indian cinema heritage foundation

Arati Ankalikar-Tikekar

  • Real Name: Arati Ankalikar
  • Born: 27 January, 1963 (Vijayapura, Karnataka)
  • Primary Cinema: Marathi
  • Spouse: Uday Tikekar
  • Children: Swanandi Tikekar

Winner of two National Awards for Best Female Playback Singer for the Konkani film Anternaad (2006), as well as for the Marathi film Samhita (2013), Arati Tikekar is a Hindustani classical vocalist of the Khayal – Agra gharana, known for her distinctive, emotive, full-throated singing. Gifted with a rich and resonant voice, she displays superior command over rhythm and melody. She has also sung for Shyam Benegal’s musical drama, Sardari Begum (1996), which is noted for its light classical songs, as well as for Hindi, Marathi and Konkani films such as Savalee (2007), De Dhakka (2008), Dil Dosti Etc (2007), and Dhusar. Besides performing at prestigious venues across the world, Arati Tikekar has also served as guest judge on TV music reality shows, and has several albums to her credit such as Tejomay Naadbrahma, Ragamala, and Anjali.

Born Arati Ankalikar on 27 January, 1963 in Vijayapura, Karnataka, she started her training with veteran Late Pandit Vasantrao Kulkarni of the Agra Gwalior gharanas. She went on to receive training from the stellar Gana Saraswati - Kishori Amonkar of the Jaipur Atrauli gharana. With her gurus influencing Arati's style, her performances exhibit a blend of the various gharanas represented by her teachers. 

Promoting Indian Classical music and culture in different parts of the world, Arati has performed at several prestigious conferences across India, such as the Sawai Gandharva Mahotsav (Pune), the Malhar Utsav (Delhi), Tansen Samaroh (Gwalior), the Dover Lane Festival (Kolkata), the Shankarlal Festival (Delhi) and at sabhas organised by the Madras Music Academy (Chennai). Performing at significant venues across India, she has also been part of concert tours in countries like USA, Canada, UK and UAE, Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia. 

Recipient of a Central Government scholarship (1975-80) as well as the Surashri Kesarbai Kerkar scholarship (1980-82), Arati stood first in the All-India Radio competition held during 1983 and 1984 in Indian classical music, thumri and gazal and was awarded gold medal in all the three categories. Other key honours she has received include the Mayor Award (2001), Pandit Kumar Gandharva Sanman (2006-07) (MP), and the Pandit Jasraj Award. She has also received Maharashtra State Award (best playback singer), V. Shantaram Award and Maharashtra Times Award.

Besides being the main playback singer for the Shyam Benegal film, Sardari Begum, as well as for the Konkani film Anternaad, based on the life of a classical singer, Arati has to her credit a number of audio cassettes and CD recordings. She has also made appearances on television interviews, reality shows and as a guest judge on music shows. 

Married to film actor, Uday Tikekar, her daughter Swanandi Tikekar is an actress.