(Last Updated on : 01/07/2010)
The folk songs, folk music and folk dances form the colourful and vibrant culture of Pauri Garhwal District and reflect its traditional cultural richness. As the life of the people of this district of Uttarakhand
is closely associated with nature and religion, the folk activities are closely associated with these features in representation of the inherent customs and traditions of the people. Folk songs of Pauri Garhwal District reflect a basic simplicity and uncomplicated emotions, largely derived from the environment of peace, tranquility and the open nature all around. The themes of songs are understandably linked with various agricultural activities and their love for the land. Moreover, certain socio-economic problems figure in the folk songs of the region as well. It includes problems like floods, droughts and ill treatment of the people. Some of the popular folk songs narrate stories of bravery and legends.
The tradition of folk songs is much alive in the rural areas of Puri Garhwal District. In villages, women sing these folk songs while working in the fields or collecting fodder in forests. There are many styles of group singing, sometimes, accompanied by rhythmic dances. These include "Jhoda" and "Thadya". "Khuded" songs echo the sad feeling of young bride, who is leaving her paternal home. "Mandals" songs are usually sung on the occasion of marriage, thread ceremony and other "sanskars". On the other hand, "Panwaras" songs are composed to record heroic deeds and sung in praise of worriers.
Culture of Pauri Garhwal District also includes various forms of folk dances. Folk dances of the region are mainly for entertainment, recreation and praising the local Gods. Generally, these are performed in groups. Some dances are accompanied by folk songs and they carry the same name. These folk dances are mainly influenced by the devotional attachment of the people and the association of Pandavas
with the region of Garhwal Himalaya
. In religious folk dances, the dance of 'Pashwa', a person carrying local God's spiritual traces, on the 'Jagar' songs are most common. 'Jagari' directs these dances and 'Pashwa' (the dancer) dances as per the 'Varta' (the story songs) of the particular God or Goddess. 'Pandava dances' are based on the story of Pandavas in Mahabharata
and these are group dances played to the rhythm of musical instruments in an open ground. Further, the folk dances of the district also represent the rich social traditions and joys of the life. 'Thadiya', 'Chauffulla', 'Sarron', 'Chepli', etc. are some of the popular folk dances of the region. 'Thadiya' dance is generally performed in fairs and festivals, in which the dancers are divided in two groups. 'Chauffulla' dance has a distinguished place amongst all the Garhwali dances. 'Chauffulla' means 'blossoming of flowers all around'.
The folk music of this district is generally rhythmic which is reflected in the dynamic style of folk dances. Songs related to 'Sansakaras' and seasons are melodious and the rest are musical as they are played on the rhythm of the musical instruments. Some of the very popular traditional folk musical instruments of this area are 'Dhol and Damoun', 'Daur and Thali', 'Turri', 'Ransingha', 'Dholki', 'Masakbhaja', 'Bhankora', etc. These arethe main folk musical instruments of the area and are played on most of the occasions.