Purnima Sen has the rare distinction of being one of the very few women performers belonging to the Agra-Atrauli gharana. This is known for its vigour, strength and vitality. Although she started her training at an early age in Baroda, her first guru was in Delhi - the late Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan. Later on she became a pupil of the late Ustad Ata Hussain Khan, who was recognised as a great teacher and a storehouse of information on the Agra-Atrauli gharana.
Ultimately, Purnima Sen learnt from the late Ustad Sharafat Husain Khan, one of the great maestros of North Indian classical music: this was where she developed her skills and gayaki (vocal style).
Purnima Sen has been awarded by All India Radio and TV the title of "Bidusha", which means "learned". She has a large repertoire of both popular and rare rags with old compositions. She is gifted with a delightful and distinctive voice, and has performed all over the world. She is also called upon as an advisor by various organisations, including All India Radio and the Sangeet Research Academy; and she writes for several prominent daily papers in India.