Like Punjab, Bengal also had a glorious period when Pakhawaj was at its peak stage. The style of Pakhawaj before partition of Bengal was divided into 3 main parampara’s (Gharana or Style):-
1. Lala Keval Kishanji Parampara from Braj, Mathura
2. Vishnupur Gharana
3. Dhaka Gharana
According to the research book “Pakhawaj Aur Tabla Ke Gharane Aeivam Paramparayein” written by Dr. Aban E. Mistry; Lala Keval Kishanji belonged to Braj Mathura. He was the second son of Kodhia ji (approx 17th Century), was the founder of kodhia Gharana. Lala Keval Kishan ji used to travel all over India and spent most of his precious time in Lucknow and mostly in Bengal. According to Shri Chedaram ji of Mathura, Keval Kishanji was Guru of Lala Bhawani Din.
Lala Keval Kishan ji gave perfect guidance to three brilliant students in Bengal- Nimai Chakroborty, Ramchandra Chakraborty and Nitai Chakraborty. Due to extreme hard work of these three Chakraborty brothers Pakhawaj is still alive in Bengal till today. Slowly and gradually there were more excellent performers in this parampara.
After the three Chakraborty brothers Mridangacharya Murari Mohan Gupta spread this tradition to his students namely- Mridangacharya Durlava Chandra Bhattacharya (Dulli Babu), Pt.Keshav Chandra Mitra, Pt. Devendra Nath Dey, Nandi Bhatt, Sawami Vivekananda and many more.
1878 of March Kolkata was gifted with an icon in Lala Keval Kishan ji Gharana; Mridangacharya Durlava Chandra Bhattacharya (Dulli Babu). He belonged to the family of great Shaastrakaar’s , a very learned Brahmin family. His father ‘Vidyaratna’ Pt. Nandalal Bhattacharya was a famous Shaastrakaar. Dulli Babu’s ancestral home was at Santragachi, dist. Howrah. Dulli babu were 6 brothers and 2 sisters, he was the youngest among all. He went under the tutelage of Mridangacharya Murari Mohan Gupta when he was young about 20yrs. Old. Dulli babu and Swami Vivekananda were their guru’s favourite student. Dulli Babu organized a yearly program “ Murari Sangeet Sammelan” and continued organizing till 30yrs. On 12th of October 1938, we lost an excellent personality from Bengal; he died while performing in a program “Nikhil Banga Sangeet Sammelan” organized by Shri Bhupendra Nath Ghosh. Dulli babu had sincere and brilliant students mainly – Pt. Ghanashyam Bhattacharya (Nephew), Pt. Pratap Narayan Mitra, Pt. Haradhan Pal, Pt. Jitendra Nath Sandra and many more.
Presently Lala Keval Kishan ji Parampara of Bengal has the last icon from the traditional family, Pt. Chanchal Kumar Bhattacharya; grandson of Mirdangacharya Durlava Chandra Bhattacharya. Chanchal Ji learned with his uncle( kaka) Pt. Ghanashyam Bhattacharya, Pt. Pratap Narayan Mitra and Pt. Haradhan Pal. Chanchal ji worked as lecturer in Rabindra Bharati University and also as Sr. Lecturer (Pakhawaj) in Visva-Bharati University, Shantiniketan. He also learned Tabla under the guidance of Pt. Krishna Kumar Ganguly (Natu Babu) Banaras Gharana. These days he travels to Kolkata his ancestral house and his own flat in Shantiniketan. Like his grandfather Dulli Babu, he gives his energy and Knowledge without taking any fees and practices Pakhawaj for Lord Shiva, rest of the retired time he spends with his students. Some of his excellent students are:-
Late Partho Protim Majhumdar
Shri Tapas Sarkar
Dr. Hindol Bhattacharya
Shri Debashis Mukherjee
Dr. Nivedita Bhattacharya
Dr. Partho Chowdhary
Shri. Shubroto Pal
Shri Biswajit Bhattacharya
Shri Dimadob Kritaniya
Shri.Nayak Chandra Boral
Shri Kuntal Mukherjee
Shri Nishaant Singh