Folk Dances of Maharastra

Folk Dances of Maharastra

  • Dance may be defined as the non-verbal form of expression or the artistic expression of emotions.
  • The remains of Bhimbetka rocks indicate that dances must have existed in the pre-historic era over 9000 years back.
  • It had been an important part of the religious rituals and ceremonies.
  • Folk dances have spread over the length and breadth of the globe.
  • Each form describe the traditional life of the region and is performed in the local specific costumes and jewelry.
  • The folk dances are performed on the every occasion, be it the arrival of a new season, a festival, the birth of a child or a wedding ceremony.
  • The folk dances are usually passed from generation to generation and are associated with social activities of the rural country-side.
  • Povada is the dance form that showcases the lifetime achievements of the Maratha ruler Shivaji Maharaj.
  • Lavani and Koli dance forms entertain the Maharashtrians with its mesmerizing music and rhythmic movements.
  • Dhangri Gaja dance pays respect to their God by the Dhangars of Sholapur.
  • Dindi and Kala are the religious folk dances, which expresses of religious ecstasy of Lord Krishna.
  • Tamasha is the folk dance that is so popular all over the state

Famous Folk Dances of Maharastra

  1. Lavani,
  2. Nakata,
  3. Koli,
  4. Lezim,
  5. Gafa,
  6. Dahikala Dasavtar or Bohada,
  7. Pavri

Dhangari Gaja

  • As the Dhangars of Sholapur district of Maharashtra herd to green pastures for grazing for their cattle, they become aware with the nature.
  • Inspired by the scenic beauty, they compose poetry, called ovi writing about the nature and their God Biruba.
  • Dhangari Gaja dance is performed by the shepherd community called the Dhangars belonging to the Sholapur district of Maharashtra.
  • The shepherds graze their cattle in the pastures and become acquainted with the nature.
  • Their bucolic life style is brought into their music and poetry.
  • The poetry consists of couples called Ovi, glorifying the birth of the God Biruba.
  • This dance is performed to appease their Lord.
  • The dancers wear colourful tunics, dhoti, and handkerchiefs and sway in sync to the beats of the drum.

Folk Dances of Maharastra

  • Dindi & Kala are the religious folk dances in Maharashtra in India, which expresses religious happiness.
  • Young women perform a variety of folk dances known as phugadis on the occasion of Mangalagouri Puja as well.

Dindi Folk Dances of Maharastra

  • This dance is a religious dance performed on the day of Ekadasi in the Kartik month.
  • This dance symbolises the devotion and love of Lord Krishna.
  • This dance portrays Lord Krishna performing naughty deeds and having a playful nature.
  • The dancers dance in sync with the drum movements known as Dindi.
  • The dance is full of energy and created enthusiasm among the dancers who dance according to the music.
  • The dancers mainly form geometric patterns and hold a flag with the symbol of the Sun or the Monkey god- Lord Hanuman.

Koli Folk Dances of Maharastra

  • Koli is the dance form of Koli fisher folk of Maharashtra, India.
  • The community has its own distinct identity and lively dances with each-other.
  • The dance incorporates elements that this community is most familiar with – sea and fishing.
  • The dance is filled with the dancers wearing costumes which represent the fisher folk community.
  • Women wear green sarees and men wear lungis.
  • The performance is in rows or pairs.
  • There are many songs used in this dance form.
  • The dancers show their hardships and struggles faced in their livelihood through this dance.

Lavani Folk Dances of Maharastra

  • The word Lavani derived from Lavanya, meaning beauty.Folk Dances of Maharastra
  • This form is a combination of dance and music, which is dealt with different and varied topics such as society, religion, politics, romance, etc.
  • Lavani is one of the most popular dances in Maharashtra.
  • The word Lavani is derived from the word “lavanya” meaning beauty.
  • Women perform this dance in their traditional attire called nauveri or a nine yard saree.
  • Women dance to the beats of the dholak or the instrument similar to a drum.
  • It is fascinating how women dance elegantly draping this nine yard saree.
  • In earlier days, this dance was performed for the relaxation of the tired soldiers of the Maratha army.

Povadas Folk Dances of Maharastra

  • Povadas are presented in the Marathi ballads form.
  • This dance form describes the events in the life of the great Maratha ruler, Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.


  • The word tamasha in Persian language means fun and entertainment.
  • The tamasha dance form has been believed to be derived from the ancient form of Sanskrit drama – the ‘Prahsana’ and the ‘Bhana’.
  • Tamasha is one more of folk dances from Maharashtra that combines romantic music along with the lavani dance.
  • Tamasha in Persian means fun and entertainment.
  • The themes of the dance are based on the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
  • There are two main forms of this Tamasha dance- one is the ballad singing and other is the theatrical performance of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu.
  • This dance also thrives in the region of Konkan and Goa

Conclusion Remark on Folk Dances of Maharastra

  • There are six popular folk dances of Maharashtra.
  • These are Lavani, DhangariGaja, Lezim, Koli, Gondhal and Tamasha dance.
  • Some of these dances like, Lezim, Koli, Gondhal and Tamasha are performed by both male and female dancers.
  • Dhangarigaja dance is performed by only males and Lavani dance is performed by only females.
  • The folk art of dancing should be kept alive with the efforts of govt. and private organisations by extending help to retain the lustre of these fading folk arts of India.
  • The folk dances need unceasingmonetary and structural backing to build and preserve our artistic traditions.
  • The dancing community should also be supported by these organizations through workshops to improve artistic skills of dancers, by providing dance training to kids, youth, organising tribal and folk dance festivals at school or college level and giving cash prizes or awards to winners in addition to launching specific schemes for the benefit of the dance community, otherwise they may losetrust in their artistic power and motivation.
  • To achieve economic advancement, people need to work together and acquire skills for sustainable livelihood.
  • Thus, strengthening of these folk art forms is very important as it is the heart of the culture of our society.

Leave a Comment