‘Bhikari Bala’ is a name unceasingly present in every Odia’s heart. A genuine pioneer in the Odia bhajan field, who had the ability to associate with the master with his alleviating and charming bhajans, he was aptly known as the Bhajan Samrat. Bhikari Bala took birth in Sobala town under the Pattamundei block in Kendrapara on May 25, 1929. He was pulled into music since his youth and he held onto it for a long time. According to some data accessible, Bhikari Bala lost his folks, Ramachandra Bala and Gellharani Devi at a tender age. Sources stated, Gellharani had brought forth a few kids, yet none of them endured. Thus, they named their enduring child “Bhikari” meaning the beggar. 2nd November 2020 serves as his tenth death anniversary.
After essential training, Bhikari enlisted himself in Kadalibana High School in Kendrapada and concentrated up to ninth grade. His town, Subala, had a ‘Jatra’ gathering and youthful Bhikari went along with it. Through the Jatra party, he figured out how to sing and act and play the harmonium. Back then, young men used to move as young ladies in Jatra parties. They were called ‘Goti Puas’. Afterward, Bhikari Bal turned into a music instructor in a nearby school, Gokulachandra Sangeeta Sadan. He wedded at 20 years old.
He was additionally guided by Kshitij Maitra and later he turned into an educator of Odissi vocal at Kala Vikash Kendra too. He faced a lot of hardships during this period. He was making a decent attempt for a break in All India Radio, Cuttack. As that was the main generally unmistakable and celebrated medium to proliferate a craftsman’s creation. God tuned into his petitions and sooner he got a break and turned into an A-level vocalist in the All India Radio in the year 1963. His prominence developed complex with ‘Kotha bhoga khia’ and other such reverential tunes in the mid-’70s. After that, there was no halting for him. He offered consecutive hit bhajans which were mitigating, reverential yet were passionate and had some sorcery which causes the audience to feel an association with the all-powerful.
“Kotha bhoga khia” was one of those bhajans which will contact your spirit every single time you adjust it. It will give you goosebumps on the off chance that you are a genuine aficionado of Lord Jagannath. He had likewise delivered melodies by Dr. Prasanna Samal, Arabinda Muduli, Radhanath Das, Raghunath Rout, Khirod Chandra Pothal, Sirsananda Kanungo, Alekh Biswal, Gourhari Dalei, and Srikant Gautam. He was a pearl in an evident sense. He had likewise sung ‘Champu, Chhanda’, society tunes, and even worked in Odia film melodies.
He was granted the title of Bhajan Samrat by the Puri Gajapati and was given exceptional benefits in the Puri sanctuary for his regard reverential accolade for Lord Jagannath. He was likewise assigned as one of the servitors in the Jagannath sanctuary for having offered the ‘Chamara Seba’ to Lord Jagannath which is perhaps the best benefit an aficionado can get. The ‘Bhajan Samrat’ still without a doubt reigns in the heads and hearts of the individuals of Odisha for his shining exhibitions and smooth version of ‘bhajans’ which were particularly committed to Kalia Thakura-the soul and managing divinity of each devout Odia, Shree Jagannath.