Musical Setting In Banaras
The void was somewhat filled by the arrival in Benaras, of the crown princes of Delhi and Oudh and the Maratha crown prince from Pune along with their mini-courts soon after the fall of the Hindu Kingdom of Benaras (late 18th century) and the advent of the East India Company rule. These princes brought with them an assortment of artists to the city, including their musicians, descendants of whom were still present in the first half of the present century. This was followed by a virtual flood of exiled royalties, each contributing to the cultural growth of the city. Benaras practically was turned into a confine of interned princes. Striking examples of such musicians were the Senia dhrupad singers or beenkar-sfrom the Delhi court and the dhrupadia-s from the Maratha Court. A major plus point was that there existed a high degree of appreciation of the fine arts in general and music in particular among the Benaras public. This served as a solid base for both the patronage and the understanding of music. Both the Court and the temple patronised music and members of the elite took pride in their personal and sometimes deep involvement in the art.