… Post Admin / March 24, 2023 / Photo Credit: pngtree


Chhapeli is a traditional folk dance from the state of Uttarakhand in India.. During festivals and other significant cultural events, women typically do this group dance. The female dancer in the chhapeli style performs while holding a mirror in her left hand and a handkerchief of an unusual colour in her right.

The Hudukka is a primary instrument used in the dance, which is accompanied by the Hurka, Manjira, and Flute, which are all played by the performers to produce a rhythmic beat while dancing. The dancers move in a circular formation while executing a variety of moves and motions that are timed to the music and dhol damau beat.

Chhapeli is the powerful dance which is frequently done during the harvest season because it is said to bring luck and prosperity. The dance unites people in a celebration of their shared culture and customs, serving as a symbol of solidarity and community spirit.

Chhapeli is presently performed by dance companies and cultural organisations throughout India and the rest of the world due to its increasing popularity outside of Uttarakhand in recent years.

Folk Dance - Chhapeli

Photo Credit: pngtree

Popular Folk Dances

The folk dances of Uttarakhand that are done on various occasions include Barada Nati, Chanchari, Chhapeli, Choliya Dance, Jagars, Jhora, Langvir Nritya, Pandav Nritya, Ramola, Shotiya Tribal Dances and Thali Jadda Jhainta,

These are only a few of the numerous varieties of folk dances that exist in Uttarakhand. The state’s various communities and regions each have their own musical and dance traditions and styles. While people sing along to the folk songs, these folk dances are accompanied by traditional instruments of Uttarakhand.

Barada Nati

Barada Nati is a well-known traditional dance from Uttarakhand, a state in northern India. It is a well-known folk dance from the Jaunsar Bhawar region of Tehsil Chakrata in the Dehradun district. It is presented throughout a variety of festive occasions and social gatherings. The dance is typically performed in the evening before some religious festivals or at social gatherings. A group of 12 to 16 persons, both men and women, perform it while moving in a circular motion to a rhythmic beat. The dancers dress in traditional clothing, which includes vibrant skirts and shirts for women and dhoti-kurta for males.

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Chanchari is a traditional folk dance of Uttarakhand that is performed by women at weddings and other celebratory events. People in the Danpur Patti area of the Bageshwar District in Kumaon do the dance known as chanchari. The dance is often performed in a circle, with the dancers holding hands and moving in unison with the beat of the music. In a semicircle, dancers of both genders express their joy by gradually quickening the speed.

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Choliya Dance

Choliya Dance has a long history, going back to over a thousand years, when it originated in the warring Khasiya Kingdom of Khandesh, and marriages were conducted with swords. The Chand kings arrived in the 10th century, bringing the people together. In Nepal, the term Khasa remains synonymous with Kashatrya, and even in Khasdesh, they adopted the traditions of the Rajputs, who were themselves considered Kshatryas. Keeping the old tradition alive, the Rajputs dance this at their weddings as a part of the marriage procession itself, led by the male dancers who go on dancing until they reach the bride’s house.

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Jagars is a traditional folk dance of Uttarakhand, a state located in the northern part of India. Jaggar is a singing and dance style. Folk songs are primarily sung at Puja ceremonies as a form of tribute to the local deities, who are regarded as the area’s protectors. The dancers, who are frequently men dressed traditionally, walk in a circular pattern throughout the Jagar performance while humming religious melodies and playing traditional instruments like the dhol, damau, and ransingha. In addition, the dancers hold a lantern or torch in their hands to symbolise the light of the gods.

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Jhora folk dance is performed by all communities. When this community dance is held, it is a time when all boundaries of caste are broken, aside from the village where the high and lower castes have separate Jhoras. Singing is usually a part of the dancing at fairs, and it grows louder as the dance continues. These dances can take place either morning or evening, and they are used to welcoming the spring, normally at fairs and sometimes at weddings. Six is the least number of people, though it can grow to 200, with men and women joining in. Moving in a circular pattern, they link arms and delicately lean their bodies forward.

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Langvir Nritya

Langvir Nritya is a traditional folk dance from the state of Uttarakhand in India. During the Harela festival, it is performed by men in the Kumaon area of Uttarakhand. The dance is called after langurs, which are revered in the area as sacred animals. This is an acrobatic dance that is performed only by men. A long bamboo pole needs to stay steady when doing this dance. The dancer-acrobat climbs the pole and places himself on top while laying on his stomach. While the dancer balances on top of the pole and performs other feats with his hands and feet, musicians around play the Dhol and Damana.

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Pandav Nritya

Pandav Nritya, a well-known folk dance of Uttarakhand, is presented throughout the state’s Kumaon area. It is called after the Pandavas, a group of five brothers who appear in the Mahabharata, a famous Hindu epic. A group of people who are dressed like the Pandavas in elaborate masks and costumes perform the dance. They also carry swords and shields, which they used to act out scenarios from the Mahabharata during the dance.

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Ramola dance is a popular folk dance form from Kumaon region. The people of Kumaon are filled with joy when Spring comes. Bards, moving from location to location, talk about its beauty while playing a sarangi or dholak: “Oh my love, oh my beloved, Spring has secretly arrived. Let's go quickly to the valley of flowers to play the Phag together. People come together during the Holi festival, leaving their worries behind and engaging in a month-long celebration, singing hundreds of classical, semiclassical, and folk songs, accompanied by the Harmonium, Tabla, Dholak and Manzira (cymbals).

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Shotiya Tribal Dances

Shotiya Tribal Dances are the special dances of Bhotiya tribal. Some of the popular Shotiya tribal dance forms are Dhurang and Dhuring, which are associated with death ceremonies. The Bhotiya tribe believed that the soul of the deceased resided in the body of a goat or another creature, and they sought to free it. This dance is similar to the pastorals of Himachal Pradesh or the hunting dance of Nagaland.

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Thali Jadda Jhainta

The Thali is a graceful dance only for women, while the Jadda and Jhainta are dances where males and females dance together with wild enthusiasm. The entire region has a colorful range of folk dancing. Even after a long day of labor, the Kumaonis have strength that allows them to dance. Dance and music are key elements of their life, helping to satisfy their emotional and social needs, with dancing keeping them feeling young and vibrant. The Kumaonis have proven this old saying correct.

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