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Shubhyatra >> Jammu and Kashmir >> Music and Dance


Listen To : Sufiana Kalam and Chakir
Popular Dance : Hafiz Nagma and Rouf
Musical Instruments : Santoor, Rebeb, Sitar, Nagar and Tumbakhnar
Best Time To Visit : Ladakh Festival in September
Dance of Kashmir
Traditional Dance by Kashmiri Artists

Music and Dance – Feast For your Soul

In the state of Jammu and Kashmir dance and music has very old roots that has find mention in many ancient historical books including the Rajtarangini written in 12th century AD by a prince named Kalhana. Most of the traditional music of the state is believed to be influenced from the Central Asia where from Kashmiris have adopted many musical instruments. Sufiana Kalam and music is specifically attributed to Iran and is said to arrived to Kashmir in 15th century. With the passage of time the classical Indian music has also left its traces on the people of state. Listen to Kashmiri music and you will find it entirely different from the rest of India.

Music of Maharajahs

Cultural Dance of Kashmir
Cultural Performance by Kashmiri Dancers

From centuries music in Jammu and Kashmir was nurtured by the people even at the most turbulent times. The most popular musical instruments are santoor, rabab, sitar, nagara and tumbakhnar. The singer who always plays the santoor or harmonium is accompanied by dehar (troupe) and sit in the semi-circle and audiences always sit in front of them. In marriage parties tumbakhnar is the only and most popular instrument that is played by women. Participate in any marriage ceremony in Kashmir and you will find women singing among the beats of tumbakhnar that is similar to dolak but surfaced only on one side. Sufiana Music is the most popular among the mystics in Kashmir and is considered as the soul of Kashmir music.

Dance of Mystics

Kashmiri Dance
A Women Displaying Local Kashmiri Dance

From the very earlier times dance has a very close relationship with Sufism in Kashmir. Even today at many places you can find people jumping and dancing on the shrines of Sufi saints while singing the devotional songs. The other dances are Hafiz Nagma a dance performed earlier by females now dominated by males is based on Sufiana Kalam. Bache Nagma - this dance is performed by the boys at the time of harvest and even at the marriage occasions, this dance include the balancing act of holding a glass full of water on forehead while dancing. The most popular form of Kashmiri dance is Bandhpather in this dance all the dancers are clad in white long Kurtis with kamarband and white turbans. The protagonist narrates the tale and all other people dance within a circle. Spectators are always sitting outside the circle and looking at the dance. The females dance at special occasion like festivals and fairs especially on Eid and this dance is called Rouf. In Rouf all the women are wearing pherans of different colors with exquisite zari embroidery, forming the two troupes facing each other, they move their steps to and fro in a rhythmic style while holding each others hand and sing the songs that are related to festival. To experience the Kashmir Rouf attend in any cultural festival in Kashmir and Rouf is the most essential part of it.

The people of Ladakh have a rich tradition of dance, where the Lamas perform the mask dance in Hemis Monastery. Khatok Chenmo, Kompa Tsum- tsak, Jabro, Chaams and alley yaato are other dances performed in Ladakh region. Visit the ladakh during the festivals and it is the ideal time to experience the dances of Ladakh where the masked dancers in unbelievable costumes dance in the full zeal among the sound of flutes and conchs. Geetru is the Pahari dances - song performed at the times of feast and festivals and marriages by the rural folks in the Jammu region. Both male and female perform in this type of dance and there is no time restriction for it.

Holidays with Santoor Music

Cultural Performance by Kashmiri Artist
Cultural Performance by Kashmiri Artist

Plan a tour to this part of world and enjoy the music that captivates your senses and participate in the bandhpathr you will find it more interesting than dancing in Brazilian Carnivals. Listen to Sufiana Kalam and ask any Kashmir to interpret and you will find it full of capsules of philosophy and wisdom. Rouf is the treat to your eyes as well as ears. Come and enjoy the music and dance of J and K.

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Top 5 Highlights of J & K Music and Dance

Kshmiri Dance

Symphony That Captivates
In Jammu and Kashmir music and dance has always been the source of inspiration for tourists along its natural beauty to visit the state and enjoy the Kashmir music on the banks of Dal Lake that makes the soothing environment for music lovers.

Dancing To The Rhythmic Tunes
Watch the dance of all the three regions and learn one that rocks you most. The Ladakhi dance is the most beautiful with all the colorful costume and masks that make you feel like participating in carnival.

Color Your Holidays Pink
Visit the state at the time of festivals and it is the most appropriate time when you can experience the music and dance performances of the leading artists of the state.

Santoor – An Instrument With 100 Strings
The most unique feature of the Kashmir music is santoor, a 100 stringed musical instrument that originated from the valley and is famous throughout the world today.

Rouf – Steeped To Antiquity
Rouf is the oldest form of Kashmir dance and is performed only by women folk. In this form of dance two groups are made facing to each other and they move their steps rhythmically forward and backward, dance is always accompanied by song, come to experience it at the time of Eid.

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