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Folk Dances of India List, Names, State wise List of Folk Dances of India

Folk Dances of India

In India, there are many different cultures and traditions. The Indian culture is highly distinctive because of its diversity in all areas. Indian folk and tribal dances are a result of various socioeconomic conditions and long-standing traditions. In India, dances are performed to express joy and festivity during the nearly daily festivals and celebrations.

Folk dances are done for every conceivable event, including weddings, the beginning of a new season, the birth of a child, and other festivals. The folk dances have a very limited number of steps and movements. The folk dances of India are vibrant and full of life. Men and women perform some dances individually while men and women dance together in other performances.

Read about: Classical Dances of India

Folk Dance Meaning

Folk dances in India represent the culture and tradition of the community from where it originated. Folk dances are usually performed during the respective community’s celebration- childbirth, festivals, weddings, etc. There are different types of Folk dances in India.

Folk Dance of India State Wise: North India


The Rauf tribe of Jammu and Kashmir has preserved this ancient dance, which is performed by males wearing long, patterned robes and towering conical hats. The dance is performed around a banner that the performers have buried in the ground at a certain area.


The dancers perform in groups while holding hands and circling one another. They move at a pace that corresponds to the tempo of the music being played. Typically, everything starts out slowly and gains up speed as the women acquire momentum.


The state of Uttarakhand is known for its particular dance style. This dance style, which is more of a narration, is practiced during maize and paddy cultivation in the state. While a singer weaves heroic tales of combat into his song, dancers bring the tales to life with the aid of their movements.


The Kumaon area of the state of Uttarakhand is home to the “Chholiya” dance style. In wedding processions, it is customary to perform it. Men dancing with swords can be seen doing so with vigour, which is why “Chholiya” is frequently referred to as “sword dance.”


One of the most well-known and upbeat dances in Punjab is called “bhangra.” It’s still unknown where this outstanding dance style came from. Although “Bhangra” is frequently thought of as a martial art, it is also claimed that farmers invented it to commemorate the harvest. Without a Bhangra performance, no celebration in the Punjab and surrounding territories is complete.


‘Dhamyal’ or ‘Dhuph’ is one of Haryana’s most well-known folk dances. Male dancers beat a round drum called a “Dhuph” while performing. After a long day of laboring in the fields, the dance is performed as a sign of celebration.

Mayur Nritya

In the state of Uttar Pradesh, this dance style is popular. Mayur Nritya, also known as peacock dance, is done by dancers who dress in a manner that makes them look like peacocks. It is carried out as a kind of adoration for Lord Krishna.


It is a dance that is done in Uttar Pradesh’s Braj district. It is said that Goddess Radha’s grandmother proclaimed the birth of her granddaughter while wearing a “Charkula,” which is essentially a multi-tiered circular pyramid. As a result, female dancers carry enormous “Charkulas” that are filled with lit oil lamps.

Rasa Lila

It is a wonderful kind of dance that is practiced throughout India. The legendary significance of this particular dance style is why Krishna worshippers value it highly. The dance was allegedly performed by Radha and her friends as well as Krishna.


The state of Punjab is where this dance style is performed. Giddha is the feminine counterpart to “Bhangra.” The goal of the dance is to convey feminine grace. The women perform while dressed in vibrant attire. Giddha is frequently accompanied by “Bolliyan,” a group of couplets.

Folk Dance of India State Wise: Central India

Gaur Dance

This dance is connected to the Chhattisgarh state’s indigenous tribes. Men dress in bright headpieces and crowns with peacock feathers for this dance. Women who have been adorned with tattoos, brass fillets, and beaded necklaces also participate in the gathering.

Muria Dance

The indigenous people of Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district are linked to this dance. An prayer to the tribe’s phallic deity commonly opens the ceremony. The Hulki and Karsana dances are also performed by the Muria people. Karsana is seen as a pastime, whereas Hulki dance is thought to be the most alluring of all dancing styles.

Saila Dance

This style of dance is distinctive to the Chhattisgarh state’s Bastar area. Sticks are used by the dancers in the unusual Saila dance to create rhythm. Rarely are the dancers seen in a circle, each supporting themselves by grasping the dancer in front of them as they stand on one leg. Then they all hop about in unison.

Karma Dance

Tribes from Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, and other parts of India do karma dance. The dance is related to the Karma festival, which takes place in the month of August, and is connected to the fertility cult. By resting their arms on the next dancer’s waist, the dancers create a circle and move in a rhythmic manner.

Kaksar Dance

Among the Bastar’s Abhujmarias, the Kaksar dance is well-liked. It is carried out in the anticipation of a bumper crop. Young boys and girls conduct Kaksar to request the deity’s blessings. The Kaksar dance allows its dancers to select their life mates from the same dancing troupe, which is an intriguing fact about the dance.


The Balochistan and Multan regions of Pakistan are where this dancing style first appeared. Jhumar is more rhythmic and slower. “Jhumar,” a performance that is frequently done by men, heralds the start of the harvest season and celebrates people’s joy.

Jawara Dance

It is related to the Madhya Pradesh state. Along with quick foot movements, the dance also requires challenging acts of balance. The women balance themselves while carrying a basket of the harvested produce above their heads.

Bhagoria Dance

The indigenous people of Madhya Pradesh carry out this ritual. Despite being a part of a special holiday that permits young people to elope, the dance has its own agricultural importance, marking the end of the harvest season.

Suwa Dance

Tribes in the state of Chhattisgarh carry it out. This unusual dance, sometimes known as the “parrot dance,” causes ladies to behave like parrots! Men can play any musical instrument of their choosing, but women and girls are typically the only ones who perform it.

Tertali Dance

The Chhattisgarh Kamar tribe performs it. Women are the only ones who can dance, and they begin by crouching. Throughout the ritual, the performers play an instrument called a “Manjira” that is connected to every part of their body, usually their legs.

Grida Dance

Grida dance is performed in the state of Madhya Pradesh during winter when the rabi crop is ready to be harvested. The dance marks the success of farmers which is celebrated among the villagers in a grand manner.

Folk Dance of India State Wise: East India


Although it has roots in West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Odisha, this dancing style is very well-known elsewhere. This dance is known as “Chhau,” which means “mask,” because masks are a key component of it. While dancing, the performers hold swords and shields in their hands.

Brita Dance

The “Brita” or “Vrita” dance is one of West Bengal’s most well-known dances. After recovering from an infectious illness—often small pox—the dance is typically performed to thank the local deity.


In some areas of Odisha, this dance is well-liked. Young women begin the dance, and subsequently males playing drums and other instruments join in. It’s interesting to note that throughout the play, the guys refer to the women as their girlfriends.


In some regions of Odisha, it is conducted. The performers in the “Gotipua” dance genre are unusual since they are clothed as ladies. The lads take the dancing form seriously, so seriously that they don’t cut their hair to make themselves look more feminine.

Bardo Chham

The small community of Sherdukpens, who reside in Arunachal Pradesh’s West Kameng District, performs it. The Sherdukpen tribe has the view that every month an evil power manifests itself to corrupt human nature. Because of this, they dance together while wearing masks of various animals to ward off those evil forces.

Folk Dance of India State Wise: North East India


The most alluring aspect of the Assamese people’s Bihu festival is this dance form. Beginning with the start of the harvest season, Bihu is observed for about 30 days.


The state of Tripura is where this dance is performed. Women and young girls balance earthen lamps and bottles on their heads while moving their lower bodies to prevent the lamps or bottles from falling. Men participate in the performance by singing and playing instruments.

Nongkram Dance

The “Nongkram” dance, which is performed by the Jaintia Hill residents of Meghalaya, is a vibrant occasion. The dance style is a method to honor the local deity.


The Bodo tribe in Assam is the main group who perform it. The dance, which is typically done by ladies, is accompanied by flutes and drums. The bagurumba dance has a long history and is thought to be influenced by the natural world.

Bhortal Dance

It is an Assamese folk dance. Cymbals are used by performers, who dance in groups of six or seven people while using them. Dancers create the distinctive beat “7hiya Nom” and do quick footwork.


In the states of Assam, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Odisha, this dance is done. Young females execute the dance, and men handle the musical accompaniment. The dancers synchronized sway back and forth while wrapping their arms around the waist of the dancer next to them.

Cheraw Dance

The Mizoram state of India hosts the performance. Women dance between the males, avoiding having their legs caught between the men’s horizontally and vertically held bamboo staves. When the bamboo staves are moved quickly, the beats are created.

Chang Lo

The Chang tribe of Nagaland performs this dance. Dancers dress like warriors and demonstrate war strategies through dance, as the custom calls for the dance to be done to commemorate an enemy’s defeat on the battlefield.

Folk Dance of India State Wise: South India


It is conducted in Kerala’s centre region. Due to the importance of color in the dance, Padayani is not only well-liked but also attractive to the eye. Massive masks worn by the dancers frequently depict deities.


Tamil Nadu and Kerala are home to the well-liked folk dance “Kummi.” There are only female singing and clapping movements in this dancing style because it evolved before musical instruments were invented.


It is carried out in the Andhra Pradesh state. The “Kolannalu” features a group of dancers forming two circles. It is also known as the “stick dance.” Dancers in the outer circle give the blow while those in the inner circle take it on their sticks.

Parai Attam

In Tamil Nadu, it is a distinctive style of dancing. Men folk dance to the beat they create while playing a percussion instrument called a “Parai.” The dance is one of the earliest dance traditions in India and was traditionally performed for a variety of purposes.


It is an old Tamil Nadu folk dance. The karagattam ritual is carried out while honoring the rain goddess. Dancers move to the music of musicians while carrying large pots on their heads.

Mayil Attam

It is carried out at the temples of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. This dance is comparable to the Uttar Pradeshi “Mayur Nritya.” Young women perform to the music’s beats while decked out in peacock costumes. The dancers frequently mimic peacock movements.

Paampu Attam

The play is presented in Tamil Nadu. In this region of the country, snakes are revered as deities, hence this dance is performed while snake worship is being practiced. Young girls behave like snakes while wearing clothing that resembles snake skin.

Poikal Kudirai Attam

Poikal Kudirai Attam translates as “horse with artificial legs” in Tamil. The dancers are made to appear as though they are mounting a two-legged horse. One of Tamil Nadu’s most well-known folk dances is this one.


It is practiced in Kerala’s Malabar region. Theyyam, also known as “Kaliyattam,” is a traditional dance performed to honor Goddess Kali. The dancers add to the overall effect by painting their faces in vivid colors.

Folk Dance of India State Wise: South West India

Dollu Kunitha

The state of Karnataka is where it is performed. Popular drumming dance is called Dollu Kunitha. Men wear large drums around their necks. The melodies that are used in this dance frequently have a combative and religious zeal.


It is carried out in Goa and the surrounding regions. Ghodemodni is also known as the “warrior dance” since the dancers are armed with swords and wear armour. Since the village where the dance style began was once taken by a king, the dance depicts a war.

Lava Dance

One of the islands of Lakshadweep is where this art form is practiced. The men who live on the island are the ones that perform it. The dance is based on rhythmic motions and folk tunes.


It’s a Goan dance that’s done in the Konkan. This dance style, which is performed by ladies, is revived at Hindu festivals. The dancers move around in various arrangements, such as circles or rows, while singing and dancing. The dance starts out gently and picks up speed with time.


One of the well-known dances of Karnataka is Veeragase, which is performed in Mysore during Dasara celebrations. This hard dance style, which is solely performed by men, includes manoeuvres that drain your vitality.

Folk Dance of India State Wise: West India


Gujarat is the place where this dancing style first appeared. Traditionally, Garba is practiced throughout the nine-day Hindu festival of Navaratri. Around a lamp is where the dance is performed. The lamp is frequently replaced by a sculpture or image of the goddess “Shakti.”


Gujarat is the place where this dancing style first appeared. Traditionally, Garba is practiced throughout the nine-day Hindu festival of Navaratri. Around a lamp is where the dance is performed. The lamp is frequently replaced by a sculpture or image of the goddess “Shakti.”


Maharashtra hosts performances of Koli . The dance incorporates aspects of fishing and the sea because it is performed by fishermen. This fascinating dance style, which is entertaining to watch, is performed by both men and women.

Tippani Dance

In the Saurashtra area of Maharashtra, this dance is only performed at weddings and festivals. Music is produced using the shehnai and percussion instruments such the manjira, tabla, and dhol.

Padhar Dance

Gujarat is where this folk dance is done. The Padhar dance, which is performed by fishermen who live along the Nal Sarovar’s banks, simulates fishing and boat rowing.

List of Important Folk Dances of India

Here’s the List of Important Folk Dances of India:

State of Origin List of Folk Dances in India
Andhra Pradesh Vilasini Natyam, Bhamakalpam, Veeranatyam, Dappu, Tappeta Gullu, Lambadi, Dhimsa, Kolattam.
Arunachal Pradesh Buiya, Chalo, Wancho, Pasi Kongki, Ponung, Popir
Assam Bihu, Bichhua, Natpuja, Maharas, Kaligopal, Bagurumba, Naga dance, Khel Gopal.
Bihar Jata-Jatin, Bakho-Bakhain, Panwariya
Chhattisgarh Gaur Maria, Panthi, Raut Nacha, Pandwani, Vedamati, Kapalik
Gujarat Garba, Dandiya Raas, Tippani Juriun, Bhavai
Goa Tarangamel, Koli, Dekhni, Fugdi, Shigmo, Ghode, Modni, Samayi nrutya, Jagar, Ranmale
Haryana Jhumar, Phag, Daph, Dhamal, Loor, Gugga, Khor.
Himachal Pradesh Jhora, Jhali, Chharhi, Dhaman, Chhapeli, Mahasu
Jammu & Kashmir Rauf, Hikat, Mandjas, Kud Dandi Nach
Jharkhand Alkap, Karma Munda, Agni, Jhumar, Janani Jhumar, Mardana Jhumar, Paika, Phagua
Karnataka Yakshagana, Huttari, Suggi, Kunitha, Karga
Kerala Ottam Thullal, Kaikottikali
Maharashtra Lavani, Nakata, Koli, Lezim, Gafa, Dahikala Dasavtar
Madhya Pradesh Jawara, Matki, Aada, Khada Nach, Phulpati, Grida Dance, Selalarki, Selabhadoni
Manipur Dol Cholam, Thang Ta, Lai Haraoba, Pung Cholom
Meghalaya Ka Shad Suk Mynsiem, Nongkrem, Laho
Mizoram Cheraw Dance, Khuallam, Chailam, Sawlakin, Chawnglaizawn, Zangtalam
Nagaland Rangma, Zeliang, Nsuirolians, Gethinglim
Odisha Savari, Ghumara, Painka, Munari
Punjab Bhangra, Giddha, Daff, Dhaman, Bhand
Rajasthan Ghumar, Chakri, Ganagor, Jhulan Leela, Jhuma, Suisini, Ghapal
Sikkim Chu Faat, Sikmari, Singhi Chaam or the Snow Lion, Yak Chaam, Denzong Gnenha, Tashi Yangku
Tamil Nadu Kumi, Kolattam, Kavadi
Tripura Hojagiri
Uttar Pradesh Nautanki, Raslila, Kajri, Jhora, Chappeli
Uttarakhand Garhwali, Kumayuni, Kajari, Jhora, Raslila

Folk Dances of India UPSC

  • Folk dance is often performed to commemorate an agricultural harvest or other social events, such as weddings.
  • Dancers who are professionals or have received extensive training in classical dance styles typically perform them. In India, there are eight classical dances.
  • India has about 30 different folk dances. Ghoomer, Kacchi Gori Chari, and Kalbelia are a some of the most well-known folk dances, all of which have their roots in the state of Rajasthan.

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Folk Dances of India

What is the dance of 28 states of India?

Bhangra, Giddha, Daff, Dhaman, Bhand, Naqual. Ghumar, Chakri, Ganagor, Jhulan Leela, Jhuma, Suisini, Ghapal, Kalbeliya. Bharatanatyam, Kumi, Kolattam, Kavadi. Nautanki, Raslila, Kajri, Jhora, Chappeli, Jaita

Which dance is famous in India?

Kathak and Bharatnatyam are two classical dance forms of India.

Which is the oldest dance form in India?

Bharatnatyam is the oldest dance form in India.

Which is the recently added dance form in the classical dance list of India?

There are currently nine different types of classical dance, according to the Cultural Ministry of India, including Chhau.

What is Karagattam?

An old Tamil Nadu folk dance called karagattam is performed while honouring the rain goddess.

In how many categories Indian Dance Forms are classified?

Dance styles in India can be roughly divided into two categories: classical dance and folk dance. These dancing styles have their roots in various regions of India, according to customs there.

How do you introduce folk dance?

Folk dances come from the people, for the people. They are usually passed down from generation to generation, and they often depict the history and culture of the people who perform them.

Why is dance important in Indian culture?

Dance has traditionally been an important part of religion and culture in India. According to Indian legend, the gods invented dance.

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