Vanraj Bhatia was an Indian composer best known for his work in Indian New Wave Cinema. He was also one of the leading composers of Western classical music in India but was a recipient of National Film Award for Best music direction for the television film the mass in 1998.

Early Life And Education

Bhatia was born on 31 may in 1927 in Bombay British India. He was born into a family of Kutchi businessmen. Bhatia attended the New Era school in Bombay and learnt Hindustani classical music as a student of Devdhar School of Music. He became interested in western classical music and studied the piano with doctor Manik Bhagat for four years. After earning his MA in English Honours from Elphinstone college university of Bombay 1949 Bhatiya studied composition at the Royal Academy of music London.

After graduating with a gold medal in 1954 party upon a rock Felix scholarship as well as French Government scholarship.

Music composer Vanraj Bhatia claims to be penniless, struggles amid hearing  and memory loss | Hindustan Times


After Returning to India in 1959 Bhatia became the first person to score music for an advertisement film in India and went on to compose over 7,000 jingles such as Lrill,Garden vareli and Dulux. Bhatia’s first feature film score was on Shyam Benegal’s directorial debut Ankur in 1974 and he went on to score almost all of Bengal work. Bhartiya predominantly worked with filmmakers in the Indian new wave movement touches Govind Nihalani, Kundan Shah, Aparna Sen, Kumar Sahni, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Vijaya Mehta,Prakash Jha. In 1993 also composed background scores for mainstream films such as Ajuba, Damini and Prades.

Bhatiya has scored television shows such as Khandan,Yatra,Wagle Ki Duniya, Banegi apni baat and 53 episode Bharat Ek Khoj based on Jawaharlal Nehru the discovery of India as well as numerous documentaries.


National Award winner Vanraj Bhatia has 'not one rupee left' in account-  The New Indian Express

  • National Film Award for Best music director
  • Sur Sangeet Natak Academy Award for creative and experimental music
  • Maharashtra rajya Puraskar
  • padmashree 2012
  • singer Shamshad award for best classical score/song
  • Bengal film journalists Association award for Best music
  • Lily polanga Memorial fund


Vanraj Bhatia died on 7 may 2021 in Mumbai at the age of 93.

Personal information

  • Name – Vanraj Bhatia
  • Born On – 31 May 1927
  • Death – 7 May 2021
  • Birthplace – Mumbai
  • Education – M A English Honours Occupation – Composer
  • Known For – Indian New Wave Cinema Leading Composer Of – Western Classical Music