Pelva Naik

Profile Image

Pelva Naik is one of India’s finest young Dhrupad vocalists. She is also one of the few women who sing the style, but believes that “gender dissolves once the tanpura starts”. Born into a Mumbai family of dancers, writers, and filmmakers, she studied a wide variety of creative forms as a child, including kathak, khayal, miniature painting, and literature in Hindi, Gujarati, and English.

At age 17 she found an instant bond with Dhrupad when Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar gave a workshop at her school (“it matched my element…like a rediscovery”). She soon became his disciple, as well as receiving instruction from Dagarvani veena maestro Ustad Bahauddin Dagar, and after school went to study full-time at the Panvel Dhrupad Gurukul. Today she continues to build a highly impressive performance resume as well as nurturing a passion for teaching.

She is keen to remind listeners that gender has always been more of a barrier to worldly success than to mastery of the music itself: “I still haven’t figured out [why] people say that Dhrupad is a masculine art form, or where that idea comes from...It’s just that on the public platform, men had more exposure...Ustad’s grandmother was a veena player. She used to practice veena at home, and teach the children”.

"I think it is the matter of least concern as to which gender pursues dhrupad more and which less. The concern is how true the individual singer/musician is towards the art form."


Darbar believes in the power of Indian classical music to stir, thrill, and inspire. Explore our YouTube channel, or subscribe to the Darbar Concert Hall to watch extended festival performances, talk and documentaries in pristine HD and UHD quality. 

Other artists you may like

Premkumar Mallick

Pandit Premkumar Mallick is a leading exponent of the Darbhanga Dhrupad court music tradition, named for a former...

read more

Uday Bhawalkar

Pandit Uday Bhawalkar is a leading Dhrupad singer. As a teenager he trained at the Dhrupad Kendra in Bhopal, and now...

read more

Nirmalya Dey

Pandit Nirmalya Dey is a master vocalist of the Dagarvani Dhrupad, known for patient, detailed elaboration of some of...

read more

Wasifuddin Dagar

Ustad Wasifuddin Dagar is a modern Dhrupad vocal master, blending patient phrases with fine rhythmic control and an...

read more

See Full Festival concerts from our extensive archive,
and hundreds of other exclusive performances with
Darbar Player

Download our app and watch on the go
New exclusive releases every month
Watch anytime, anywhere


Free for 3 days. Cancel anytime.
Pay £9.95/month

Follow us

Keep up to date with the latest news, events, music and musings across our social channels

YouTube latest

For hundreds more clips and shorts, vist our YT page here