‘Balgandharva’ is the never-before-told, musical biographical drama of Indian theater legend Narayan Rajhans alias ‘Balgandharva’ (1888 - 1967). Born in a poor town in Pune, Maharashtra, He was famous for his roles of female characters in Marathi plays, since women were not allowed to act on stage during his time. After hearing his soulful singing, Lokmanya Tilak, the great freedom fighter and the grand old man of the Indian independence movement patted Narayan on the back and said that he was a "Bal Gandharva" (which means "Singer from the Heaven").
Narayanrao Bal Gandharva acted in numerous classic Marathi plays and was one of those who were responsible for making Sangeet-Natak(musicals) and Natya-Sangeet (the music in those musicals) popular among common masses.
The story began with Kirloskar Sangeet Mandali in 1905. The company was run by Mujumdar and Nanasaheb Joglekar. After Joglekar's death in 1911, there was discontent about Mujumdar's dictatorial and manipulative style. Bal Gandharva, Gangesh Govind ('Ganpatrao') Bodas and Govindrao Tembe left the company in 1913 to form Gandharva Sangeet Mandali. Narayanrao Bal Gandharva became the sole owner of the debt ridden company in 1921. The debt was paid off in 7 years' time. But the company accumulated debt again over next 6–7 years. Bal Gandharva dissolved the company to make 6 films with Prabhat Film Company but the partnership was dissolved after just one film in which BG was portrayed in a male role, that of Sant Eknath. Narayanrao revived his drama company in 1937, and soon formed an infamous association with Gohar Karnataki (also known asGauhar Jan) who joined the company in April 1938. With Narayanrao increasingly ill at ease in female roles owing to his advancing years, the company was looking for an actress to play female roles.
The story of his rise to fame and his relationship with his mother, his wife, his co-actors and other women are all part of his celebrated life. “Balgandharva” provides an unflinching portrait of Narayans' musical genius as he overcomes all hurdles while transforming into one of this country's most-beloved performers.