Bachha Nagma Dance

Jammu and Kashmir, the northern most state of the Indian Union, is called the Paradise on Earth not just because of its exquisite landscape with snow capped mountain peaks and foggy valleys but also because of its people and their culture. The Kashmir area is inhabited by people of diverse culture and hence, it nurtures some of the famous traditions in India. In Jammu and Kashmir, there are wide diversification of population in terms of ethnic groups, religions, races and sub-races. There are many Muslims and Buddhists in Jammu and Kashmir. In terms of ethnicity, most are Aryan Dogras. There are some tribal communities as well like the Gujjars, the Wattals, the Bakkarwals and some nomads. These people are not only very hard working but they are good looking as well. The Kashmiri men are sometimes compared with the handsome Greek Gods while the Kashmiri women are compared with fairies and mermaids. Moreover, they are very simple and fun loving, besides being enthusiasts of music and dance. Jammu and Kashmir is the home to a large number of folk dance forms. The traces of their origin can be found in the history of Jammu and Kashmir long back. Some of the very popular forms are the Hafiza, the Bhandpather, the Rouf and Bacha Nagma. Bacha Nagma is an exceptional dance form with Sufi songs that tourists like to see because in this the children act in the role of women.


The origin of Bacha Nagma dance form is traceable in the Hafiza dance form. In Hafiza dance forms, women known as Hafizas danced while singing Sufiana Kalam form of music. In this form of music, there is a Persian touch of literary traditions and thus, the songs are rich of profound thoughts. Previously, the Hazfiza dance was quite popular and was customarily performed at wedding and other happy ceremonies. However, in the 1920s, the Maharaja of the princely state put a ban on this form of dance on the grounds that it became too sensual. However, this form of dancing with Sufiana Kalam music did not stop as a whole. In place of the Hafizas or dancing women, boy children dressed as women started to dance along with the same form of music. Thus, Bacha Nagma form of dance was born, which still continues to be practiced, even after lifting of ban from the Hazifa form of dance. However, certain ambiguity may be found about the origin of this dance form. Some advocate that this was originally an Afghan form of dance, which were introduced in Kashmir by the Afghans who came from Kabul. Whatever, may be the real secret behind its origin, this is quite popular traditional dance in present Jammu and Kashmir.


The dancers of Bacha Nagma dance are extremely well talented young boys, who are made to look like women with local traditional ladies attire and make-up. These boys are trained well so that they can dance in the Hafiza form. These young teenagers have supple body so that they can easily adopt the flexible moves like that of female dancers in Hafiza. Since, the boys are of tender age they have their sweeter voice and thus, they can as well sing while dancing. The sweetness in their voice makes the music very much soothing and creates a very nice ambience. 


The dance style of Bacha Nagma is quite similar to that of the Hafiza form of dancing. A lot of travellers from across the globe come to Kashmir to see this form of dance being danced by young lads. Besides dancing the boys with shriller voice sing songs. The songs as well are similar to the ones that are sung with the Hafiza dance i.e. songs written in Sufi Kalam or lyrics. These lyrics are much inspired from the Persian literary ideas. However, of late some contemporary songs in the form of parodies are as well sung keeping the dance style same.

Watching Bacha Nagma Dance

If you wish to enjoy Bacha Nagma dance at its full, you must certainly visit Kashmir to get the feel of the ambience. It is a great pleasure to watch these little boys dance during marriage ceremonies or ceremonies held during the harvest season in Kashmir.

Reaching Kashmir

The airport in Srinagar connects flights from New Delhi and other major cities of India. Some international flights are also there that can bring foreign tourists directly to Srinigar in Jammu and Kashmir. It is also well connected with trains from various parts of India.

Jammu and Kashmir is not only the place of serene beauty of nature but also the storehouse of Sufi and other traditional cultures. People who are not so passionate about nature may also find a lot of enjoyment through experiencing some of the best forms of art and culture in Kashmir.

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