Gujarat Dances

Gujarat is a land of fairs and festivals which are celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy. No celebration in this state is complete without the traditional dance and music performances. Although there are several dance forms practiced here, Dandia Raas and Garbha Raas the most famous ones. These dance forms are not only famous in Gujarat but also in the entire country. The history of these dance forms dates back to the glorious era of Lord Krishna. Watching the dances of Gujarat is truly an exhilarating experience.


Most Famous Dances of Gujarat are:


Dandiya Raas

It is one of the most fascinating dances of this state. During the festival of Navratri, this dance is not only performed in Gujarat but throughout the country. This dance form is a special attraction of the festival. The festival is celebrated in honor of the nine incarnations of the Mother Goddess. Devotees fast for nine days with the days marked with puja and nights with vibrant dance performances. Not only the people but also the government of the state makes arrangements for the Dandiya dance event.  


Dandiya Raas dance form is performed in a group consisting of men and women. Both men and women wear colorful clothes specially designed for the dance. Beautifully decorated wooden sticks are used as props in the dance. Made of bamboo and painted in different vibrant colors, the sticks look beautiful. While dancing the performers hold the sticks in both the hands and strike them together on the beats of the musical instruments. The performers dance in a group forming a circle. The sticks when struck together produce melodious sound. It is a fast-paced dance which involves a great deal of energy. The Kathiawari Raas dancers of Gujarat are best known for this dance form.  


Garba Raas

It is an ancient dance form of Gujarat which is very popular among the people of this state. This dance form was popularized by Usha, the grand daughter-in-law of Lord Krishna. Originally it was known as Lasya Nritya. This dance is performed only by women. They dress up in colorful attire and do this dance in honor of Ma Jagdambe, the Mother Goddess. This dance is also performed on other religious festivals like Sharad Purnima, Holi and Vasant Panchami.


The performers carry pots on their heads while dancing. They move in circles performing to the beats of devotional songs sung in praise of the Goddess. The term Garba is derived from the word ‘Garbhadip’ meaning a lamp inside an earthen pot. Sometimes the pot is filled with water and sometimes an earthen lamp is lit inside it. The women wear colorful saris in Gujarati style while performing Garba.


Ras Dance

This dance form originated from the Ras Leela performed by Lord Krishna in Vrindavan and Gokul. Traditionally performed by men in groups, this dance is done on the melodious beats of musical instruments such as flute, zanz, cymbals and dhol. Draped in colorful traditional attire, the performers dance with great zeal.


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