The Khayal Saga weaves together the many legends and stories surrounding the vocal tradition of the khayal, a major element of Indian classical music. The history of the khayal is also a story of music's relationship to classical Indian dance. Shahani's treatment presents the khayal in all its richness through metaphors in images and sounds. The film is recognised internationally as one of the most important documents of this tradition. It won the FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) Prize at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in 1990.