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Chari Dance

Rajasthan is a land of music and versatile dance forms. Here each region has its distinct dance forms and style. Chari is one of the many popular dance forms in Rajasthan.  Chari is a pot, in which, the women collect water for daily use. This has become an important part of Rajasthan’s daily life. A Chari or pot of water holds an important place in this dry desert land. Thus, Chari Dance is performed while balancing pots on the head. These pots can be earthenware or made of brass. The hands remain free and the dancers move their hands and foot effortlessly.

Dancers keep igniting cottonseeds on the brass pots while dancing to produce a kind of special effect with a flaming torch. Keeping their hands free, dancers are able to balance these pots while making different moves. These moves are coordinated with steps to create perfect dance movements. This dance is mainly performed by the ladies of Gujjar community of Kishangarh.

Dancers of Chari wear traditional Rajasthan outfits in bright colours.  The dance is accompanied by Rajasthan’s folk music that is played with dhol, dholak, nagada and harmonium during the dance. It is a very attractive dance holding a distinct place with its style. The dance induces an interest and awe among the spectators because of the way dancers move while perfectly balancing their pots.

Chari Dance is performed during festivals or special occasions like a marriage ceremony or when a child is born into the family. In Rajasthan women have to walk miles to collect water for their daily chore. It brings immense joy to them when after a strenuous job they dance away. This joy is reflected through the Chari dance. It is truly a unique dance form performed by not a single person but a group of dancers. Often they place a lighted lamp on the pots which makes it far more spectacular. The music and color of this dance is a contrast to the dull dry climate of this region. It brings energy and vibrancy.


Chari Dance is a specialty of Gujjar community of Kishanganj in Rajasthan. It is basically performed by the womenfolk of Rajasthan’s rural area. Kishangarh region has produced the best Chari performers in Rajasthan. This dance started as an expression of joy after the collection of water by women, travelling miles. Also known as the welcome dance it is performed during a marriage or to welcome a newborn child.


Dancers perform gracefully while balancing pots on their heads. The deft foot movements along with hands and swaying motion of the body inspire awe and admiration. Dancers of Chari quite often carry flaming pots. They are kept lit with cotton seeds soaked in oil. The lighted pots present a stunningly amazing sight especially at night. Except for the balancing act, dance movements here are also rather uncomplicated. The style is almost like ghoomar.

The joy of getting and bringing water to homes in this dry desert area reflects in their dance performance. Dancers are trained from their childhood and only after they master the art of balancing pots are they eligible to balance with lighted pots. They move in the same pattern and sequence along with the flow of music. Lot of patience, balance and skill is required for this dance form.

Chari Dance Elements

Chari Dance is performed with Rajasthani folk music in the background. The music is played with dhol, dholak, nagada and harmonium, also bankiya and thali. The dancers wear traditional Rajasthani clothes in bright colors. The ladies wear big nose rings and other ornaments.

Occasion for Chari Dance

The dance takes place on festive days and on special occasions. The graceful rhythmic movements along with the music keeps the viewers enthralled. The performance mainly takes place to celebrate an occasion like a marriage or birth of a male child.

Women of the Gujjar Community in Kishanganj

The women of Kishanganj in Rajasthan are the best known Chari performers in the state. They specialize in this particular dance forms which needs a lot of rigorous practice. The dancers needs to acquire the skill of this dance form greatly or else they might have the risk of getting burnt. The diya’s soft glow along with bright colored costumes depicts the combination of softness and vibrancy of the women folk of this region.  Chari the pot dance truly brings forth the spirit of Rajasthan, its tradition and culture.

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