Kundan Lal Saigal, popularly known as K.L. Saigal, is synonymous with the Indian musical world. In fact, he belongs to the era where performers indulged in both singing and acting. His contribution to the world of singing and acting cannot be underestimated.

Early Life

Kundal Lal was born on April 11, 1904 in Jammu which was under the British India back then. His family was traditionally known to have appreciation for music. His father was a tehsildar. His family had a rich cultural background.

Saigal showed a keen interest in music right from his childhood. His mother, Kesar Bai, identified and nurtured his penchant for music. This was actually what worked as the foundation for his musical career.

Entry into the musical world

Saigal’s family moved to Kolkata in the 1920s. He began working as a salesman in the city. However, gradually, he was drawn to the world of music.

He got associated with New Theatres film studio. This was the stepping stone for him into the cinema music.

Movie career

K L Saigal made his debut as an actor and singer with the movie  “Mohabbat Ke Ansu” in 1932. However, it was not until 1934 that he could taste success. His role in the Movie Chandidas that year catapulted him to stardom.

Saigal had a unique voice that could convey deep emotions. This quality soon resonated with the audience, and he was an instant sensation in the movie world. He then went on to act and sing in movies after movies. Some of his popular movies included “Devdas” (1935), “Street Singer” (1938), “President” (1937), “Zindagi” (1940), and “Tansen” (1943). He got the opportunity to work with the popular composers of his time. Some of these names included R.C. Boral, Pankaj Mullick, and Khemchand Prakash. The musical gems that he created with them are cherished even today.

Legacy of K L Saigal

The impact created by K L Saigal is genuinely unique in its own right. He was not playback singer alone. He was an actor who filled life into the characters he played. He is remembered even today for his beautiful rendition of ghazals, bhajans, and romantic songs.

Of course, he had his challenges. His health issues and a short life made us miss  him quite soon. However, despite these odds,  K L Saigal was able to leave his mark on the masses. He significantly impacted the musical career of the generations after him. His popularity is evident in how his songs are remade and celebrated even today.


Tragically enough, K L Saigal was not blessed with a long life. His promising career was cut short by hi death at the age of just 42. He left us on January 18, 1947. However, he was able to create magic despite such a short life. He has legacy living through the musical performers of today. His name remains symbolic of the artistic legacy that he enjoys even today in the Indian cinema.

Top songs by Kundan Lal Saigal

As a tribute to his legacy, let us check out soe of K L Saigal’s best songs.  

Jab Dil Hi Toot Gaya from Shahjehan, 1946

This song was composed by Naushad and talks about the pain of heartbreak. The haunting melody and profound lyrics make it a great song. This has remaind one of K L Saigal’s famous songs ever.

Ek Bangla Bane Nyara from President, 1937

This song showcases Saigal’s versatile singing. Composed by Pankaj Mallick and written by Kidar Sharma, the song captures the aspirations for a better life.

Babul Mora Naihar Chhuto Hi Jaye from Street Singer, 1938

This is an iconic song by R.C. Boral. The song shows Saigal’s ability to show deep emotions. Melody and the lyrics make it something you would find an excellent option.

So Ja Rajkumari from Zindagi, 1940

Yet another composition by Pankaj Mallick, this is a lullaby in his soothing voice. The tender lyrics and gentle melody have made it popular even today.

Jeevan Been Madhur Na Baje from Tansen, 1943

The movie has K L Saigal portraying the musical legend Tansen. This song, composed by Khemchand Prakash, talks about the joy between an artist and his craft.

Do Naina Matwale Tihare from My Sister, 1943

This song as composed by Saraswati Devi. The song shows Saigal’s ability to showcase love and longing through his voice.

Well, the musical journey of K L Saigal resonates with every music enthusiast even today. His songs have been timeless, even when he had a very short time with us. You can check out his melody filled voice through the collections available with INRECO records and go back into time to meet the best singer that India has ever produced.

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