Jammu and Kashmir is the abode of serenity blended in the beauty of valleys, mountains and lakes. The greenery of Kashmir is worth praising and it gives all visitors a treat to the eyes. Not only is the natural beauty of Jammu and Kashmir worth praising but the culture of this land is also worth praising. The land is abode of a large number of traditional forms of art that enriches the cultural heritage of not only Jammu and Kashmir but of the entire India. Jagrana dance is one such form of folk art that is performed during the marriage ceremonies.
Jagrana dance form is commonly practised during the wedding ceremonies. The dance is performed only by the ladies and it is done specifically on the day before the groom sets off for his in-laws’ house. The Jagrana song accompanies this form of dance. The singing of the Jagrana song is done by a group of females. The ladies group that sings the Jagrana song generally consists of around fifteen to twenty people. Through this form of dance and song, the emotions and the feeling of the women are expressed and hence, it is dedicated especially to the bride.
Reaching Jammu and Kashmir
While you are willing to go to the Kashmir valley for enjoying the beauty of the land and also witness the various forms of Kashmiri folk expressions, then you will have to take trains or buses or you may go by a hired car. However, if you want to reach quickly, then there are many flights from all other major cities.
One of the famous dance forms of the state is Kud dance. It is performed to honor the gods ‘Lok Devtas’ as a thanks giving ritual and is mostly done in nights. This form has lots of interesting and twisted movements. Unlike other dance forms in Kud dance young people as well old people participate equally that makes it more interesting. Rhythm and Beats of the music dominate in this form of dance forms and dancers plan their movement accordingly. Some special Musical instruments are used in dance like Chhaina, Drums, Narsingha and flute. Spontaneity is another key Feature that is found mostly in all the folk dances.
This kind of dance is generally performed in centre of mountains in and around Jammu and is mostly performed during rainy season. The reason behind this is the farmers and villagers who work as farmers want to oblige god the local deity ‘Gramdevta’ for protecting their cattle’s, maize crops, children’s and family from all sorts of natural calamities. The local farmers perform this dance generally and people join from nearby villages in the celebrations. Everyone is in their best attire and dance through the night and celebrate in a festive spirit.
In typical Kud dance, dancers are in 20 to 30 numbers which is performed by famers to thank god and is generally continued till late hours in night. Jammu state has always been known for its rich culture which is clearly reflected in the various dances forms performed during different functions and ceremonies.
Phumania is an invocative dance that is performed in the villages of Jammu and Kashmir, in which worshippers of "Gagaihl" expresses their gratitude to the deity. The villagers dance and pray to the deity to protect their cattle & children from the natural calamities. The dance is performed only by the menfolk.