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img Rajasthan Cultural Tour
Duration : 16 Days / 15 Nights
Destination Covered : New Delhi – Agra – Jaipur – Bikaner – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur Ranakpur – Udaipur – Chittorgarh – Pushkar - Mandawa - New Delhi
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imgFascinating Rajasthan Tour
Duration : 14 Days / 13 Nights
Destination Covered : New Delhi – Agra – Jaipur – Ranthambhore – Kota – Chittorgarh – Dungarpur – Udaipur – Pushkar – New Delhi
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imgMysterious Rajasthan Tour
Duration : 10 Days / 09 Nights
Destination Covered : New Delhi – Agra – Jaipur – Kuchaman - Khimsar – Mandawa – Samode – New Delhi
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imgEnchating Rajasthan Tour
Duration : 13 Days / 12 Nights
Destination Covered : New Delhi – Agra – Ranthambhore – Pushkar – Udaipur - Jodhpur – Jaipur –New Delhi
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Rajasthan Folk Music and Dance

Facts about Folk Music and Dance in Rajasthan

Famous Folk Music:

Maand accompanied by Dholis, Dhadhis or Mangamars.

Famous Dances:

Rajasthan Folk Dances - Ghoomer, Gair, Kucchi Ghodi

Famous Musical Instruments:

Sarangi, Ghungroos, Shehnai and Ektara

Must Experience:

Ghoomar: Rajasthan's popular folk dance.

Fire Dance (Agni Nach): Performed on the coal flames on the beat of drums.

Meera Bhajan: Listen to melodious songs of Meera Bai devoted to her Lord Krishna, telling about the intense love and the devotion of this queen.

indiagateRajasthan Folk Music and Dance - An Unique Blend of Rhythm and Culture!!!
Music and dance play a significant role in the life of people of Rajasthan. The cool stillness of the desert after the hot days are filled with soulful music and rhythmic dance. Both music as well as dance are respected as skills by the dwellers of the desert. The dance styles, music and the musical instruments also differ from region to region. The most significant are the devotional songs and the communities who render these songs. There is a richness and diversity in Rajasthani music which comes from a tradition that is old and undisturbed, and from a culture that has imbibed the best from its neighboring states of Sindh, Gujarat, Malwa, Mewat, Haryana and Punjab. The voices, both male and female, are strong and powerful. The numerous songs sung by the women reflect the various feminine moods and strong family ties that govern their lives.

Music and dance are deeply ingrained in Rajasthani life. The stillness of the desert evening and the upsurge of life in the short- lived rainy season or spring are filled with soulful, full- throated music and rhythmic dance, Instruments such as sarangi, kamaycha, satara, nad, and morchang create a wide range of liting and melodious sound in accompanment to the music of the Bhopas, Kalbeliyas, Langas and the Manganiyars as well as the lively and spontaneous dances, ghoomar, gair and chari. Through songs the legendary battles of the Rajputs are told. The music engenders both a spirit of identity and provides entertainment as relief from the daily grind of wrenching a living from the inhospitable land of heat and dust storms.

There are several communities of entertainers in Rajasthan, who served at court, recounting the tales of passion and valour of the warriors and others. For many of these communities, this is the only source of their income. Traditionally, families would invite the Bhats, Dholis, Nats and Bhaands to sing and dance at family celebrations, births or marriages, or other festivities. No Rajasthani marriage is complete unless accompanied by the deep bass of their voice. Professional entertainers who performed a particular type of dance like Bhopas, the Kachhi Ghodi dancers, and the puppeteers are found in the more fertile tracts of eastern Rajasthan. Some of the best known entertainers of Rajasthan are the Kalbeliya dancers, with their rhythmic snake dances and the Langhas and Manganiyars of Jaisalmer. The 'Dholis' or the singing community of Rajasthan is popular both at the domestic and international levels.

indiagateFolk Music of Rajasthan - Represent the Myriad Colour and Nature of the Land!!!
Folk Music and Dance form a vital part of Rajasthan's rich culture. Songs are used to describe the legendary battles that the Rajput rulers won fighting bravely. Music and Dance provides identity as well as entertainment from the daily life of the dry land. The amazingly rich music has an extraordinary individuality, tradition and flavour, which gives a unique feature and quality to the different musical sounds, and a certain rhythms that do not fail to fascinate the listener. The Folk songs are commonly Ballads which relate the heroic deeds and the love stories. It also includes the devotional songs known as Bhajans and Banis and accompanied by percussion instruments such as ektaras or Dhalaks. The communities of Dhadhis, the Dholis, the Mangamars and the Nats are professional singers . The Muslim Mirasis specialise in folk music called Mands which are similar to classical singing. The best flavor of this rich artistic talent can be savored during various fairs & festivals of the state, especially during the Desert Festivals (Jan-Feb), the Pushkar Fair (Oct-Nov), the Marwar Festival (Sept-Oct) and the Camel Festival (Jan-Feb). Folk songs of Rajasthan depict various moods including loneliness of lovers, their union, inter-personal relationship, laughter, faith and happiness. Folk music is also used for educational purposes.

The music and dances of Rajasthan are so appealing and soothing that it matches so well with this strange and wondrous land. The state of Rajasthan has a very vibrant, highly evolved tradition of performing arts carefully nurtured and sustained over the centuries. The art of Folk Music and Dances is popular amongst the Tribal people of Rajasthan. Folk Music and dances of Rajasthan arouse the desert in all moods. The spectacular beauty of the land of Rajasthan is elated with the Folk Music and dances performed by the native people.

Dances of Rajasthan - The Rhythmic Vibrations of the Land
As far as Rajasthani dances are concerned, they are not only spectacular but also very colorful. Rajasthani people know how to celebrate life and dancing is one important medium of celebration. There is great diversity and each region has its won unique dance forms and no two regional dances are the same. Even the instruments used are different.
There are specialized performers who belong to clans like Dholis, Bhopas and Bhands who regularly perform in the villages of Rajasthan to the utter delight of the simple village folks. The Fascinating Rajasthan Dances reflect the culture, geography, customs and nature of the people of Rajasthan. The Fascinating Rajasthan Dances are vibrant and dynamic with graceful body movement. The colorful costumes of the dances combined with lively folk music transform the harsh barren land into a myriad hues of color.

Bhavai:- One of the state's most spectacular performances, it consists of veiled women dancers balancing up to seven or nine brass pitchers as they dance nimbly, pirouetting, and then swaying with the soles of their feet perched on top of a glass, or on the edge of a sword. There is a sense of cutting edge suspense to the performance, and even though some of the hotel performers use only papier pots that are stuck together, the feat is still one of amazing dexterity.

Chari: - Dancers choreograph deft patterns with their hands while balancing brass pots on their hands. The performance is made more picturesque with the flames from cotton seeds set alight, so that the bobbing heads create streaks of illuminated patterns as they move effortlessly around the floor.

Ghoomar Dance: - A community dance of the Rajputs, performed by the women of the house and traditionally out of bounds for men, it uses simple, swaying movements to convey the spirit of any auspicious occasion. Derived from the word ghoomna, pirouette, this is a very simple dance where the ladies move gently, gracefully in circles. There is, however, an amazing grace as the skirts flare slowly while the women twirl in circles, their faces covered by the veil. Traditionally, all women, whether old or young, participate in the dance, which can continue for hours into the night. A new bride, on being welcomed to the home of her husband, too is expected to dance the ghoomar as one of the rituals of the new marriage.

Kuchchi Ghodi: - The 'Kuchchi Ghodi' or dummy horse dance is performed on festive occasions, by men who are as colourfuly attired, as are their horses. Originated from the bandit regions of Shekhawati, the dance is performed for the entertainment of a bridegroom's party. Dancers wear elaborate costumes that resemble them riding on dummy horses. A vigorous dance, it uses mock-fights and the brandishing of swords, nimble sidestepping and pirouetting to the music of fifes and drums. A ballad singer usually sings the exploits of the bandit Robin Hoods.

Gair: - There are several variations to this picturesque dance form that is performed by both men and women. The men wear long, pleated tunics that open out into full-length skirts as they move first in clockwise then in anti-clockwise direction, beating their sticks to create the rhythm when they turn. Originally a Bhil dance, and performed at the time of Holi, its variations are the Dandia Gair in the Marwar region and Geended in the Shekhawati region.

Terah Taal (Thirteen Beats):- This is a dance of professional expertise where the dancer performs with the help of hollow metallic discs (Manjeeras) tied on the hands, legs and foreheads - a thirteen different places. The performers, mostly ladies, start beating these manjeeras at thirteen different places in rhythms with the music.

Fire Dance: - The Jasnathis of Bikaner and Churu are renowned for their tantric powers and this dance is in keeping with their lifestyle. A large ground is prepared with live wood and charcoal where the Jasnathi men and boys jump on to the fire to the accompaniment of drum beats. The music gradually rises in tempo and reaches a crescendo, the dancers seem to be in a trance like state. These devotional performances are usually to be seen late on a winter's night.

Drum Dance: - Put a naked sword in the mouth of a man, and give him three swords to juggle with his hands while avoiding causing an injury to himself. This to the accompainiment of his troupe that consists of musicians holding aloft drums around their necks and cymbals in their hands. A stirring performance from a martial race.

Kathak: - This formal, classical dance evolved as a gharana in the courts of Jaipur where it reached a scale that established it as distinct from the other centre of kathak, Luchknow in Uttar Pradesh. Even today, the Jaipur gharana is well established, though performances occur in other centres rather than in the state where the opportunity for classical dance forms has been on thedecline for a while.

Kathputli: - A tradition of puppeteering has long existed in Rajasthan. A travelling form of entertainment, it uses the ballads, retold in the voice of the puppeteer who is assisted by his family in erecting a make-shift stage. Puppets are strung on the stage and recount historic anecdotes, replay tales of love, and include much screeching and high-pitched sound as the puppets twirl and move frenetically.

Maand: - A form of court music, the maand is a raga formation that developed in Marwar, and includes a complex inflexion of voices, sung in a deep bass. This sophisticated form of music percolated down to folk forms and professional singers use it to sing ballads that have a haunting quality as their voices rangs over the desert. The maand has also been used to sing the praises of their ruller-patrons. A festival is now exclusively dedicated to the event in Jodhpur.

Sapera Dance: - One of the most sensuous dance forms of Rajasthan, performed by the Kalbeliya snake-charmers' community, the sapera dancers wear long, black skirts embroidered with silver ribbons. As they spin in a circle, their body sways acrobatically, so that it is impossible to believe that they are made of anything other than rubber. As the beat increases in tempo, the pace increases to such a pitch that it leaves the viewer as exhausted as the dancer.

Instruments of Rajasthan - Swinging with the Beat!!!
The haunting melody of Rajasthan evokes from a variety of delightfully primitive looking instruments. The folk singers of Rajasthan also play various musical instruments like the sarangi, ghungroos and ektara to bring the sweetest music to the people of Rajasthan. The sarangi is the most important folk musical instrument and is found in various forms in Rajasthan. The Jantar of the Bhopas of Dev Narain ji is like the Goddess Saraswati's Rudra Veena. The jantar has two gourds, four strings and fourteen frets. The Ektaara is also a single string instrument, but is mounted on the belly of a gourd which is attached to a body made of bamboo. In Western Rajasthan, a simple instrument called the Morchang is very popular. The Ghoralio is common among the Bhils, Garasiyas and the Kallbelias. Both these instruments resemble the Jewish harp. Percussion instruments come in all shapes and sizes from the huge Nagaras and Dhols to the tiny Demrus. The Daf and Chang are a big favorite of the Holi (the festival of colors) revelers. Flutes and bagpipers come in local flavors such as Shehnai, Poongi, Algoza, Tarpi, Been and Bankia.

Dhol: - The most common instruments in the villages is the Dholak or the Dhol. Made out of Goat skin,one end is beaten with a stick while another end played with the hand. The smaller version is called the Dholak which is one of the most common in Northern India. Another type of the drum is the ektara, which is played during the devotional functions.

Shehnai: - Shehnai is an slender instrument, which is thought to bring good luck, and therefore, it is widely played in Rajasthan, at the time of marriages and festivals. It consisting of a single piece wooden tube with a number of holes, and at the top it has a metal mouthpiece, through which a Shehnai can be played. You can take out number of tunes, by controlling the breath, while playing a Shehnai.

Matas: - These are played in pairs by two musicians. The Mata looks like a earthen pot with a skin stretched over the opening. A popular instruments of the Bhopas, the renowned story telling caste. The Chara is an earthen pot, but the mouth is left open. At times the musician blow in to this space creating a deep resonance with a booming sound.

Morchang: - Morchang is the most favourite instrument for Langa community of Rajasthan, a wrought iron instrument, much akin to the Jews harp, which produces twanging sounds. Held between the teeth, the left hand keeping it is position, it is played with right-hand fingers plucking the projected tongue, the sound being reinforced by air blown from the mouth of the player. The instrument is capable of producing a variety of notes and weaving a large range of rhythmic patterns.

Naupat: - The instrument is played during marriage ceremonies and consists of two drums, a Nagada, the male form and the Jheel, the female form. The Khazari is a small drum encircled with bras or iron bells traditionally played by the Kalbelias.

Rawanahattha: - The two string bowed instrument is played by the Bhopas in honour of their Deity, Pabuji. One among the two strings is made out of horse hairs and the other from several twisted threads. The bow is made from a coconut shell and the main body from bamboo.

Ghoongharoo: - Amongst the tintinnabulation instruments, Ghoongharoo is a small round hollow metal ball, slitted and having a pebble inside it. It is a very notable instrument for musical embellishment. A bunch of them threaded in a cotton string and tied round the ankles of the dancers, which on dancing produce bewitching tinkling sounds to the rhythm at each step of the performer. Ghoogharoo has played a very significant role, since from the times of Maharajahs. Most of the royal kings in Rajasthan used to enjoy the charm of dancing with the rhythm of Ghoogharoos.

Sarangi: - The instrument has various types. The Sindhi Sarangi is used to accompany Sarangiya Langas. A smaller version is the Gujrati sarangi and there is the Jogiya Sarangi generally played by snake charmers who hail from the district of Barmer and Jodhpur.

Take a holiday tour of Rajasthan and experience the mind-blowing folk dances including Ghoomar. Rajasthan's popular folk dance gets its name from 'ghoomna', the spinning on one's own axis, which displays the spectacular colors of the flowing ghaghra, the long skirt of the Rajasthani women. Enjoy a dance performance and we can say for sure that you can't help yourself from shaking your body in the hypnotizing melody and beat. Hundreds of festivals like the Holi, camel festival, desert festival and others, display thousands of dance prodigies where artists from all over the state takes every visitor to a higher level of euphoria, as they climb newer summits of excellence.

For more details kindly enquire now for the above proposed tour.

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