Archive for April 5, 2010


14 vidya & 64 kala

hi dear ones,

In ancient hindu universities following 14 vidya “knowledge” & 64 kala “arts” were taught.

And it was important to learn all these at basic level at least and as per pupils interest he/she

was allowed to learn it to expert level.

Sixty-four activities in fine arts and crafts are the following:

(1) gita — art of singing.

(2) vadya — art of playing on musical instruments.

(3) nritya — art of dancing.

(4) natya — art of theatricals.

(5) alekhya — art of painting.

(6) viseshakacchedya — art of painting the face and body with colored unguents and cosmetics.

(7) tandula-kusuma-bali-vikara — art of preparing offerings from rice and flowers.

(8) pushpastarana — art of making a covering of flowers for a bed.

(9) dasana-vasananga-raga — art of applying preparations for cleansing the teeth, cloths and painting            the body.

(10) mani-bhumika-karma — art of making the groundwork of jewels.

(11) sayya-racana — art of covering the bed.

(12) udaka-vadya — art of playing on music in water.

(13) udaka-ghata — art of splashing with water.

(14) citra-yoga — art of practically applying an admixture of colors.

(15) malya-grathana-vikalpa — art of designing a preparation of wreaths.

(16) sekharapida-yojana — art of practically setting the coronet on the head.

(17) nepathya-yoga — art of practically dressing in the tiring room.

(18) karnapatra-bhanga — art of decorating the tragus of the ear.

(19) sugandha-yukti — art of practical application of aromatics.

(20) bhushana-yojana — art of applying or setting ornaments.

(21) aindra-jala — art of jugglery.

(22) kaucumara — a kind of art.

(23) hasta-laghava — art of sleight of hand.

(24) citra-sakapupa-bhakshya-vikara-kriya — art of preparing varieties of salad, bread, cake and delicious food.

(25) panaka-rasa-ragasava-yojana — art of practically preparing palatable drinks and tinging draughts with red color.

(26) suci-vaya-karma — art of needleworks and weaving.

(27) sutra-krida — art of playing with thread.

(28) vina-damuraka-vadya — art of playing on lute and small x-shaped drum. (29) prahelika — art of making and solving riddles.

(29-a) pratimala — art of caping or reciting verse for verse as a trial for memory or skill.

(30) durvacaka-yoga — art of practicing language difficult to be answered by others.

(31) pustaka-vacana — art of reciting books.

(32) natikakhyayika-darsana — art of enacting short plays and anecdotes.

(33) kavya-samasya-purana — art of solving enigmatic verses.

(34) pattika-vetra-bana-vikalpa — art of designing preparation of shield, cane and arrows.

(35) tarku-karma — art of spinning by spindle.

(36) takshana — art of carpentry.

(37) vastu-vidya — art of engineering.

(38) raupya-ratna-pariksha — art of testing silver and jewels.

(39) dhatu-vada — art of metallurgy.

(40) mani-raga jnana — art of tinging jewels.

(41) akara jnana — art of mineralogy.

(42) vrikshayur-veda-yoga — art of practicing medicine or medical treatment, by herbs.

(43) mesha-kukkuta-lavaka-yuddha-vidhi — art of knowing the mode of fighting of lambs, cocks and birds.

(44) suka-sarika-prapalana (pralapana)? — art of maintaining or knowing conversation between male and female cockatoos.

(45) utsadana — art of healing or cleaning a person with perfumes.

(46) kesa-marjana-kausala — art of combing hair.

(47) akshara-mushtika-kathana — art of talking with letters and fingers.

(48) mlecchita-kutarka-vikalpa — art of fabricating barbarous or foreign sophistry.

(49) desa-bhasha-jnana — art of knowing provincial dialects.

(50) pushpa-sakatika-nirmiti-jnana — art of knowing prediction by heavenly voice or knowing preparation of toy carts by flowers.

(51) yantra-matrika — art of mechanics.

(52) dharana-matrika — art of the use of amulets.

(53) samvacya — art of conversation.

(54) manasi kavya-kriya — art of composing verse mentally.

(55) kriya-vikalpa — art of designing a literary work or a medical remedy.

(56) chalitaka-yoga — art of practicing as a builder of shrines called after him.

(57) abhidhana-kosha-cchando-jnana — art of the use of lexicography and meters.

(58) vastra-gopana — art of concealment of cloths.

(59) dyuta-visesha — art of knowing specific gambling.

(60) akarsha-krida — art of playing with dice or magnet.

(61) balaka-kridanaka — art of using children’s toys.

(62) vainayiki vidya — art of enforcing discipline.

(63) vaijayiki vidya — art of gaining victory.

(64) vaitaliki vidya — art of awakening master with music at dawn.

OR

There are various lists of these 64 “arts”. or Kala’s. One more list is as follows:

1. Vocal music

2. Instrumental music

3. Dance

4. Acting

5. Painting

6. Making emblems

7. Making garlands and other creations with flowers

8. Artwork for mattresses

9. Artwork for bedspreads

10. Body esthetics

11. House decoration

12. Making musical instruments operated by water (such as the jalataranga, for instance)

13. Making sound effects in water

14. Costume and fashion design

15. Making pearl necklaces

16. Hair styling

17. Art of dressing

18. Making ear ornaments

19. Flower decoration

20. Food styling

21. Magic

22. Landscaping

23. Manicure

24. Pastry making

25. Making drinks

26. Sewing

27. Making nets

28. Solving and creating riddles

29. Reciting poems

30. Discoursing on epics and poetical works

31. Reading

32. Attending theatrical plays

33. Completing verses left unfinished (samasya) by others as a challenge

34. Making cane furniture

35. Woodworking

36. Debate

37. Architecture

38. Assessing gold and gems

39. Metallurgy

40. Cutting and polishing diamonds

41. Searching for ore

42. Special knowledge of trees and plants

43. Cock fighting

44. Interpreting the songs of birds

45. Massage

46. Hair care

47. Sign language

48. Learning foreign languages

49. Scholarship in local languages

50. Predicting the future

51. Mechanical engineering

52. Strengthening memory power

53. Learning by ear

54. Instantaneous verse-making

55. Decisiveness in action

56. Pretense

57. Prosody

58. Preserving clothes

59. Gambling

60. Playing dice

61. Playing with children

62. Rules of respectful behavior

63. Art of storytelling and entertaining, (like bards and minstrels)

64. Grasping the essence of subjects.

AND 14 Vidya :::—

1.

The science of proper articulation and pronunciation (shiksha)

2.

Science of rituals (kalpa)

3.

Grammar (vyakaran)

4.

Etymological explanation of difficult Vedic words (nirukta)

5.

Astrology (jyotiish)

6.

The science of prosody (Chandas)

7.

The Rugveda

8.

The Yajurveda

9.

The Samaveda

10.

The Atharvaveda

11.

The Purva-Uttarmimmansa (concerned with the correct interpretation of Vedic

rituals and the settlement of dubious points with regard to Vedic texts)

12.

A system of Hindu philosophy founded by Sage Goutam (nyaya)

13.

The Purans

14.

The science of righteous conduct (dharmashastra)

Hi dear ones,

Types of domestic abuse are:

•    Dominance – Abusive individuals need to feel in charge of the relationship. They will make decisions for you and the family, tell you what to do, and expect you to obey without question. Your abuser may treat you like a servant, child, or even as his possession.

•    Humiliation – An abuser will do everything they can to make you feel bad about yourself or defective in some way. After all, if you believe you’re worthless and that no one else will want you, you’re less likely to leave. Insults, name-calling, shaming, and public put-downs are all weapons of abuse designed to erode your self-esteem and make you feel powerless.

•    Isolation – In order to increase your dependence on them, an abusive partner will cut you off from the outside world. They may keep you from seeing family or friends, or even prevent you from going to work or school. You may have to ask permission to do anything, go anywhere, or see anyone.

•    Threats – Abusers commonly use threats to keep their partners from leaving or to scare them into dropping charges. Your abuser may threaten to hurt or kill you, your children, other family members, or even pets. They may also threaten to commit suicide, file false charges against you, or report you to child services.

•    Intimidation – Your abuser may use a variety of intimidation tactics designed to scare you into submission. Such tactics include making threatening looks or gestures, smashing things in front of you, destroying property, hurting your pets, or putting weapons on display. The clear message is that if you don’t obey, there will be violent consequences.

•    Denial and blame – Abusers are very good at making excuses for the inexcusable. They will blame their abusive and violent behavior on a bad childhood, a bad day, and even on the victims of their abuse. Your abusive partner may minimize the abuse or deny that it occurred. They will commonly shift the responsibility on to you: Somehow, their violent and abusive behavior is your fault.

SIGNS THAT YOU’RE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP Your Inner Thoughts and Feelings Your Partner’s Belittling Behavior

Do you:

  • feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
  • avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
  • feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
  • believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
  • wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
  • feel emotionally numb or helpless?

Does your partner:

  • humiliate or yell at you?
  • criticize you and put you down?
  • treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
  • ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
  • blame you for his own abusive behavior?
  • see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?

Your Partner’s Violent Behavior or Threats Your Partner’s Controlling Behavior

Does your partner:

  • have a bad and unpredictable temper?
  • hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • threaten to take your children away or harm them?
  • threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
  • force you to have sex?
  • destroy your belongings?

Does your partner:

  • act excessively jealous and possessive?
  • control where you go or what you do?
  • keep you from seeing your friends or family?
  • limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
  • constantly check up on you?

Hi dear ones,

Rudraksha

tree of RUDRAKSHA

In Sanskrit, Rudraksha means “Eyes of Shiva” and is empowered with mystical, spiritual and medicinal powers that enhance the well being of the wearer. The beads also impart astrological benefits and it is believed that the wearer of Rudraksha is always untouched by sins, impious thoughts and deeds. The powers of Rudraksha are associated with the number of mukhi (the clefts and furrows) or faces the beads have. The Rudraksha bead can have a number of faces ranging from 1-38. The most common one is the 5-faced or Panchmukhi Rudraksha and the rarest one is 1-face or Ekmukhi Rudraksha. Rudraksha comes in four shades of fair, light brown, dark brown and black.

Rudraksha beads do possess powerful electromagnetic, paramagnetic and inductive properties. The healing powers of the Rudraksha bead are derived from such properties.

Blood circulation and heart beats automatically induce a magnetic field around the body and particularly the heart region. Accordingly, a balancing force is exerted on the heart to regulate it if it starts beating above or below normal rates. This action helps to ensure ideal blood circulation in the body.

Depending upon the polarity and intensity of the induced magnetic field, Rudraksha beads transmit subtle electrical and inductive impulses with opposing polarity and intensity. When Rudraksha beads are placed over the heart, they act to stabilize the heart beat.

Some astrologers suggest the following Rudraksha Mukhis according to the ruling planet:

Birth Nakshatra Ruling Planet Mukhi to be Worn
Kritika Sun One/Eleven/Twelve Mukhi
Uttaraphalguni Sun One/Eleven/Twelve Mukhi
Uttarashadha Sun One/Eleven/Twelve Mukhi
Rohini Moon Two Mukhi
Hasta Moon Two Mukhi
Shravana Moon Two Mukhi
Mrigashira Mars Three Mukhi
Chitra Mars Three Mukhi
Dhanishtha Mars Three Mukhi
Ashlesha Mercury Four Mukhi
Jyestha Mercury Four Mukhi
Revati Mercury Four Mukhi
Punarvasu Jupiter Five Mukhi
Vishakha Jupiter Five Mukhi
Purvabhadrapada Jupiter Five Mukhi
Bharani Venus Six Mukhi
Purvaphalguni Venus Six Mukhi
Purvashadha Venus Six Mukhi
Pushya Saturn Seven/Fourteen Mukhi
Anuradha Saturn Seven/Fourteen Mukhi
Uttarabhadrapada Saturn Seven/Fourteen Mukhi
Ardra Rahu Eight Mukhi
Swati Rahu Eight Mukhi
Shatabhisha Rahu Eight Mukhi
Ashvini Ketu Nine Mukhi
Magha Ketu Nine Mukhi
Mula Ketu Nine Mukhi

Easily Available Rudraksha

Rare Rudraksha Beads

Other Rudraksha Beads

Different Mukhis of Rudraksha are also used for treatment of different diseases like :

Type of Rudraksha (Mukhi) Effect
1 and 12 Heart, spine, diaphragm, thymus, blood, veins, eye sight
2 mukhi Stomach including gastric processes, breasts, lymphatic and non blood systems, perspiration, saliva and sympathetic nervous system
4 mukhi Hands, arms, lungs, sensory organs, thyroid glands, brain disorders
6 and 13 mukhi Throat, neck, kidneys, sex organs, thyroid glands
3 mukhi Sex glands, adrenal glands, red blood cells, stomach disorders, blood pressure disorders
5 mukhi Liver, gallbladder, posterior lobe of the pituitary related to growth and thighs, blood pressure disorders
7 and 14 mukhi Mental tension, depression, spleen, skeletal system including cartilage, skin, lower leg from the knee to the ankle and anterior lobe of the pituitary gland
8 mukhi Sleep disorders
9 mukhi Skin problems, body pain
11 mukhi Nervous system disorders

hi dear ones,

Vaastu Shastra is 5000 years old but since the middle 1990s, there has been a sudden interest in the subject of the vaastu shastra. People seem to have rediscovered a long lost panacea for their ills. All they need to do is to make a few changes to their home or office layout and overnight, they have the health, wealth and happiness which they lacked for so long!

Vastu Gods

Eight directions as per Vastu shastra:

  1. NE or Ishaan Kon (Water): Pooja room, water storage tank, boring, lawn, portico, Drawing room, water supply connection.
  2. East: Main gate, living room, bathroom, kitchen, guestroom, open space, balcony, Tulsi plant.
  3. SE or Agni Kon (Fire): Office, fire, toilet, plants, basement, stairs, generator / inverter storeroom, clothes.
  4. South: Bedroom, room to store heavy articles like machines etc., overhead water tank, big trees, godown, toilet, paying guest / tenant.
  5. SW or Nairitya Kon (Earth): Arms and ammunition, room to store raw materials, sleeping room, room for father or elder brother, stairs, overhead water storage tank, trees.
  6. West: Dinning room, septic tank, stairs, water storage tank on the ground, toilet cum bath, drawing room, living room.
  7. NW or Vaayvya Kon (Air): Cattle and animals, grains storage, kitchen, living room, stairs, medium sized trees.
  8. North: Treasury, finished material store, reception room, children’s room, recreation and entertainment room, gas plant or connection, swimming pool.

vastu for house

EARTH: When we talk about Prithvi, we mean the piece of land on which the structure of our residence or place of work is built or is to be built. It’s the most important element. The points, which are observed while selecting a piece of land are as follows. First of all its facing is seen. For this we must know that there are eight directions. They are East, South-East (SE), South, South West (SW), West, North West (NW), North and North East (NE). Each direction is governed by a specific planet and different provisions are designed in a particular direction according to lord or god of that planet in that direction. Next is geographical location, it’s relative location within a city, atmospheric conditions of that place, quality and consistency of the earth, its surface, inclination of the surface, it’s auspicious and inauspicious-ness, presence of any inauspicious material (Shalya) like bones etc., shape of the plot, area, length and breadth ratio, other structures near it like road, temple, big tree etc. Level of seismic activity is also considered.

WATER: Since ancient times, be it humans or other living beings, they have colonized near water bodies like river, lake, pond well etc. Availability and source of potable water like well, hand pump, boring, piped water supply, direction of the water storage, direction of the flow of used water like sever are some of the main points which are taken care of under it. If the house is in the cold region where snow fall takes place then roof has to be slanting and if it is in the in the region where rain fall is scanty then provisions are made for rain water collection and harvesting.

SUN: Our sole source of maximum free energy is the Sun and role of proper Sunlight has been well established by the modern sciences as well as ancients. Sunlight has three kinds of rays – they are called ultra violet, white light and infrared rays. White light consists of seven colours. These seven colors can be seen in the rainbow after the rain. They are V.I.B.G.Y.O.R or Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red. The rays shorter in wavelength than red light are called infra red rays and longer wavelength than violet rays are called ultra violet rays. Ultra violet rays kills harmful germs and are abundant in the morning light. Infra red rays are harmful and are abundant when the Sun is setting. Main door of the house, ventilation, windows, veranda are planed accordingly to accommodate geological situation and atmospheric conditions to maintain internal heating and cooling.

AIR: We all know that every living being requires fresh air. Its proper circulation and its freshness has to be maintained. In order to have proper ventilation, relative humidity, open space, veranda, height, size and position of ventilators, windows and doors, and height of the roof is decided.

SPACE: Internal space of a building should be utilized in such a manner that it should not obstruct the ventilation and entry of Sun light. Therefore the height of the ground floor, planning upper stories, multiplex, cupboards, other internal fixtures, placement of furniture, bed etc. are decided accordingly.

hi dear ones,

Panchagavya

In Sanskrit, Panchagavya means the blend of five products obtained from cow. Panchagavya is made from five products of the cow — its dung, urine, milk, ghee and curd. Since ages Panchagavya is being used by Hindus in traditional rituals. The uses and healing properties of different components of Panchagavya are :

  • Cow Dung : Cow dung is anti-septic. It has anti-bacterial and fungicidal action. Thus a filtrate of the suspension made by thoroughly mixing cow dung and water forms one of the main ingredients of skin ointments, which are useful in serious skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and gangrene.
  • Cow Urine : The Cow ‘s urine, which is being sold under the label ‘Gift of the Cow’, is well known for its medicinal property. Cow’s urine has been described in Ayurveda as a therapeutic agent.
  • Cow Milk : According to Ayurveda, cow milk provides special and unique nutrition that cannot be derived from any other type of food. Cow milk, when digested properly, nourishes all the tissues, promotes balanced emotions, and helps to balance all the doshas. It is one of the most important foods to promote Ojas (the force that maintains life).
  • Cow Ghee : In Ayurveda, cow’s Ghee is believed to be the best for human consumption. It is full of nutritive qualities and an ideal diet for these heart patients who suffer due to excessive cholesterol in their blood. Its regular consumption enhances physical and mental strength, keeps the body healthy and increases the potency of the body. It is not only nutritive, but also helps in taking out the impurities from the body. It enhances eyesight, keeps muscles and tendons healthy, and bone sturdy yet supple.
  • Curd/Dahi : Curd is a byproduct of cow milk. The Sanskrit name is for curd is dahi. All the leading practitioners of Ayurveda, including Charaka and Sushruta, have written on its qualities and usefulness. It is considered as one of the most wholesome food items throughout the world. Curd has its therapeutic value in many diseases. It has been described as a tonic and is credited with the properties that prevent premature aging. Curd also brings relief to patients of diarrhoea and dysentery and is recommended in chronic specific and non-specific colitis.

Panchagavya is also a traditional method, used to safeguard plants and soil micro-organisms and to increase plant production. Panchagavya application is found to be more profitable than recommended fertilizer application and chemical spray. The modified versions of panchakavya (unique liquid organic fertilizer) used for organic farming have been standardized by experimental trials.

hi dear ones,

These are very few classical musical instruments traditionally used in INDIA.

Baja (Harmonium)

Bansuri (Flute)

Bul Bul Tarang

Chimta (Tong)

Dhol (Bhangara Drum)

Dholak (folk Drum)

Dilruba (Bowed)

Esraj (Bowed)

Ghungaru (Dance Bells)

Harmonium

Khanjeera, Khanjira

Khartal, Kartal

Manjeera, Manjira

Mridangam

Naal

Nadaswaram

Nagaswaram

Pakhavaj

Santoor, Santur

Sarod, Sarode

Shankha

Shehnai, Shahnai

Shruti Box

Sitar

Surbahar

Swarpeti, Surpeti

Tabla

Tanpura (Tambura, Tamboora)

Tar Shehnai

Vichitra (Vichiter) Veena

hi dear ones,

FOLK DANCES in INDIA

Folk dances are performed for every possible occasion, to celebrate the arrival of seasons, birth of a child, a wedding and festivals .

The folk dances are extremely simple with minimum of steps or movement. Indian folk dances are full of energy and vitality. Some dances are performed separately by men and women while in some performances men and women dance together. On most occasions, the dancers sing themselves, accompanied by artists with instruments. Each form of folk dance has a specific costume and rhythm. Most of the costumes, worn for folk dances, are colorful with extensive jewels and designs.

Gaur Dance

Gaur dance is a popular folk dance of Madhya Pradesh dances. Gaur dance is popular in the Sing Marias or Tallaguda Marias of South Bastar. Men put headdresses with stringed ‘cowries’ and plumes of peacock feathers and make their way to the dancing ground. Women ornamented with brass fillets and bead necklaces with their tattooed bodies also join the gathering. The men beat the drums, tossing the horns and feathers of their headgears to the rising tempo that gives the dance a wilder touch.

Muria Dances

The Muria tribes of North Bastar area are trained in all types of their community dances. At the start of dance sequences they begin with an invocation to the phallic deity of their tribe and the founder of the Ghotul institution. The site chosen for the dance is near the Ghotul compound. During marriages, the Muria boys and girls perform “Har Endanna” dance. Their “Hulki” dance is the most beautiful of all the dances while the “Karsana” dance is performed for fun and enjoyment. In the Hulki dance, boys move in a circular fashion while the girls make their way through them.

Saila Dance

The young boys of Chattisgarh perform Saila dance during the post harvest time. Saila is a stick-dance and is popular among the people of Sarguja, Chhindwara and Betul districts. In this region the Saila dance is also known as Danda Nach or Dandar Pate. Saila dance comprises over half a dozen varieties The Saila dance often comes out with many variations and much buffoonery. Sometimes the dancers form a circle, each standing on one leg and supporting him by holding on to the man in front. Then they all hop together round and round.

Karma Dance

The Karma dance is very popular among the Gonds and the Baigas of Chhattisgarh and the Oraons of Madhya Pradesh. The Karma dance is associated with the fertility cult and is related to the Karma festival that falls in the month of August. The Karma dance symbolizes coming of green branches in tress during the spring season. There are other variants of the Karma. The songs associated with these variants differ with each pattern.

Kaksar Dance

Kaksar dance is performed during the festival period. It is popular among the Abhujmarias of Bastar. Kaksar dance is performed in hope of reaping a rich harvest. To invoke the blessings of the deity, young boys and girls perform Kaksar (a group dance). Boys put on a peculiar costume of a long white robe while girls are clad in all their finery. The Kaksar dance presents a unique opportunity to boys and girls to choose their life partners.

Chhau (Bihar)

Chhau is a popular folk dance of Bihar. Since masks form an important feature of this dance it is called ‘Chhau’, which means mask. All the Chhau performers hold swords and shields while performing. The stages are decorated and brightly lit by torches, lanterns and flickering oil lamps. The musical instruments used are the Dhol (a cylindrical drum), Nagara (a huge drum) and Shehnai (reed pipes). Men and boys perform the Chhau dance. Chhau dance is full of energy and strength. It is interesting to note that the entire body of the dancer is engaged as a single unit. This body language of the dancer has to be poetic and powerful.

Brita Dance (West Bengal)

Brita dance is one of the most popular folk dances of Bengal. Usually the barren women of the region perform the Brita dance to invoke the blessings of the Gods so that their wishes are fulfilled. Traditionally this dance is performed after a person recovers from a contagious disease like small pox.

Kali Naach is yet another popular folk dance of the region. The Kali dance is performed to invoke the blessings of Goddess Kali. While performing the Kali Naach, the performers wear a mask, purified by mantras and dances to the accompaniment of a sword.

Dalkhai (Orissa)

‘Dalkhai’ dance is a popular folk dance among the women folks the tribal people of Sambalpur, Orissa. Dalkhai Dance is performed during the time of festivals. In the Dalkhai dance the men usually play the musical instruments. Chaiti Ghora is a dummy horse version of the Dalkhai dance and is popular in the fishing communities. The performers of this dance style are generally men.

Goti Puas (Orissa)

Goti Pua is yet another popular folk dance of east India (Orissa). The credit of popularizing this folk dance largely goes to Ramchandradeva, the Raja of Khurda, (Orissa). He was an enlightened ruler and a great patron of art and culture. It was due to his initiatives that the tradition of Goti Pua (boy dancers) began. It is interesting to note that the Odissi dance evolved from a curious amalgamation of both mahari and goti pua dance styles.

Bihu (Assam)

Bihu is a popular folk dance of Assam is called Bihu. The Bihu dance is an integral part of the Bihu festival of Assam. The Bihu festival is celebrated in mid-April, during the harvesting time and lasts for about a month. Young men and girls perform the Bihu dance together to the accompaniment of drums and pipes. Love forms the subject matter of the songs that are sung during the performance. The dances are performed in circles or parallel rows.

The Zemis, Zeliangs and several other tribes of Assam have a number of folk dances. Most of these folk dances are performed during the harvest period. Similarly, the Naga tribals too have their harvest dances and celebrations. “Khamba Lim” is one such folk dance and is performed by two groups of men and women who stand in two rows. Another popular Naga folk dance is “Akhu”.

Hajgiri (Tripura)

Hajgiri is a famous folk dance of Tripura. Hajgiri dance is performed by young girls who display a series of balancing skills and instruments of their kind. In Tripura dances are a part of people’s efforts and ceremony to appease the goddess Lakshmi. It is to ensure good harvest. Tribal people of Tripura and other adjoining states make use of the compounds of their own houses as dancing grounds during main festivals.

Nongkrem (Meghalaya)

‘Nongkrem’ is an important folkdance of Meghalaya. The Khasis tribe of Meghalaya also celebrates the ripening of paddy for threshing, by dances and songs.

Dhol-Cholom (Manipur)

One of the instruments that dominate Manipuri dances is the drum. Dhol Cholom, a drum dance is one of the dances performed during Holi in Manipur. The Thang-ta dance of Manipur was an evolved from the martial arts drills promoted by the kings of Manipur. The dance is exciting and is performed by young men holding swords and shields.

In Arunachal Pradesh, many dance and songs are performed, based on the stories of Buddha. The performers of these folk dances wear masks of demons or animals, inspired from Buddha stories. Most of these folk dances are performed in Buddhist monasteries during festivals.

Dumhal (Jammu & Kashmir)

Dumhal is a popular dance of Kashmir. This dance is performed with long colorful robes, tall conical caps (studded with beads and shells). Dumhal dance is accompanied by songs which the performers themselves sing. It is supported by drums. There is an interesting tradition associated with Dumhal dance where the performers of this dance place a banner into the ground at a fixed location and they begin to men dance around this banner.

Hikat (Himachal Pradesh)

Hikat is a popular dance of Himachal Pradesh, performed by women. The Hikat dance is performed in pairs and the participants extend their arms to the front, holding each other’s wrists. The dancers keep their bodies inclined back and make round of the same place.

In the Kulu valley of Himachal Pradesh Dussehra is celebrated with great grandeur and splendor. Singing and dancing form an important part of this festivity. Here, there are dances for different occasions and collectively all dances are called Natio.

Namagen (Himachal Pradesh)

Namagen is a dance performance usually held during autumnal hue celebrations. The most prominent dance amongst these is the Gaddis. In this dance the costumes are largely woolen.

Hurka Baul (Uttaranchal)

Some of the seasonal folk dances of Uttaranchal are Jhumeila, the Chaufula of Garhwal and the Hurka Baul of Kumaon. The Hurka Baul dance is performed during the cultivation of paddy and maize. The name of the dance is derived from Hurka, the drum which is the only musical accompaniment and baul, the song. In the Hurka Baul dance the singer narrates the story of battles and heroic deeds, the performers enter from two opposite sides and enact the stories in a series of crisp movements. The rural folk form two rows and move backwards in harmony, while responding to the tunes of the song and the rhythm of the players.

Chholiya is yet another famous folk dance of Kumaon, Uttaranchal. The Chholiya dance is performed during marriages. As the procession of marriage proceeds to the bride’s house, the male dancers, armed with swords and shields, dance animatedly.

Bhangra (Punjab)

Bhangra is one of the most popular and energetic dances of India. Bhangra is performed by men folks during Baisakhi. It is among the most energetic and captivating dances of India and includes tricks and athletic feats. During the Bhangra performance the drummer is surrounded by men dressed in lungis and turbans. Luddi is yet another folk dance of the Punjab, performed by men folk. Luddi is performed to celebrate victory. In the Luddi dance the try to copy the movement of a snake’s head.

The dance performed by the women folk of Punjab is called the ‘Gidha’. In the Gidha dance a woman or a pair of women dance while the others surrounding her clap in rhythm. The Gidha dance is performed during the festival of Teeyan to welcome the monsoons (rains). This dance also includes a step when women go round and round with feet planted at one place. Jhoomer is a dance of graceful pace. This dance is also performed in a circle. Dancers dance around a single drummer standing in the centre.

Dhamyal (Haryana)

Dhamyal or Dhup is one of the most popular folk dances of Haryana. Dhamyal dance is performed either by men alone or with women. A circular drum (Dhup) is played lightly by the male dancers. The spring season is a time of celebration in Haryana. The celebration is done usually after the work in the fields has been done.

Padayani (Kerala)

Padayani is one of the most colorful and popular dances of Southern Kerala. Padayani is associated with the festival of certain temples, called Padayani or Paddeni. Such temples are in Alleppey, Quilon, Pathanamthitta and Kottayam districts. The main Kolams (huge masks) displayed in Padayani are Bhairavi (Kali), Kalan (god of death), Yakshi (fairy) and Pakshi (bird).

Padayani involves a series of divine and semi divine imitation, putting Kolams of different shapes and colors. In the performance of Padayani, dancers, actors, singers and instrumentalists play an important role. The actors or dancers wear Kolams that are huge headgears, with many projections and devices and a mask for the face or a chest piece to cover the breast and abdomen of the performer.

Kummi (Tamil Nadu)

Kummi is a popular folk dance of Tamil Nadu. Kummi dance is performed by tribal women during festivals. Kummi is a simple folk dance where dancers form circles and clap in rhythmic way.

Kolattam

‘Kollattam’ or the stick dance is one of the most popular dances of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Kolattam is derived from Kol (a small stick) and Attam (play). It is also called as Kolannalu or Kolkolannalu. Kolattam dance is a combination of rhythmic movements, songs and music and is performed during local village festivals. Kolattam is known by different names in different states of India. The Kolattam group consists of dancers in the range of 8 to 40. The stick, used in the Kolattam dance, provides the main rhythm.

Perini

The Perini Thandavam is a male dance of the warriors. As a part of tradition, the warriors performed this dominant dance in front of the idol of Nataraja or Lord Shiva, before leaving for the battlefield. This is popular in some parts of Andhra Pradesh state. In earlier times the rulers of the Kakatiya dynasty patronized this form of dance. The Perini dance is performed to the accompaniment of the beat of the drums.

Thapetta Gullu (Andhra Pradesh)

Thapetta Gullu is a folk dance form of Srikakulam district, Andhra Pradesh. In the Thapetta Gullu dance more than ten persons participate. The participants or performers sing songs in the praise of local goddess. While performing the Thapetta Gullu dance, the dancers use drums, hanging around their necks. The dancers wear tinkling bells around their waist.

Dollu Kunitha (Karnataka)

Dollu Kunitha is a popular drum dance of Karnataka state. In the Dollu Kanitha dance, large drums are adorned with colored clothes and hang around the necks of men. The songs used in this dance usually have religious and battle fervor. The main emphasis is on quick and light movement of the feet and legs. The Dollu Kunitha dance forms a part of the ritualistic dances of the Dodavas of Karnataka.

Ghode Modni (Goa)

The culture of Goa bears strong European influence as it was ruled by the Portuguese for many years. Ghode Modni dance portrays the brave deeds of the Goan warriors. In the Ghode Modni (dummy horse presentation) dance the delightfully dressed dancers perform dances, armed with swords. During the Ghode Modni celebrations people are in a mood for fun and frolic. Elaborate parades and spectacular processions are taken out, accompanied by dances of boys and girls.

Lava Dance of Minicoy (Lakshadweep)

Lava dance is a colorful and energetic dance of the Minicoy Island of Lakshadweep. During the Lava dance performance the dancers are dressed in multi-hued costumes and a headgear. They also carry a drum. The dancers perform to the rhythmic beats of drums and songs.

Tarangmel (Goa)

Tarangmel is an energetic and youthful dance of Goa. The Tarangmel dance is usually performed during Dussehra and Holi celebrations. During Dussehra and Holi, the energetic young girls and boys throng the streets in colorful group with flags and streamers (tarang). This gathering of young people is an invitation to everyone to join in the festive spirit. The musical instruments used during Tarangmel are ‘romut’, ‘dhol’ and ‘tasha’.

Dandiya (Rajasthan)

Dandiya is a popular folk dance of Rajasthan. Dressed in colorful costumes the performers play skillfully with big sticks in their hands. Dandiya dance is accompanied by the musical instrument called the ‘Meddale’ played by the drummer in the centre.

The Bhil tribal of Rajasthan perform a variety of dances. All these folk dances correspond to the agricultural cycle. The Ghumer dance, Raika and Jhoria are some examples of this type of dance. The Gher dance is a favorite and popular dance of the Mina tribe who are similar to the Bhils while Valar is typical dance of the Garasias of Rajasthan.

Tera Tali (Rajasthan)

Tera Tali is another famous folk dance of Rajasthan. It is performed by two or three women of the ‘Kamar’ tribe. The women folk sit on the ground while performing the Tera Tali which is an elaborate ritual with many other rituals in it. An interesting part of the Tera Tali dance is tying of metal cymbals (Manjiras) to different parts of the body, mostly on the legs. The Tera Tali dancers hold cymbals in their hands and strike them in a rhythmic manner. On many occasions the women clasp a sword in between their teeth and balance a decorative pot on their head.

Dindi And Kala

Dindi and Kala are devotional dances of Maharashtra. In these dances the playful attitude of Lord Krishna is presented. Dindi is a small drum. The musicians, comprising ‘Mridangam’ player and a vocalist, stand in the center and give the dancers the necessary musical background. Men and women folk perform the dance on the rhythmic music. This dance is usually performed on the Ekadashi day in the Hindu month of Kartik.

Garba

Garba is the leading dance of women in Gujarat. The Garba dance is associated with the fertility cult. The Garba dance is performed throughout nine nights of Navaratri, an autumn festival. Women folk come out into the open and with perforated earthen pots holding lighted lambs poised on the head sing, clap and dance a simple, circular dance, in honor of the Goddess Amba. When men also dance by singing and clapping the dance is known as Garbi.

Tippani is a popular folk dance of Saurashtra. Tippani is performed by women laborers in parts of Saurashtra.

The Dhangari Gaja Dance is performed by Dhangars of Maharashtra to please their God for blessings. The Dhangari Gaja dance is performed in the traditional Marathi dresses – Dhoti, Angarakha and Pheta, accompanied by colorful handkerchiefs. Dancers move around a group of drum players.

Koli (Maharashtra)

The Koli dance derives its name from the Koli tribe of Maharashtra. The dances of Kolis incorporate all elements of their surroundings. The Koli dance is performed by both men and women – divided into two groups. The main story of the dance is enacted by the smaller group of men and women. In this dance the Kolin or fisherwoman makes advances to the Kolis or fishermen.