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RAJASTHANI FOLK MUSIC HAS THE ABILITY TO TOUCH THE SOUL OF LISTENERS WITH ITS MELODIOUS AND EMOTIONAL ELEMENT. THE FOLK MUSIC OF RAJASTHAN IS AN INSEPARABLE PART OF THE STATE’S CULTURE WITHOUT WHICH, NO SOCIAL GATHERING OR CELEBRATION IS COMPLETE.
Rajasthani folk music has the ability to touch the soul of listeners with its melodious and emotional element. The music and dance of the state are important factors that make it hospitable. The folk music of Rajasthan created out of conventional musical instruments is an inseparable part of the state’s culture without which, no social gathering or celebration is complete.
A unique feature of the Rajasthani music is its variety because of the vast size and diversity of different tribes and regions within the state. There are songs narrating the stories of women struggling with their daily lives and there are also musical tales dedicated to Meera Bai. There are renditions about the brave rulers and the royal Rajputs.
Here is an instrumental piece of Rajasthani folk music that will make you fall in love with the rhythm and melody of the conventional rendition.
Here are some styles of Rajasthani folk music that are most popular in the state:
Maand is a popular singing style of Rajasthan that bears resemblance to the likes of Thumri or Ghazals. It’s a sophisticated style of folk music that has made a remarkable contribution to Indian classical music. The songs like Kesariya Balam and Ab to Hai Tumse Har Khushi Apni are some examples of the Maand style.
Gorbandh is a melancholic style of Rajasthani folk music that talks about the rough landscapes of the desert state but also exhibits heroism of the Bravehearts. The music is also believed to be focused on designing decorative strings for their camels. It’s not just the folk dances but the folk music of the state also impresses the visitors and travelers. Singers like Kuldeep Nehra and Seema Mishra have sung some popular Gorbandh songs.
Pabuji ki Phach
This style of Rajasthani folk commemorates the 14th Century folk hero Pabuji, the most honored protagonist of the Bhopa Community. It’s a musical style of describing the struggle and heroism of Pabuji. In the times of misery or sickness, the Bhopa community visits the villages of Rajasthan and performs Pabuji ki Phach, highlighting the deeds of Pabuji.
This style of Rajasthani folk music is believed to have been developed in the ancient times by the women of Rajasthan. Since the state has a scarcity of water, the women who travel far to fetch water are called Panihari. It started when women created melodious tunes speaking about flowing water and splashing waves. The Panihari songs are not set on a particular musical note or Raag, rather these are spontaneous creations flowing from a woman’s heart.
BANDHEJ: THE CONVENTIONAL TEXTILE OF JAIPUR
BANDHEJ IS A FORM OF TIE AND DYE WORK THAT HAS A SIGNIFICANT PLACE IN THE HISTORY OF RAJASTHAN. THE TEXTILE WORK OF BANDHEJ IS NOT JUST WORN IN JAIPUR BUT IT HAS ALSO BEEN SPOTTED IN FILMS LIKE DOR, LAGAAN, DDLJ, JODHA AKBAR, AND SO ON.Jaipur is well known for its conventional artifacts from textiles to sculptures and so on. One of these textile works is Bandhej – a form of tie and dye work that has a significant place in the history of Rajasthan. The textile work of Bandhej is not just worn in Jaipur but it has also been spotted in films like Dor, Lagaan, DDLJ, Jodha Akbar, and so on.
Here’s a brief introduction about Bandhej and its history.
It’s one of the oldest forms of fashion textile and its existence can be traced back to the era of Banbhatta’s Harshcharita (a biography of Indian Ruler Harsh) circa 590 to 647 CE. Back in those days, it was won by ladies who considered it as a lucky charm.
Bandhani is a fabric that is cannot be brought or made very easily, rather it goes through a long and tedious procedure. The fabric is tied tightly and then dyed with hands. Then it is converted into beautiful sarees, salwar suits, and even scarves. Sometimes, embellishments are also used to decorate the apparels with mirror work or other articles.
Bandhej in Modern Days
Bandhej designs are usually found in the sarees and that women like to wear during festivals like Teej or Durga Puja. Even men are seen donning turbans with Bandhej work. Apart from this, it’s also found in skirts, tops, Culottes, Palazzos, etc.
It’s said that the yellow color in Bandhej is a symbol of auspiciousness while red symbolizes a newly married woman. Presently, it is also found in other colors like Blue, Pink, and multiple shades. Many renowned designers like Anita Dongre, Ritu Kumar, Manish Arora and Sabyasachi Mukherjee have made use of the fabric.
Bandhej Shopping in Jaipur
If you are looking for a good piece of Bandhej fabric on a shopping spree in Rajasthan, head to Johari Bazaar and Kishanople Bazaar. There are many retail outlets like Vasansi and Pratap Sons offering designer sarees and suits with Zari and heavy Gotta work.
Rajasthani MusicMusic plays a very important role in the lives of the Rajasthani people. The lyrics are read in a prosaic style. In the Rajasthani music, the emphasis is more on poetry, rather than the melody. However, the poetry gains meaning only when accompanied by Rajasthan folk music. The traditional music of Rajasthan is designed for each and every event like festivals, rituals, family affairs, seasons, etc.
Rajasthani women mostly sing the panihari style, i.e. mainly about water. It centers on the routine mundane life of a women, of which a major part is spent around the wells. This is because of the scarcity of water in the desert area of Rajasthan. The other subjects covered by the songs of women include a chance encounter with a lover or bad mouthing mother-in-law or sister-in-law, etc.
Some folk songs of Rajasthan are dedicated to the various deities. They include the religious songs of Kabirdas, Meerabai, Surdas, etc. A number of communities in Rajasthan have followed the profession of singing for the entertainment of others. Among them, the prominent ones are the Dholis (both Hindus and Muslims), Dhadhis, Mirasis, Mangamars, Fedalis, Kalawats and Qawwals, Tangas, Patars and Kanchari (Hindu and Muslim prostitutes), Nats, Rawals and Bhawais.
The folk songs normally began with an alap, setting the tune of the song. After that, follows the recital of the couplet (dooba). Lending a variance to the tune are the taan, the pitch and the tibias. Another tradition of Rajasthan is the Ballad (bards singing heroic tales of the folk heroes and legendary lovers).
Rajasthani Dances | Rajasthan Cuisine | Languages of Rajasthan | Rajasthan Slangs | Religions in Rajasthan | Rajasthan Jewelry | Mehndi of Rajasthan | Rajasthani Music | People of Rajasthan | Puppets of Rajasthan | Rajasthan Tribes
The folk music of Rajasthan is as colourful and lively as the state itself. Check out the traditional Rajasthani music.
Travel to India: Rajasthan Tourism: Rajasthan Music
Rajasthan MusicIn Rajasthan, folk music is indulged in by one and all. The traditional music of Rajasthan is also religiously significant. The music is melodious and has a rustic touch to it. Most religious songs are based on famous saints and spiritual leaders like Kabirdas, Surdas and Meerabai. Rajasthani music is all about very traditional themes and ballads and most songs revolve around the heroic tales of the wars fought by legendary heroes. Read on further to know about Rajasthan music.
Rajasthan is famous for its puppet shows and the show is incomplete without songs. The folk songs are the most popular in Rajasthan. The themes vary from situation to situation. Since Rajasthan is a desert state, water is a scarce. Most women, while going to fetch water sing songs that revolve around the significance of water. These specific songs that relate to the importance of water are known as “Panihari”. Some songs are based on the theme of two lovers meeting unexpectedly. Some folk songs are sung to depict the insensitive mother-in-laws and sister-in-laws.
The music of Rajasthan is rich and diverse like the state itself. The music has not lost its identity and still maintains its traditional style intact. The songs that have been sung since ancient times are still sung today with the same passion and melody. The music is also influenced from nearby states like Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana and Mewar. You may often find that the accent or dialect of a particular state like Gujarat or Punjab is used in the musical styles of Rajasthan.
The voices of the singers, both male and female, are very powerful and sound absolutely refined. The lively and joyous rhythmic music is a delight to hear. Each and every festival has its own set of songs and there is not a single occasion where songs are not sung, be it childbirth or even the rare rains. These songs make the dull and harsh life of Rajasthan bearable and worth living. They infuse colour and brightness into the ruthless living conditions of Rajasthan.Rajasthan Cuisine
Rajasthan CuisineThe cuisine of Rajasthan is as exotic as the state of Rajasthan itself. The royal heritage of Rajasthan has ensured that the cuisine of Rajasthan is as royal as the historical legacy. The “Land of the Kings” has always wined and dined in style. The royal kitchens have produced recipes that have been kept secret even till now. The exotic delicacies prepared by the royal kitchens were absolutely lip-smacking. The traditional food of Rajasthan consists of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Read on to know more about Rajasthani food.
Rajasthan was a state that used to be constantly at wars. Thus, food that was easily available and did not require heating was preferred. It was much of a necessity than a choice. The local and the most popular dish of Rajasthan is called Dal Bhati Churma. It is basically hard bread made of wheat flour that is to be eaten with lentil curry. The food in Rajasthan is known for its spicy nature. Since there is always a scarcity of water in Rajasthan, more of milk, buttermilk and clarified butter (ghee) are used in cooking.
The normal course of meal includes vegetables, a dal and rotis. Along with this, one can have buttermilk and of course the wide variety of desserts. Rajasthan is famous for its collection of exotic desserts. One there, you must not leave without trying the sweets that are prepared and are absolutely delicious. Rajasthan is also famous for spicy chutneys and pickles. The best part about Rajasthan cuisine is not just the taste, but the way it is served for guests. You will be served like they would serve a king. Each and every detail is taken care of by the people who serve you and they make sure that you don’t leave dissatisfied.
The folk dances of Rajasthan are as colorful and lively as the state itself. Check out some traditional Rajasthani dance.
Travel to India: Rajasthan Tourism: Rajasthan Dances The traditional dances of Rajasthan are absolutely colorful and lively and have their own significance and importance. In Rajasthan, folk dances are the highlights of any celebration and festivity. The simple yet expressive dances of Rajasthan are enjoyed by one and all. Each and every detail regarding the costumes, make up and the way of expression are taken care of. Each dancer is skilled in his/her own way and each person has a unique style of performing it. These Rajasthani dances have been performed since very old times and thus are significant historically also. Given here are some popular forms of Rajasthan dances.
The Ghoomar is the most popular form of Rajasthani dance. Women perform this dance during auspicious events and occasions. The name Ghoomar is derived from the word “Ghoomna”, which means twirling. The colorful skirts known as “Ghagra” look stunningly when they gracefully sway while the women dance.
This dance is basically a tribal dance and is performed by both men and women. Gair dance is performed during Holi festival and is a very lively dance. The dress is basically a long tunic that opens out as a skirt. The dance beats are given by sticks to maintain the rhythm.
The Bhavai dance is a very difficult dance and only highly skilled dancers perform this dance. It is a very impressive and stunning dance and one of the most popular dances of Rajasthan. The dance basically involves women dancers who balance eight to nine brass pitchers on their heads and dance softly and twirl slowly. All this, while balancing themselves firmly on the edge of a sword or on a glass!
The Chari dance is basically a village dance, which is performed to express happiness when the villagers go in search of water and find it. The dancers choreograph the dance and many subtle patterns are formed by hands. The dancers are supposed to balance brass pots on their heads while performing this dance gracefully. Cottonseeds set aflame is placed on the topmost pot so that the movement of the heads causes the flames to form brilliant patterns. Rajasthan People
Rajasthan PeopleThe people of Rajasthan are as diverse and colourful as the state itself. Since ancient times, the profession of a person was the deciding factor of his caste. The tradition has been modified in modern times and now the caste is decided by the family in which a child is born. One can say it has become a birth-based caste system. The caste does not restrict an individual to choose a profession of his own. The people and lifestyle of Rajasthan are very complementary to each other. Read on to know more about Rajasthani people.
In Rajasthan, majority of the population comprises of Rajputs. The Rajputs were the former rulers of the princely states and royal provinces of Rajasthan. The Rajputs are characterized by their stout built and tall height. The Rajputs are strict followers of their religion and are ardent worshippers of the Sun, Shiva and Vishnu. The Rajputs also believe and follow the Vedas, or the holy scriptures of the Hindus. All religious and auspicious activities and rituals are done in accordance to these scriptures.
The rituals and holy practices in Rajasthan were carried on by the Brahmins or the class of the Priests. Apart from temples and other religious institutions, the Brahmins also served in the royal courts of the Kings. The Brahmins all over India enjoyed the uppermost caste. But in Rajasthan, they had to be satisfied with the second position in the caste hierarchy because the warriors were more important as the state was under constant wars with external forces and empires. After the Brahmins come the traders who consist of the Jains and the Marwaris.
Since agriculture is the main occupation of the people there, next are the farmers or the pastoral class. They indulge in activities that range from cattle rearing to farming. After them come the craftsmen like artisans, painters, sculptors and potters. The last category of people is the tribal class like Bhils, Sahariyas and the nomadic Kathodis.
evocative of a rich past, Rajasthan ranks high among the most visited tourist destinations of India and is home to numerous palaces, forts, lakes and impressive architectural monuments. The folk music of Rajasthan also occupies an important place among the traditions of Rajasthan and is embedded in the hearts and souls of the inhabitants.
Rajasthani folk music has great variety and is rich, heroic, forlorn and enjoyable. It covers all aspects of the life of the Rajasthani people. The voices of the singers are full-throated, strong and powerful. The numerous songs sung by the women mirror the various feminine moods and deep family ties.
The renowned battles of the gallant Rajputs are told through songs and the music confers both a spirit of distinctiveness and provides a welcome diversion from the daily chores.
The most striking feature of the folk music of Rajasthan is that there are different songs for the different moods. “Peepli” and “Nihalde” are songs beseeching the beloved one not to leave her or to return to her as soon as possible. There are also songs regarding the family, comparing every number to the various ornaments worn by women. Even the festivals such as of Gangaur and Teej that are celebrated for marital bliss and the upcoming harvesting season call for particular songs without which, the celebrations are deemed to be incomplete.
Besides, there are a number of communities of Rajasthan such as “bhopas” or the wandering balladeers who sing about the Marwar folk heroes and travel from village to village entertaining people. You will also encounter several singing communities in Rajasthan known as the ‘dholis’. They are also known by other names such ‘mirasis’, ‘dhadhis’, ‘langas’, ‘manganiyars’, ‘kalbelias’, ‘jogis’, ‘sargaras’, ‘kamads’, ‘nayaks’ or ‘thotis’ and the ‘bawaris’. Their music has crossed borders and has gained immense popularity at the national and international level. Many of the folk artists have received prestigious national and international awards.
Folk opera of Rajasthan is another field which has gained huge popularity and is performed by the professionals in association with amateurs. Several noteworthy ones deserving mention are the ‘maach’ of Chittaurgarh area, ‘tamasha’ of Jaipur and ‘rammat’ of Bikaner.
Folk Music of Rajasthan occupies an important position in the festivals and celebrations of Rajasthan. The very charm of Rajasthan and the culture of the people get reflected through their enchanting music and songs.
Touristplacesinindia.com offers online information on folk Music of Rajasthan and also offers useful inputs on the Rajasthani cuisine
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