Over the centuries, a rich and diverse tradition of song and dance emerged across the Bundelkhand region. Several local cults exist in this region independent of mainstream Hindu religious tradition. Bundeli Culture has many dimensions in the form of Folk Dances, Folk Songs, Folk Arts, Musical Instruments and many Festivals and celebrations giving opportunity to artists to demonstrate their performance. Few of the features of Bundelkhandi Dances are mentioned below.
1. Diwari : This dance in Bundelkhand is performed every year during the festival of light Diwali/Deepawali in the end of October or first week of November according to lunar calendar. In this connection the epic story goes that “in Gokul” when Lord Krishna raised Goverdhan Parvat on his finger to save the local people, they danced in joy. The dancers wear multi-coloured apparels and the chief dancer holds the peacock feathers in his hands and the rest stick those feathers in their half pants. The main instruments used in this dance are ‘Dholak’ and ‘Nagaria’ (both being a form of drums). The male dancers with long sticks show the marshal arts when the beats of drums inspire their energy and emotions. This dance is also performed as a ‘thanks giving’ after harvesting.
2. Ravala : Ravala dance in Bundelkhand is basically a dance drama. The farm labour community of Bundelkhand performs Ravala during marriages. It is performed with very funny expressions and humorous dialogues. The audiences are entertained by these expressions of dance and the dialogues of drama.
3. Badhaiya : Badhaiya is a ceremonial dance. It is performed on child birth, marriages or any other get together to celebrate happiness and joy. The collective moments of dancers show the unique expressions of their faces. With rhythm and movements they greet for the occasion.
4. Raai : Through the centuries Raai has been the folk dance which has touched its peak as a classical dance. Later, Raai degenerated its aesthetical value and lost its classical expression. Today it remains simply as a folk dance. Raai means a mustard seed. When a mustard seed is thrown into a saucer, the seed starts to swings around. This way mustard seed moves in the saucer, the dancers also swings and when the singers sing the lyrics of the song the dancers follow the beats with foot steps. It is a duet and the competition is between the beats of the drum and foot steps of the dancer. The drummer and the dancer try to win each other and this competition leads towards the bliss.
5. Horse Dance: It is a ceremonial dance performed by a trained horse with the loud beats of heave drums called Rabbi. With graceful movements, the horse follows beats of the drum with its four steps and the horse rider performs the gymnastics gestures. Typically horse dance follows the ceremonial marriage processions.
6. Pahunai : This song and dance is performed to welcome the guests in particular.
Photo Courtesy Mr. Yogesh Sarkar
For an unforgettable experience of Bundelkhandi dance and music with the ultimate regal hospitality amidst the modern luxuries. For unmatched gala evenings, feel free to contact