Most Popular Traditional Folk Dances of Rajasthan

Rajasthan is a colorful state popular for ancient customs & traditions. This is showcased in the colorful folk music & dance performances. Each dance form in this state has a significance to history & culture. They are lively, vibrant and full of energy which is why it captivates you.

Here is the list of most famous folk dance of Rajasthan:

1. Ghoomar

The recently became an internationally recognized folk dance form from Rajasthan. The dance involves graceful moves like clapping & swaying the hands and twirling around. It originated from Bhil community and mainly performed as entertainment for Kings in ancient times.

Now, it is performed for festivals and social events. Women wear colorful ghagra choli and odhani (veil) and make coordinated dance steps to popular traditional musical instruments. Ghoomar is the world’s best local folk dance form that leaves viewers entertained.


2. Kalbeliya

Popularly called the snake charmer dance. This dance performance is accredited by UNESCO as an Intangible Heritage. Women are dressed in ethnic attire and dance to folk music that men play. Popular instruments include dholak (a hand drum), khanjari and pungi (a percussion & woodwind musical instruments).

The Sapera Dance consists of snake – line dance movements that namesake tribal women perform. The steps look best in the ‘angrakhi’ & odhani on a long skirt that turns around gracefully.

Kalbeliya Dance

3. Bhavai

Sometime you might have seen women balancing a number of pots on their head and dancing around. This is exactly that dance ritual by specific Rajasthani communities – Jats, Meena, Bhil, Kumhar & Kalbelia.

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It is a fascinating stunt that these traditional artistes perform. Some balance up to eight earthen or brass pots on top of their head. While balancing the pots they turn around within the circumference of a plate or a glass. Male performers play music instruments including sarangi, dholak & harmonium and sing along.

Bhavai Dance

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4. Kathputli

The dance is done by puppets held by the strings that the artists control. This culture program is similar to a puppet show and consists of a Kath (wood) & a Putli (doll). Many hundreds of centuries back the Bhat tribes created this dance form.

The artists also create voices like puppets for the dolls to converse. They narrate mythological stories of tribes and some are also about the country’s social issues.

Kathputli Dance, Rajasthan

5. Kachchhi Ghodi

This is a famous folklore genre showcasing tales of local bandits in the region from the dance form. It was first started in the region called Shekhawati and performed by men artists in traditional costumes – Kurta-dhoti & turbans.

They ride on a puppet horse during the dance performance. There is background music including flute & percussion rhythm. This dance is also performed at various social gatherings and weddings. This energetic dance includes mock sword fights that signifies bravery & chivalry.

Kachchhi Ghodi

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6. Gair

This dance form originated from the Bhil community performed on major festivals like Janmashtami & Holi. Traditional artists including men & women are decked up in attractive vibrant and colorful costumes. Women wear ghagra choli while men wear lengthy traditional attire with a stick, arrow and sword.

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Folk music is played on various traditional instruments while dancers perform attractive steps in clockwise & anti-clockwise circles. It is a dramatic performance especially when men performers hit sticks to the strong rhythm.

Gair Dance

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7. Chari

This dance form is symbolic of joy started by Saini community in Ajmer and the Gujjar community of Kishagarh. This ritualistic folk performance is performed by females for special happy occasions like weddings, festivals or when a male child is born.

Traditional artistes perform a stunt balancing on top of their head brass pots (Chari) with a burning lamp inside. Music instruments including nagada, dholak & harmonium play alongside.

Chari Dance

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8. Chang

This dance form is also referred to as ‘Dhamal’ where dancers perform fast-paced steps to the rhythm of Chang. This is a unique instrument like a tambourine. This is an enthusiastic folk dance performance started in the Bikaner, Churu, Jhunjhunu and Sikar known as the Shekhawati region.

In this dance form, the main segment in celebrations of Holi Festival in Rajasthan men dressed in traditional women costumes sing, dance and do the Ghoomar carouse that captures the viewers.

chang dance

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Want to be a part of traditional folk dance of Rajasthan. But, confused how to reach Rajasthan. Contact the travel agency of Palace on Wheels train, they will provide you the packages for Rajasthan.

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