In July 2010, the NCPA launched Bandish: Festival of Legendary Composers with the aim of allowing audiences to revel in a celebration of the compositions of legendary composers. Bandish is essentially a well structured composition, based on which a raga performance can take shape. A composer (vaggeykar, nayak, rachnakar) as the creator of both lyrics (sahitya) and melodic or rhythmic content is a much revered figure in the Indian tradition. The collective works of many composers through the ages have given rise to a vast repository of musical ideas that constitute our musical heritage today. The three-day festival showcases some of the most treasured works of great composers, presented by eminent artists from north and south India.
Since inception, the festival has showcased compositions of Miyan Tansen, Faiyaz Khan, Inayat Hussain Khan, Adarang and Sadarang, Alladiya Khan, Muthuswamy Dikshitar, Papanasam Sivan, Hazrat Amir khusrau, Kumar Gandharva, Kabir, Tulsidas and Surdas performed by great Indian musicians such as Ghulam Husnain Khan, Rashid Khan, Gundecha Brothers, Shujaat Hussain Khan, Ulhas Kashalkar, Bombay Jayashri, Shubha Mudgal, Anup Jalota, Ashwini Bhide Deshpande and Vasundhara Komkali. Under the NCPA Chalk Talk series, Dr. Suvarnalata Rao conducts a lecture titled 'Understanding Bandish.'