Born in 1923 in Varanasi, Pandit Kishan Maharaj received his training in Tabla under the renowned Tabla exponent of the Benaras gharana Pandit Kanthe Maharaj. Over a career in music spanning five decades he has come to be known as a performer and teacher of high distinction. He has over the years accompanied every Hindustani musician of note, both vocalists and instrumentalists. He has also excelled in solo presentation and accompaniment to masters of Kathak dance. Today the most outstanding and senior representative of the art of Tabla, Pandit Kishan Maharaj has performed extensively around the world and has won high appreciation. A respected guru, he has trained many Tabla musicians of countrywide renown. He was honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1984, the Padma Shri in 1973, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2002. He was conferred an Honorary D.Litt. degree by the Jivaji University of Gwalior in 2004. For his outstanding contribution to Indian music, Pandit Kishan Maharaj is elected Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi.