in 2006 article The greatest Indians :
"The association of Dharwad with music is, at first sight, a puzzle. For one thing, it is in south India, yet it became a home of north Indian classical music. For another, the great gharanas are usually associated with towns that were centres of royalty or commerce. However, Dharwad was a little place with no administrative or political significance and very few wealthy people either. In other words, there was no scope here for the patronage without which great art can scarcely flourish. How then did it become a centre of such ineffably good music?"
In 2011 article MUSIC, FOREVER- Musicians of genius belong to the ages, and to the world :
"How and why Dharwad became a nucleus of shastriya sangeet awaits explanation. It was part of the Bombay Presidency, and thus subject to influences from those two great musical centres, Pune and Mumbai. Even closer were the towns of Kolhapur and Miraj, where some famous (Muslim) teachers of music had settled, at the invitation of princes who were patrons of culture. Since Dharwad falls broadly in the region known as ‘South’ India, perhaps these vocalists also drew to some extent on the Carnatic style of music. We do know for certain that they were deeply influenced by folk traditions and by medieval saints. Both Bhimsen and Mallikarjun liked to sing songs composed by Purandaradasa, whereas Kumar Gandharva reinterpreted Kabir with great feeling and sensitivity for a 20th-century audience."
Many interesting observations in both. From the first article:
"Some years ago, in an interview to this newspaper, the novelist Amitav Ghosh observed (and I quote here from memory) that "classical musicians are the only people in India who strive for perfection, and achieve it." I think the qualifier is crucial — it is not only that they seek perfection, but that they achieve it. Most Indians in public life, and many in business, set their standards very low — one is not certain that they even know what "perfection" means. Indians who are sportsmen, or writers or craftsmen, do seek to attain higher standards of quality and proficiency. However, their respective arts, although difficult to master, are yet not of the order of refinement as classical music. Amitav Ghosh is right — our classical musicians are simply the greatest of Indians."
P.S. See also the discussion in Churumuri How did Dharwad become ground zero of music?