The gharana is reputed to have been established in the 13th century, even though there is no historic evidence to support this. In the 17th century, during the reign of Mughal emperor Aurangazeb, Islamic fanaticism was at its peak in the Mughal empire, and thus many musicians moved to the court of the Maharaja of Bishnupur who was a known patron of the arts. The famous Dhrupad Singer Bahadur Khan of the Senia Gharana, descendant of Tansen, fled to Bishnupur and made his Gharana popular and sought refuge in the court. Bahadur Khan was not only a vocalist but could also efficiently play on such instruments as the Veena, the Rabaab, the surashringaar. The king, Raghunath Singh Deo II, made all arrangements to honour him as his court singer. The Maharaja also announced that anyone having a sweet voice and interested in music could learn from Bahadur Khan without any fees. He also bore the financial liability for the poor students. In time, a good number of students became the disciples of Bahadur Khan.
Historical evidence points to Pt. Ramasharan Bhattacharya, a disciple of Ud. Bahadur Khan as the founder of the gharana. Bishnupur Gharana therefore has a strong link to Betiya Gharana through this unbroken relationship.However, this view is contradicted by some historians. They claim that Bahadur Khan could not have attended the Durbar of King Raghunath Sigh Deo II because of anachronism, as there is a gap of at least 50 years i.e. 2 generations between them. This is a hearsay of one of the disciple of Pt. Ramsharan Bhattacharya, namely, Pt. Anantalal Bandyopadhyay who was quoted by his son that Pt. Ransharan was trained by his Guru Gadadhar Chakravarty, who in turn, was a pupil of the said Bahadur Khan. Actually, Pt Ramsharan learned the Hindusthani Classical music from one unnamed Vaishnava Master from Vrindaban who visited Bishnupur and trained Ramsharan.In practice, Bishnupur Gharana has got some characteristic features in the improvisations of some Ragas which are diffetrent from the practice of the Betiya school of the Seniya gharana.
In the later part of the eighteenth century and towards the early and mid-nineteenth century, when music of different ‘Gharanas’ were gradually assimilating around the Khayal style, the Dhrupad style continued flourishing among the musicians of Bishnupur.