1990, Robin completed his BE in Industrial Engineering from Thapar University in Punjab(India).

His “Robin Raina Foundation( RRF) “ has adopted more than 3,500 children across the Indian subcontinent and built 6,000 homes free for the underprivileged.

His foundation has also  provided financial support to Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital Lahore . Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital in Lahore declared ward No. 224 as ROBIN RAINA FOUNDATION Ward, to show its appreciation for the foundation's support.

Adds Robin Raina :

" My father, a secular man with communist leanings taught me about honesty and integrity: My mother inspired me by her courage and inner strength."

‘’My number one priority now is charity. My dream is to make charity fashionable and cool. I want people to experience the joy of giving.At present my focus is on the poor and the underprivileged. Homes for the homeless, education for underprivileged children and vocational education and skill development for the deprived are the areas I would like to concentrate on.’’

"Poverty knows no boundaries of race, religion, color or geographies. Poverty has become the single largest religion in the world today transcending all these boundaries. The developed world and each one of us who are fortunate in terms of wealth, need to make strong efforts to eradicate poverty from the world map."

“ Actually we are now working across the country with our projects spread across Mumbai, Delhi, J&K, UP and other parts of the country. It so happened that I decided to build homes in Bawana simply because this was emerging as the second largest slum area in the sub-continent and my dream is to convert Bawana into an area that has permanent homes for all. A new school with 329 children currently enrolled has been started in the slums of Noida in Sector- 53.”

“By the end of 2017, our intention is to invest at least $120 million in India. This investment will mostly be around R&D and acquisitions. I admit, some years back I wasn't really interested in investing here, I feel this is just the right time to invest. PM Modi's Digital India dream holds promise.”

( Autar Mota )

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017



ARVIND TIKU …(Born 1970)
(Real Time Net Worth 1.8 Billion US Dollars )

Kashmir  born and living in Singapore since 2007. He did his BE ( Mech .) from Russia. He moved to Commodity Trading in Kazakhistan and also made forays into the Business of Oil And Natural Gas, Renewable Energy ,Aircraft Leasing , Oil Trading , Hospitality and Real Estate on Partnership basis . Very soon he built an empire and formed his own company AT Holdings .

At present he has stake in Nostrum Oil & Gas a leading Kazakh Company that has steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal as other stake holder. Tiku's close friend Timur Kulibaev (, son-in-law of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev.), is also a stake holder in the said company.

His companies have approximately US$2.5b of global investments in residential and commercial real estate, natural resources, renewable energy, engineering and construction.

Ranked No 14 on the Forbes’ 2016 list of Singapore’s 50 Richest person , Tiku travels in his own Private plane. He used this plane to travel all the way from Singapore to Kashmir in the year 2015 when he paid a visit to Kheer Bhawani shrine in Tulamula.

Arvind loves  kashmiri Haak Saa( Green leafy vegetable ) and mouth watering kashmiri dishes .
Based on his strong beliefs in Corporate social Responsibility , His company contributes regularly towards Development and funding of following Charitable Institutions .


( Autar Mota )

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017





Ajay Bakaya is considered as the face of Modern Hotel Business in India .With more than 30 years experience in the line , Ajay Commands global respect in his profession . He is an MBA in Hotel Administration from IMHI. Cornell Essec Paris.

Ajay Did his schooling from Saint Edward school Shimla . He is a fitness enthusiast who has raised charities at multiple occasions through marathon runs. Five in Delhi, two Mumbai, one in Gurgaon, and numbers are irrelevant.

In 2016 , He was listed as one among the Powerful Executives of the world .In his Current assignment , He directly oversees the operations and development of 75 hotels – 50 of which are in India.

His 30 years of international hotel experience includes assignments in Australia, France, UK and Africa. 

Ajay informs us :

“We are setting up our presence in new markets and scaling up all our brands Premiere, Portico and Hometel. We aim to further strengthen our overseas presence and take our brands to additional destinations across the African continent. Portfolio of 75 hotels in 40 destinations– our brands now include Sarovar Premiere, Sarovar Portico, and Hometel and restaurant brands Geoffrey's and Oriental Blossom. I have spearheaded Sarovar's Africa development, in Nairobi and Dar-Es Salaam, with goals to replicate the India story in the continent of promise. I have accountability of turnover of USD 20M, and hotel revenues of USD 300M+. ”

" I love any restaurant with good light and a view of nature. I Love creme brulee, So if it's on the menu, i usually try . " Your Erroneous Zones " by Wayne W Dyer tops my list of favourite Books . It highlights human shortcomings and tells you how to live a happy life. "

"I love the line 'MAA TUJHE SALAAM'— It's an ode to a mother and a salute to our nation. Mother the epithet for utmost sincerity and purity of love on this planet . The total provider and a perfect shield that protects the child . So is the country ."

"People were always aware of the situations in the society, only now they have more money to contribute for a cause. They have become more liberal with their generosity. I run every day as a part of my routine. “

"I want to provide education to the underprivileged children. I would contribute for it in own capacity, and try and raise funds for the same .Change comes when we think and then act on it. Sometimes, there are limited resources, but with commitment and sincerity I think we can still make a difference. Just run for it!" 

( Autar Mota )

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“ MURTCHGOR “ OR “ SCLUPTOR “ ( English ) OR “MURTIKAAR” ( Hindi ) ..
A Collection of Short stories of Rajesh Kaul 

Published by Kashmiriyat Publishers , 
163 Narsingh Garh ,
Bal Garden Srinagar Kahmir 
(Year of Publication 2017 )

“ MURTCHAGOR “ OR “ SCLUPTOR “ is a collection of Nine short stories in Kashmiri written by Rajesh Kaul . The book is in Nastalik script. Apparently a small and compact Book , which , to a new reader, may appear as something that can be finished in one sitting ; But that does not happen so . Once you start reading these interesting stories , You are tempted to come again and again to some stories as these appear to have originated from your own family , Household and environment . These stories bring some Nostalgia as well.

Spread over 86 pages , the author has dedicated the Book to two women : First to his mother Arandati for imparting the priceless gift of Mother Tongue to him and then to his wife Sushma ji for being always supportive of his ventures . It has a brief Foreword by the author followed by two engrossing Introductory write ups by Noted Kashmiri short story Writer and Playwright Hriday Kaul Bharti. Shri H K Bharti’s Introductory write up about the author and his work is followed by another griping write up on the Author and his work by noted kashmiri and Hindi writer cum scholar Prof Ratan lal Shant .

Shri Rajesh Kaul ( Born 1949 ) is a man from Media who superannuated from a senior Position in Door Darshan . A post graduate in English , Shri Kaul has received Training in Television Production / Direction from FTII Pune .

The stories covered in the book reveal his unique style , presentation and Language . To me it appears that the writer has abundant study of Some masters of Modern short story in English, Hindi and Urdu .Having said so , Rajesh kaul also appears to have devised his own Individual Technique of story telling . This Technique has all the Technical ingredients like metaphors, similes, personification, imagery and alliteration. The sequences in his stories come up as Something like Cinematic frames . That is why I am of a firm opinion that apart from reading , these stories can be powerfully presented on Stage also . These stories are Modern in tone , Texture and style. Accordingly , These stories have enormous contemporary relevance .I am informed that the story MURTCHGOR” has also been staged .

These stories come up with a comfort of instant Identification with Characters and situations. These Characters and situations have evolved from the fast changing living styles in and around our own families and household . His language and metaphors are simple and picked up again from our households . 

The book drives its title from MURTCHGOR , a story appearing at page 79 of the book .It is a story of sordid activities in the world of art whereby Artists have become victims of a crop of Brokers , touts and middlemen and their art reduced to a market driven commodity .The central Character in the story is a sculptor who wants to enjoy his artistic freedom but is compelled to do what market demands . He is finally made to give up all and carve Gravestones to remain relevant in the world of Art. So much is the demand for Gravestones that he runs short of stone .He is not sure whether a stone shall be left for his own self that he intends to carve finally.
Another story that attracts the reader is “ PASS BOOK”. Pass Book is a document that has presence in every family. Quite often held under secret by our elders even from their own family members . The sum lying in this small booklet is a trust , a hope and a confidence. 

To innocent ,simple and Illiterate ladies in our society , Banking was totally unknown. The money received by a lady was usually handled by her husband . And if that husband happened to be a swindler or disloyal to his own family , a simple woman had no way out to protect her family interests from such a vagrancy coming from a person who was otherwise required to Protect and provide .

The story PASS BOOK revolves around three Characters ; A simple elderly lady ( mother of the protagonist ) ever busy in the welfare of the family , A dutiful married son running the show and carrying everybody with him including his own family and the third Character is the Daughter in law who always tries to pull the husband towards his own family interests . And then the daughter in Law falls seriously ill and her treatment demands a heavy sum. There is no money in the family. But then suddenly the mother speaks reassuringly to her son to worry not .To her son’s surprise , she opens her old Wooden Box and hands over a booklet to him saying :

“ Take this Bank pass Book. I had given these sixty thousands to your late father that day . It has been a story of 15 years now. I have not touched it. we faced many troubles but I did not touch this money. People say that Money gets doubled in 7 years . This must be good amount now. Get ready . All shall be fine now.”

The Protagonist in the story happens to be the son who informs us how his mother had been cheated by her own husband after she gave him the sum of Rupees sixty thousands that her brothers gave to her as share in the parental property . The husband spent the money for his gambling and merry making and passed on some ordinary booklet to his wife that she kept secretly in a Wooden Box for 15 years presuming it to be a bank passbook. Conveyed in simple words , The story has a beautiful end that makes you feel as if you had been reading Anotn Chekhov .

“ Khabar Kyaa Ous Footmu’t “ or” Something had broken ‘ appears to have been inspired by Crisis of living in modern times when seriousness rules us like a dictator . Has man forgotten to smile ? Now Laughing is something that is manipulated as it rarely comes through a natural process or impulse .We are also privy to Morning scenes in colony parks where People come together , clap and smile loudly in pursuit of happiness . The Protagonist of the story also tries to do it but only a scream is let out not a laughter. What has happened to him ? why has he forgotten laughter ? Has something snapped resulting in death of the laughter .The protagonist is subjected to isolation in office and home for he is unable to laugh or even put up a smile. Probably , he can not be what he is not able to be . How close to Albert Camus’s Merursault !

The story “Paaltu Ba “ or “ The Tame Me “ reflects the plight and mental turmoil of a man on last day of his retirement and the subsequent Next days till he gets adjusted to the changed realities of his life.. A Bullock cart loaded with goods and a Dog have also been skillfully used to deliver the nuances of the story.

Through another story SHRAADH , The writer has very skillfully used kaakien (Common name for an Elderly kashmiri Pandit lady ) as character to convey the pain and trauma that hapless elderly kashmiri Pandits had to undergo post migration from Kashmir valley. Within her family ,prior to Migration , Kaakien was a strong and affectionate woman who commanded respect and authority . She had an identity . And Post Migration to an alien environment, her entire kingdom was lost. She was forced to stand in Long queues under blazing sun for Ration card and relief . Torn between denial of attention and drifting relations , she is forced to live with Heat , Hunger and uncertain future . A squalid life of hapless people crowding to Dharmshalaas and Geeta Bhawan Jammu surface up in this story . The writer adds 
“ Subhanyuss Aeiss Bhaangi neerith Laeni behaan ta Shaamus Aaeiss Tchaeingi Vaapus Atchaan “
“ She would leave in the morning at the first Azaan to stand in the queue and return after the day light had faded away. “ 

And then Kaakien dies suddenly with no one to weep as if she was not born at all. The story of kaakien is the story of people who struggled for shelter and sustenance post migration from Kashmir valley.

Another story that can catch up with our Younger generation is” Daggie Ross Do’dh Chhu Be-Maaney “ or “ An Ailment without Pain is Useless “. The protagonist in this story is a husband who observes and then reveals some moving incidents as he keeps visiting a doctor’s clinic .

There are some more stories like “Paninee Vaari Pyaath “ or “On your own Turn” or “Besom Tchhaai “ or” Irregular Shadow “ that are gripping and keep you engrosed .

These stories that appear like a whiff of Fresh air need circulation and reading, And I am sure that our younger generation is going to find sum and substance in such stories that connect them to their roots. I am also of the opinion that the benefit of this good collection may not pass on to the persons who are not familiar with Kashmiri script . For this , I would suggest that the Book’s second edition should also be available in Devnagri script or at least on a compact Disc ( Audio )format so that these can be heard as well. So many young kashmiris who want to know about their cultural heritage feel handicapped as they are unable to read or write kashmiri script . And I for one sincerely believe that every lover of kashmiri language needs do Every possible thing to enhance the reach of such like endeavors .

( Autar Mota )

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017




( Dr  Vikram Sarabhai )

                          ( Dr Vikram Sarabhai ,  wife Mrinalini and Daughter  Malika  )

              ( Dr Vikram Sarabhai ,with  son Kartikeya and Daughter  Malika  )

VIKRAM SARABHAI ( 1919-1971) ......

Sarabhais are Jains from Gujrat .

Son of Seth Amba Lal Sarabhai a reputed industrialist and businessman ( Sarabhai Chemicals And Calico Mils ) from Ahmedabad, Vikram Sarabhai ( 1919-1971) was an unusual personality . He was a businessman , Sanskrit scholar , ace photographer , a top space/ stomic energy scientist , a lover of fine arts ( poetry , music and dance) , a bird watcher and wild life enthusiast . The most remarkable aspect of Sarabhai's personality was the range and breadth of his interests and the way in which he transformed his ideas into institutions. 

Any person who came close to him was always charmed by his personality . Many people have noticed him coming to the door to receive his guests and then seeing them off at the door . He would personally get up to offer chair to his visitor whosoever he may be.
Mahatma Gandhi , Gurudev Rabindranath, J Krishnamurti, Motilal Nehru, V. S. Shrinivasa Shastri, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sarojini Naidu, Maulana Azad, C. F. Andrews, C. V. Raman and so many renowned men used to stay with the Sarabhai family when they visited Ahmedabad. Visits by such great men shaped and greatly influenced young Vikram Sarabhai. The whole family of Vikram Sarabhai was involved in the  freedom struggle of the country and he himself was greatly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi.

Amrita Shah, in her book “ Vikram Sarabhai - A life' writes 

“Since his childhood days he had a great enamour for Sanskrit poems and in his entire life he was a devout lover of this ancient Indian language. Thus, frequently quoting from Kalidasa’s ‘Meghadootam’ and ‘Vikramorvasiyam’ in all his speeches and interactions.”

After the sudden death of Homi Bhabha in an air crash, Vikram Sarabhai was appointed Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission in May 1966. He initiated India’s space programme, which today is well-known the world  over . He is the brain behind setting up of IIM Ahemdabad . He founded the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad and ISRO. Along with his wife Mrinalini, he established Darpana, an institution devoted to the performing arts.

About Vikram Sarabhai , Dr A P j Abdul Kalam writes this  :-

“ I was spotted by Prof. Vikram Sarabhai because I was not highly qualified, but I was working hard, I had acquired the knowledge at the time, when he spotted me as a young scientist. Not only  did he select  me when I was in the lower bottom, but he gave me responsibility to grow and ensured that I succeed and if I failed, he was by my side.”
Sarabhais were lovers of Kashmir . Vikram and his sister in particular were exceptionally enamoured by Kashmir . Sarabhai family would come to Kashmir every summer. Vikram would carry his "Cosmic Ray" research equipment to Kashmir. In 1943, Vikram stayed in Kashmir for many months and visited many Himalayan peaks to study the intensity of cosmic rays at such high places. He stayed at Apharwat ,Gulmarg (about 13,000 feet above sea level ) for some months . It was here, that Sarabhai did his research for his Ph.D. thesis that was awarded to him in 1945by Cambridge University.He loved to wear Kurta - Pyjama and Sherwanis. He also loved to explain stories from Panchtantra , Ramayana and  Mahabharata to his children. He remained  a strict vegetarian and a  practising Jain all along his life.

To his sister Mridula , Vikram had told  that he wanted to do something for Kashmir to repay his debt . A debt that enabled him to complete his Ph.D. This "SOMETHING" took shape when he set up the first High Altitude Laboratory at Gulmarg in 1955. This centre is the only research centre ' in the world to be set up at such a high altitude.

In 1942, Vikram married famous classical dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai . Born into the renowned Swaminathan family of Chennai with roots in Kerala, Mrinalini was an exponent of classical dance forms of Bharatanatyam and Kathakali. She was also awarded Padma+Shri and Padma Bhushan for her work. .She had studied under the guidance of Rabindranath Tagore at Shantiniketan.

Vikram Sarabhai received the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Medal in 1962. The nation honoured him awarding Padma Bhushan in 1966 and Padma Vibhushan (posthumously) in 1972.

His sister Mridula Sarabhai ( 1911-1974 ) was a great freedom fighter and supporter of Gandhi Ji. Mridula later turned a supporter of her long time friend Sheikh Mohsmmad Abdullah. She had raised her voice over Sheikh’s arrest in 1953 . She is reported to have even funded Sheikh Abdullah’s expenses for fighting Kashmir Conspiracy Case ,a step for which , she was imprisoned for several months .
I vividly remember Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah accompanied by Mridula Sarabhai touring Doda district in 1970. A rally was organised at village Thathri wherein Mridula Sarabhai also spoke and expressed total support to Sheikh and his policies .My maternal uncle Janki Tikoo ( presently in Australia ) was then posted as Assistant Engineer at that place and I along with my cousin Arun Kaul ( GM Hotel Radisson ,Jalandhar ) had gone to our Matamaal ( mother’s parental home ) on account of winter vacation in the Kashmir valley. Those days SRTC ran two direct buses to Doda district from Kashmir ; One for Bhaderwah and the other for Kishtwar .

Ram Krishen Sadhu retired senior  bureaucrat from our state  adds :

“  I am reminded about that famous and great lady Mridula Sarabhai about whom we had been hearing a lot with her past association with Nehru and then her close comradeship with Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. I had an opportunity to meet her a couple of times in early and mid 70s  of the last century  at her Chankyapuri house. I had to accompany the Finance Minister to attend FMs Conference in Delhi but FM had to cancel his visit and Mubarak Shah the Revenue Minister who was in Delhi was asked to attend and I went to the Sarabhai house where he was staying to brief him about the agenda and our viewpoints. After I concluded the briefing session during which Mridula happened to be there, she insisted that I have my breakfast with her. Since I already had my breakfast at the JK House, I had to refuse. But her affectionate insistence made me accept a cup of tea. During our conversation I could feel the depth of her concern for Kashmir and Kashmiris. During my couple of visits I could observe her pleasure in offering hospitality and help to all Kashmiris. I saw many Kashmiri youngsters frequenting her place for support and help. She told me that if at anytime I needed help and support for any of my relations and acquaintances in Delhi, she was always available. Interestingly ,she told me she would be happy to be the guardian for any youngster.Coming to Vikram Sarabhai, he has undoubtedly been one of the outstanding scientists our country has produced but unfortunately his life was suddenly cut short at a young age. My nephew (my eldest sister's son) Dr Prediman Krishen Kaw who is a renowned physicist and has always till date been considered globally to be number one in Plasma Physics was first located by Dr Vikram  Sarabhai  at a very young age when he was a  faculty at the University of Princeton. He persuaded him to come back to India and conceded to his condition that he would be provided all facilities and freedom to continue with his research work. Dr Kaw has received many honours at the National and International level, including Padma-Shri and the Hargobind Khurana award  and other coveted awards. He continues his research work till now at the Institute of Plasma Physics Ahmedabad, is a visiting professor in leading Universities of USA and Europe and heads many global committees and conferences. Vikram Sarabhai had an eye for talent and wanted India to become the hub for all such research. Death snatched him away prematurely.”

Vikram Sarabhai had many friends and well wishers in Kashmir . These included Maharaja Hari Singh and his son Yuvraj karan Singh , bird watcher Samsar Chand Kaul Ganhar, G M Sadiq and artist S N Butt .  

On 31st December 1971 , he died ( at Kovalam ) suddenly when he was barely at 52 . Amrita Shah, in her book “ Vikram Sarabhai - A life' mentions about some international murmurs of “ foul play” in Vikram’s death. 

And again , Kamla Chaudhary, a close associate of Vikram Sarabhai at IIM-Ahemdabad is quoted saying, "Vikram had told me that he was being watched by both Americans and Russians."

Isn't this doyen of Indian science, who led the country's nuclear research and also fathered the Indian Space research program , one of the most eligible contenders for the Bharat Ratna ?

( Avtar Mota )

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Saturday, April 15, 2017


                                       ( Holi Scene painted in Radha Rani Temple Barsana )
                                ( Matsya Avtara Painted in Radha Rani Temple Barsana )
                                         (  Below .. 5 Wall Painting in ISKON Temple Vrindavan )
                                     (  Below .. 5  Beautiful  Painting in Ashta sakhi Temple Mathura  )

                                                                                  (4 )




Mathura ( The heartland of Brij Bhoomi ) is the city where Lord Krishna was born . Here only did lord Krishna set people free from a  cruel , haughty and  despotic ruler  Kansa. Mathura and adjoining areas have been  Lord Krishna’s karm-bhoomi. It has also been   the  cultural capital  of great conqueror Kanishka. 

Mathura is about 145 kms from Delhi .

Mathura has been a distinct School of Sculpture ( Since ancient times ) and Miniature Art ( Medieval Period) In India . Almost all the Miniature  paintings of Mathura school revolve  to Life of Sri Krishna . The  Temples of Mathura are a store house of some rarest sculptures and miniature wall paintings .

Mathura Art has flourished during the rule of Kushan  Kings ( 1st century to 3rd century  A D ). It developed in tandem with Gandhra school of Art .Though Gandhra school has Indian themes yet the Greco -Roman influence is clearly visible in its form and style. However Mathura school appears to be totally indigenous  but the  influence of Gandhara Art is  also visible   in its sculpture work especially those  relating to Gautam Buddha done in reddish limestone.

I saw so many paintings in temples that had subjects like  Brij Ki Holi , Raas , Maha raas , Radha Ji In Waiting , Radha ji with Gopis , Sri Krishna with Gopas  and friends , Sri Krishna Baal leela and Birth of sri Krishna .Our Classical, semi classical & light music is full of  Krishna Leela and  Raas leela episodes and Sri Krishna’s  Bal Leela escapades in Nandgaon with Mata  Yashoda and  his childhood friends.

The new “ Prem Mandir “ of Vrindavan built with white Marble (Italian ) is again an amazing work of Architecture that attracts thousands of visitors (Both domestic and Foreign ) every day. It has some massive Murals , Sculptures and wall paintings depicting Life of Sri Krishna and Radha . I could count something around 94 heavily carved white marble pillars inside this Temple complex .Built in 2011, verses from “Radha Govind” are beautifully written on its walls .                                                                                               
                      ( Below.. Prem Mandir Vrindavan .. 3 photos  same day  in changing colours  )

                                     ( Below ..2 Fully carved pillars inside Prem Mandir Vrindavun )                    
                                (  Below .. 3 Wall   Painting in Prem Mandir Temple Vrindavan  )  



           ( Above.. Night time view of  massive kalia Mardan created in  PremMandir Vrindavan )

  ( Above.. Night time view of  massive Goverdhana Hill  created in  PremMandir Vrindavan )

At Vrindavan, I saw something unique . I saw how beautifully some artist had used Glass pieces on cloth to depict scenes like Celebration of Holi In Barsana or Radha waiting for Krishna .

Apart from Art , Mathura has also contributed to the enrichment of  Indian Classical Music . Mathura Gharana ( Dhrupada )  is the oldest   classical style of singing  in   Bhakti /Vaishnava  Sangeet .

 ( Autar Mota )

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