Dance in Maharashtra

Enriched with beautiful traditions and culture, Maharashtra consists of various kinds of dance forms. There is Povada showcasing lifetime achievements of the king of Maratha, Shivaji Maharaj. Koli and Lavani forms of dance are quite entertaining for Maharashtrians and the mesmerizing music provoke rhythmic movements. The Dhangri Gaja dance is a mark of respect to God of Dhangars of Sholapur. Kala and Dindi have been the religious folk dances expressing the religious significance of Lord Krishna. There is a folk dance, Tamasha which is famous throughout the state. This state is known as land of traditions and culture where people celebrate religious festivals with great enthusiasm. Following are the different types of folk dances performed in the state of Maharashtra:

  • Lavani Dance
  • Dhangari Gaja
  • Povadas
  • Koli
  • Tamasha
  • Dindi
  • Kala

Dance That Captures Your Sight

Maharashtra gave origin to several rhythmic dances where people love to watch live performances. Having an ideal dancing style, people entertain themselves by Dhangari Gaja which is performed by shepherds or Dhangars whereas Koli dance is performed by community of fishermen. Both these communities have distinct dance forms which are very lively. One can plan a tour to Maharashtra for cherishing the beautiful dances offering treat to one’s eyes.

The Magic of Lavani Dance

The Lavani dance is a blend of traditional dance and song, which is specifically meant to enchant the beats of 'Dholak', which is an instrument similar to the drum. The dance is being performed by gorgeous ladies wearing 9-yard saris. These women move their bodies on the pulsating beats of the traditional music. Lavani is a word which originated from ‘Lavanya’, which means beauty. Initially, this form of art dealt with several subject matters like society, politics, religion, romance, etc. Lavani dance used to be a kind of entertainment as well as the morale booster for the exhausted soldiers in the 18th and 19th century battle of Marathas. Several popular Marathi poets such as Honaji Bala, Prabhakar, Ramjoshi etc. have made contributions in making the Lavani dance quite popular.

Dhangari Gaja

The Marathi dance form referred to as Dhangari Gaja is famous and is performed by the shepherds or the Dhangars belonging to Sholapur district. The Dhangars win their bread by rearing goats and sheep. Their poetry is basically influenced by the trees in the surroundings. This type of poetry is known as 'Ovi' which is formed of couplets. These poems also exhibit tales of the birth of God ‘Biruba’ in a comprehensive and simple way.

Dhangari Gaja is a dance form conducted for pleasing the God of Dhanjars and to gain His blessings in return. The traditional dresses of Maharashtra worn by Dhangar dancers are Dhoti, Pheta, Angarakha and bright-colored handkerchiefs. The dancers’ group surrounds the drum players while moving at the rhythm.


Povadas are ballads of Maharashtra which describe events of the life of great Marathi leader, Shri Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He had a highly respected place in the hearts of people and is still alive in their thoughts. With the help of these ballads, Shivaji, a great hero of his time, is remembered.


Koli has been one of the most prominent dances of Maharashtra which got its name from the fisher folk of the state - Kolis. The fishermen are popular because of their unique identity as well as lively dances. Their dances have elements of their occupation, fishing. The Koli dance is conducted by both women and men bot, divided in groups of two. The fishermen portray the boat rowing movements in the Koli dance.


Tamasha is regarded as one of the most significant types of traditional folk dance of the state of Maharashtra. The word ‘Tamasha’ is Persian meaning entertainment or fun. This dance is a mix of various influences. Few scholars have a belief that this theater form got inspired by 2 types of Sanskrit drama - the ‘Bhana’ and ‘Prahsana’. It got developed in the 16th century. The romantic songs ('Lavanis') are the lifelines of Tamasha and are popularly known. The Instruments being used are Dholki drum, Manjeera cymbals, Tuntuni, Daf, kade, Halgi along with Lejim, an instrument having a jangling sound, the ghungroos, and Harmonium. Tamasha is related to the 2 major communities of Maharashtra state, called as Mahar and Kolhati.

Folk dances usually develop from the areas found in rural regions. In the Maharashtra state, folk dances are conducted during the festive occasions exhibiting the rich culture celebrated with enthusiasm.


Dindi is a folk dance belonging to Maharashtra and is seen to be performed on Ekadashi day falling in the month of Kartik. The religious dance devoted to Gods exhibits the playful behavior of Lord Krishna. Dindi is actually a small drum similar to 'Tamate'. The dancers move to the rhythm having musicians in the surrounding with the required musical background.


Kala is yet another form of folk dance describing the playful behavior of Lord Krishna. This form of dance describes a pot as a symbol of fertility. The major attraction of the dance is beat along with its rhythm.


Related Image

Fairs and Festivals in Rajasthan 1
Fairs and Festivals in Rajasthan 2
Fairs and Festivals in Rajasthan 1
Fairs and Festivals in Rajasthan 2
Fairs and Festivals in Rajasthan 1
Fairs and Festivals in Rajasthan 2

Also Browse Following Under This Section

Related Topics

Fairs & Festivals

Since Maharashtra is a huge state, it is a household to many religions. The fairs and festivals in this state also cherish ....

Culture in Maharashtra

Maharashtra boasts of its Native Language, Marathi. The people of Maharashtra are very particular and respectful towards....

About Maharashtra

The state of Maharashtra is towards the ...


Given the fact that the population of Mahar ...