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Udit Narayan: From a Folk Singer to a Bollywood Icon


Udit Narayan Jha, popularly known as Udit Narayan, is a Nepalese playback singer who has made a name for himself in the Indian film industry. Born in the village of Bhardaha, in Saptari District, Nepal, he began his career by singing Nepali, Maithili, Nepal Bhasa, and Bhojpuri folk songs for Radio Nepal as a staff artist. He then moved to Mumbai, India, in 1978, after being offered a music scholarship to study classical music at Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan.

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Udit Narayan’s blossoming singing career in its initial phase showcases his talent and passion. With his melodious voice and captivating performances, he leaves a lasting impression on listeners. Udit Narayan’s early years set the foundation for his remarkable journey as one of India’s most beloved playback singers.

Udit Narayan’s big break came in 1988 with the superhit Bollywood movie Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, which won him a Filmfare Award, the Bollywood equivalent of the Oscar. The film also launched the careers of actor Aamir Khan, actress Juhi Chawla, and singer Alka Yagnik. He went on to become one of the leading playback singers in the Indian film industry, lending his voice to many popular movies, especially those featuring Aamir Khan.

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Papa Kehte hai bada naam karega!… Udit Narayan and Aamir Khan captivate the audience with their iconic collaboration in ‘Qayamat se Qayamat Tak’. This legendary film marked the beginning of a promising journey for both the talented singer and the versatile actor, leaving an indelible mark in Bollywood history.

Throughout the mid-1990s, Udit Narayan was overshadowed by Kumar Sanu, another superstar Indian singer. However, his career took a turn with the movie Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, in which his song “Mehndi Lagake Rakhna” won the Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer. He went on to win other major awards and collaborate with many top musicians and directors. 

Udit Narayan’s singing abilities are often compared to those of legendary singers like Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar. He is famous for his original voice and not following any of the old singers’ clans. Renowned singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Anup Jalota, Pankaj Udhas, etc., have mentioned Udit Narayan to be the best in his generation for his quality in voice and originality.

Source: Facebook / @Udit Narayan, Kumar Sanu and Sonu Nigam Lovers

The legends of the era unite as Kumar Sanu and Udit Narayan come together, creating a musical masterpiece. The meeting of these iconic singers is a momentous occasion, combining their remarkable voices and captivating talent, leaving fans in awe.

Apart from Hindi, he has also sung in several other languages, including Kannada, Oriya, Tamil, and Malayalam, where he has become popular on account of his distinctive accent. He has also sung in many Nepali films, which are ultra-low-budget take-offs on the Bollywood style, especially for composer Shambhujeet Baskota. 

In addition to his success as a singer, Udit Narayan has also acted in some Nepali movies, including Kusume Rumal and Pirati. However, his success as an actor was not as great as his success as a singer.

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Renowned Bollywood singer Udit Narayan honored with the prestigious Padma Bhushan by President Pranab Mukherjee, recognizing his immense contributions to the world of music. A true maestro, Narayan’s melodious voice has captivated audiences for decades, making this accolade a well-deserved recognition of his remarkable talent.

Udit Narayan has won many awards for his contributions to the Indian film industry, including three National Film Awards and five Filmfare Awards. In 2001, he was awarded the Prabal Gorkha Dakshin Bahu by the late King of Nepal Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev and the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honour by the Government of India in 2009. 

Udit Narayan’s wife, Deepa was born in Kalimpong. The son in law of the town has visited the town numerous times.  

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Lord Buddha Statue and Park Kalimpong, West Bengal. The 100-foot-tall Lord Buddha statue in Kalimpong, West Bengal, is the country’s tallest. People travel from far distances to visit and celebrate holidays at this pilgrimage site. The statue’s radiant beauty and the park surrounding it enhance the enthusiasm of devotees, making it a must-visit destination.

Kalimpong is a beautiful place of great attraction, located some 50 kms to the east of Darjeeling at an altitude of 1,200 mtrs. This sleepy little town used to be the hub of the trans-Himalayan trade between India and Tibet when merchants used to ferry commerce by mule caravan over the Jelepla pass on the Sikkim-Tibet border. 

The places to visit in Kalimpong are plenty. From the Kalimpong Arts and Craft Center for handicraft goods, Tharpa Choling Monastery, Thongsa (Bhutan) Monastery, Dharmodaya Vihar, Parnami Mandir, and Mangal Dham to Durpin Danda from where you can view the mountain ranges of Sikkim, including Jelepla, Tiger Hill and the confluence of the Relli, Riang and Tista rivers. You can also visit Zang Dhok Palri Phodang Monastery at Durpin Danda, deolo View Point for magnificent views, and Kalimpong’s famous flower nurseries.