No treatise of musicology in India will ever be complete without making a study of life of the great visionary late Pt. Vishnu Digambar Paluskar. Gandharva Mahavidyalaya was established by him in 1901 at Lahore. Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidylalaya Mandal is a virtual continuation of this Gandharva Mahavidyalaya. In 1908, Pt.Paluskar established a Vidyalay at Girgaon. After this the scope of his activities widened and vidyalayas were established at Gokuldas market in 1911, Budhawar Peth, Pune in 1912 and at Nagpur in 1913. In the year 1915, he inaugurated the new building of Gandharva Mahavidyalay in Bombay. Unfortunately, due to unavailability of adequate funds and resources, the building of Gandharva Mahavidyalay was lost in 1924.va Mahavidyalaya.
After Pandit Paluskarji, the task of democratizing music education was taken over by his disciples, who had, by then established in the field of music as teachers and artistes. A meeting of all the disciples of Panditjee was convened in 1931, at Ahmedabad by Prof. Shankarrao Vyas & Shri. N.M.Khare. A large number of their colleagues responded and it was decided in this meeting that a body named "Gandharva Mahavidyalay Mandal" be constituted and its executive council elected, which should direct all activities. It was also decided that the general body should meet triennially and elect the executive council, inluding its President. Thus the "Gandharva Mahavidyalay" Mandal was formed in 1931. For the first few years, after the formation of the Mandal, the disciples of Panditji established their own Vidhyalayas in different parts of the country and affiliated these vidyalayas with the Gandharva Mahavidyalay Mandal. The Mandal drafted a syllabus for the various courses to be followed in the affiliated in the affiliated institutions. The first exams of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal were organised at the Anand Centre (Gujarat) as per the Mandals syllabus.After this the number of affiliated institutions kept on increasing and by the end of year 1950, the number of affiliated institutions had gone up to 50. These institutions were situated all over India in various provinces such as Bombay, Gujarat, Sind, Karnataka, Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan etc. Examinations were conducted according to the Mandals syllabus at various centers and approximately 1000 students appeared per year in the various examinations. The degrees and certificates of the Mandal were recognized by various public bodies e.g. Benares, Allahabad, Cownpore, Ajmer Boards, the Punjab University, Ahmedabad Municipal Schools – Committee. The "Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal" was Registered under the Societies Regn Act 1860 and Bombay Public Trust Act in the year 1946. This government recognition led to an increase of public confidence in the activities of the Mandal.