Folk dances of uttar pradesh

Folk dances of uttar pradesh

Charkula Dance

One of the most spectacular folk dances of Uttar Pradesh which is widely popular in the Braj region of western Uttar Pradesh. It’s a tough act of balance where a veiled woman dancer performs with a 108 oil lamps on her head placed on a wooden pyramid platform. The songs are primarily written to praise and revere Lord Krishna who was born in this region.

The dance is usually performed on the third day of the famous Hindu festival of Holi. It is said that, Radha was born on this day and since then Charkula dance is performed in Braj. Due to the placement of lighted earthen oil lamps, the movement in this dance form are swift and graceful.


Khyal folk dance has evolved since its origin and matured into different styles which are named either on the city where they originated or on the community or author who developed them. These styles are famous across several regions with some subtle changes which help us in differentiating them from the other.


Many of us will be familiar with Raslila which has been introduced to us through mythological stories in Bhagwad Gita. The Raslila was the act where Lord Krishna danced and sang with the gopis on the banks of river Krishna in the Vrindavan region. This art form is particularly famous in western Uttar Pradesh and portrays the life tales of Krishna ranging from his childhood till his adolescence.

The art form is colorful and glossy with graceful dance movements and facial expressions. It also captures the divine love that Gopikas from Braj (Mathura) had for Krishna. Raslila also explores the relation of Krishna and Radha whose incorruptible love for each other is revered to this very day. The folk dance is performed by mandalas (group of people) who roam from one place to another playing instruments like dholak, flute and singing the legends of Lord Krishna.


Nautanki is a form of street play or skit that is popular in northern side of India especially in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.It is said that before the entry of cinema in life of common man in India, it was the only mean prevalent for entertainment. A Nautanki is consisted of folklore and mythological dramas blended with folk songs and dances. But, now it has taken other forms too.


The main genre of north Indian classical dance, developed under the Nawabs, the main theme being that of Krishna cavourting with the gopis. The performances rely on strong and energetic footwork around laikari, the intricate rhymthic compositions, accompanied by table.

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