He was born as Rabindra Shankar Chowdhury; to a Bengali family in Varanai. He is a world famous Indian sitarist and composer.
West meets east
Ravi Shankar spent his youth performing across Europe and India as a member of his brother Uday's dance troupe.
He gave up his dancing career in 1938 to study Indian classical music as Allauddin Khan's pupil, in the traditional gurukul system.
Since the 1950s, the Indian sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, was influential in popularizing indian music all over the world.
This lead to the popular raga rock trend in the 60s and 70s. Groups such as the Rolling Stones, the Animals and the Byrds began using the sitar in some of their songs.
West meets east
Pandit Ravi Shankar promoted the jugalbandi duet concert style and had fondness for rhythmic novelties, especially unconventional rhythmic cycles. He introduced at least 31 new ragas.
He founded the Kinnara School of Music in Mumbai in 1962, and opened a Western branch in Los Angeles, in May 1967.
He received many prestigious musical accolades, including a Polar Music Prize and five Grammy Awards. The Lifetime Achievement Grammy award, was jointly accepted by his musically gifted daughters Anoushka Shankar and Norah Jones.
In 1982 Shankar was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score, along with George Fenton, for Gandhi.
Pandit Ravi Shankar was awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1999.
From 1986 to 1992, he served as a nominated member of Rajya Sabha.
He wrote two autobiographies: My Life, My Music (1969) and Raga Mala (1999).