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Top 5 Popular Folk Dances of Rajasthan, India

Top 5 Popular Folk Dances of Rajasthan, India

India’s royal state of Rajasthan is renowned for its extensive cultural legacy. 

The folk dances of Rajasthan are quite significant because they narrate stories in a distinctive and impressive way while also aesthetically attractive.

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These dances are very colorful and draw a huge number of local crowds. 

In this article, you will get to know about the following Folk Dances in Rajasthan,

  1. Chakri Dance
  2. Chari Dance
  3. Kachhi Ghodi Dance
  4. Kathputli Dance
  5. Fire Dance

Let’s see each of these in detail… 

1. Chakri Dance

Chakri means “Chakkar” in Hindi. Chakri Dance is the most popular folk dance of the Kanjar tribe and is primarily performed by womenfolk.  

This dance is performed mainly in the festivals and marriages of Kota and Baran District. 

The dance involves traditional music and rhythms. 

The Chari Dancers are supported by a group of talented traditional singers who sing as the women begin their dance. Music is a key component of dance.

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The two major instruments utilized in the dance are the dholak and the nagara.

As the name suggests, the dance is also greatly influenced by the costumes, which provide an illusion that a circular object is dancing.

The Raai dance of the Madhya Pradesh “Beriyas” tribe is thought to be similar to the Chakri dance.

2. Chari Dance

Chari dance is another common folk dance of Rajasthan. Also known as the welcome dance, the Gujjar community in Kishangarh is where the famous Chari dance originated.

This dance illustrates the skill of Rajasthani women in collecting water in a Chari or pot for daily use.

A group of dancers performs this folk dance. In it, women carry pots called Chari on their heads while putting a lit lamp inside. The brass pots are balanced to perfection and dance in the same sequence.

The beautifully lit pots with cotton seeds inside them give a beautiful effect in the darkness of the night.

The Gujjar women dress colorfully in traditional Rajasthani dresses accompanied by big nose rings and the sampan women wear gold ornaments, Hansli, Bangdi, Gajra, armlets, Mogri, and many such ornaments. 

Instruments like dhol, dholak, Bankiya, harmonium, Nagada, and thali make the dance more attractive. 

3. Kachhi Ghodi Dance

The Kachhi Ghodi Dance is one of the most famous Folk Dances in Rajasthan. 

This folk dance emerged from the bandit regions of Shekhawati and is generally performed to entertain the bridegroom. This dance is specially performed by men on dummy horses.

The songs and performances in the Kachhi Ghodi Dance are generally associated with the businessman and traders of the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan.

It is a unique and interesting folk dance, that contains mock fights, nimble sidestepping, brandishing of swords, and pirouetting to the music of fifes and drums.

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Men wear colorful costumes- red turbans and dhotis and kurtas, adorned with fine mirror-work and ride the dummy horses. 

They dance with the steps rhythmically to the beating of drums and fifes by holding a sword in their hands while a singer narrates the torture and exploitation of Bavaria bandits of the Shekhawati region through his song.

This form of folk dance is generally performed by the tribes of Rajasthan and reflects the socio-historical scenario of the time and race. 

4. Kathputli Dance

Rajasthan Kathputli dance is a world-famous dance and is popularly known as Puppetry dance. 

It is believed that Kathputli art might have originated from present-day Nagaur and surrounding areas. String puppetry is very much famous in Rajasthan but now has been extended to many states of India.

It is an old tradition of story narration from mythology and this epic storytelling is done through puppets in Rajasthan. The tradition of Kathputli is based on folk tales and stories too. 

Legend believes that folk tales convey the lifestyle of ancient Rajasthani tribal people too.

Kathputli uses a puppet that is made from wood covered with a cotton cloth and painted in different colors representing folks or figurines. 

These Kathputlis are tied with a metal wire which acts as a string. 

A string marionette controls a single string that passes from the top of the puppet over the puppeteers. 

The puppeteer shows his skill with strings like swordsmanship, dancing, horse riding, juggling, and acrobatics with the puppets. 

Different shows explain different societal problems like the dowry system, women’s empowerment, poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, and cleanliness, and these shows help locals to be aware of the social problems that everybody is facing and also show solutions to resolve these issues. 

5. Fire Dance

Fire Dance is a traditional dance from Rajasthan in India that depicts the way of life of the Jasnathis in the Churu and Bikaner areas. 

The Banjara community performs this dance, which is quite challenging. This beautiful folk dance is thought to represent the Jasnathis’ tantric dance of power.

The dance involves daring fire stunts, and performers hold a blazing fire rod in their hands and move it to their legs and heads. They fill up their mouths with kerosene. The dance is performed around the fire and the dancers throw the kerosene oil on the lamps. 

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 The entire performance is carried out on blazing coal and charcoal beds. 

The devotional and exciting performance of the fire dance can be seen on the late nights of winter in Rajasthan.

The music which is played during the fire dance rises in tempo and ends like a crescendo. The Rajasthani folk music is played with instruments like dhol, Nagada, and dholak during fire dance.

It is performed on special occasions like Holi, and Janmashtami and attracts many viewers from all over the world.

In addition to the traditions and monuments traced back hundreds of years in Rajasthan, the ancient dance styles have also kept their attractiveness over time and have never failed to captivate viewers, whether they are domestic or foreign.


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