Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Ashok Hande

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Birth name  Ashok Kisanrao Hande
Years active  1990–present
Instruments  Vocals
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Occupation(s)  Stage director, writer, actor, singer, producer of musical shows

Ashok Kisanrao Hande is a well-known stage director, writer, actor, singer, producer of musical shows and TV personality based in Mumbai.



Hande was born in a small village near Junnar in the district of Pune in a family of Varkari. He was having a liking to Bhajan, Bhadur, Ovya etc. right from childhood along with Tamasha etc. Later his family moved to Mumbai and he grew up in Rangari Badak chawl in Lalbaug which had 16 buildings and 10,000 residents. Many cultural activities used to happen there which includes dombari khel (street acrobats), bhaloo naach (bear dance), powadas (short performances about patriotic leaders and historical figures), performed lezim (a drill routine with cymbals), heard kirtans (songs from religion and mythology) and speeches of prominent leaders like Acharya Atre and Yashwantrao Chavan. He participated enthusiastically in various competitions during the Ganapati festival. He saw Vasudev (a dervish announcing the arrival of dawn) visiting homes early morning, people going for Khandoba jaagar (staying up through the night in devotion of Lord Khandoba) which helped him to learn rustic folk music. In college as part of the NSS (National Social Service) group, he footed out over 100 km through the tribal areas of Vangani where he picked up their music. In school days, he was actively involved in local Ganesh Utsav, Navratri Utsav, Kho-kho and other sports and cultural activities. While in school, he participated in numerous inter school drama competitions through the Chikitsak group. During college days in Ruparel college, he participated in One-act plays, singing competitions etc. He got the knowledge of music from kirtankars Sonopant Dandekar, Nijampurkar Baba to Shahir Sable, Amar Sheikh, Balakram Worlikar Kalapathak.


Hande formed a musical group ‘’Chaurang’’ on August 7, 1987. Chaurang cultural group was focused on preserving and promoting heritage of Indian culture and tradition, mainly music and dance. He and started a medley of Marathi folk and film songs through “Mangal gaani dangal gaani”. This show was very popular after trip to London all over world and the staged over 1800 houseful shows alone. Overall Chaurang has crossed a landmark of 6000 shows and travelled in more than 15 states of India and countries like UK, United States, Canada, Belgium, Netherlands, UAE etc. This programme was widely accepted by all age groups and audience of all test, music drama, film dances. The narration of Hande was unique and everybody has apploped for its innovative and different performing style.

Later, Hande performed nine musical shows - MANIK MOTI (based on Marathi singer Manik Varma's life and music), GANGA JAMUNA (based on famous Marathi music director P Savlaram's compositions), AMRUT LATA (75 of Lata Mangeshkar's hand-picked songs), MADHURBALA (biography of the beautiful actress Madhubala through her songs), AWAZ KI DUNIYA (based on Bollywood classic songs), MANGAL GAANI DANGAL GAANI (a cocktail of Marathi songs), GAANE SUHANE (all-time hit Hindi songs), AZAADI 60 (commemorating Indian history and 60 years of its independence) and "Marathi Baana", the celebrated cultural extravaganza of Maharashtra which includes bhajan to lavani and from adivasi dances to Ganesh aarti.

Hande started a show named “Marathi Baana”. The first show was staged at Dinanath Natyagruha in Vile Parle on November 1, 2005. The show included the farmers' lives, the tribals' stories, bhakti sangeet (devotional music), tamasha-lavani (folk dance), celebration of various festivals, koli dance (popular folk dance by the Kolis- the fisher folk of Maharastra), burgunda (common sense passed on verbally from one generation to the next), as well as ritual festivities like mangalagaur (games women play), gondhal (folk ritual) and jogwa (dedicated tribe of devotees - jogta/ jogtin who ask for alms).

Hande directed "Manik Moti" with support by Manik Varma's daughters, Bharti Achrekar, Vandana Gupte and Rani Varma after her death. Bhakti Barve was the announcer and she also helped me with the research. On Lata Mangeshkar's 75th birthday, he paid a well-researched tribute to her by showcasing the best 75 songs by shortlisting best 75 songs out of 5000 through "Amrut Lata. Hande formed a show based on Yashwantrao Chavan's life and achievements named “Mee Yashwant”. Hande also done a show on Madhubala's life.

As Writer and Director

Mangal gaani Dangal gaani, Aawaz ki Duniya, Aazadi 50, Gaane Suhane, Manikmoti, Aapli awad, Manchahe geet, Swagat 2000, Amrutlata, I Love India, Ganga Jamuna, Anandyatri, Marathi Bana, Adaranjali, Madhurbala, Suvarna Maharashtra, Me Yashwant, Ateet ki naav par, Atre, atre, sarvatre.

As Singer

More than 7500 stage shows, playback singer in Marathi movies and serials such as Hamaal de Dhamal, Shame to Shame, Janta Janardan, Jeevsakha, Rangberangi. Radio Jingles in many languages, Mangal gaani Dangal gaani, Awaaz ki Duniya etc.

Music Director

Many plays and One-acts, Audio cassettes, Radio Jingles, programs on Doordarshan, Award-winning Maharashtra state government Chitra-rath for 26 January 1994 republic day parade (topic Mango).


Mangal gaani, Dangal gaani, Awaaz ki Duniya, Azaadi 50, Gaane Suhane, Marathi Bana etc.

He was also a judge in reality shows on Star Pravah, Nach Baliye

Music Programs

  • Aawaj ki duniya
  • Marathi Baana
  • Manik Moti
  • Ganga Jamuna
  • Amrut Lata
  • Madhubala
  • Mangal Gaani Dangal Gaani
  • Gaane Suhane
  • Azaadi 60
  • Awards

  • ‘Vasant Desai Puraskar’
  • References

    Ashok Hande Wikipedia