Music of Himachal Pradesh

Music of India

A Lady Playing the Tanpura, ca. 1735 (Rajasthan)
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National anthem Jana Gana Mana
Regional music

The music of Himachal Pradesh a state of India located in the northwest corner of the country, includes many kinds of folk songs from the area, many of which are sung without accompaniment.


Jhoori is a type of song that celebrates extramarital romance. It is popular in Mahasu and Sirmaur, and is accompanied by a female dance called jhoomar. Laman songs from Kullu Valley are another type of love song. Saṃskāra songs are sung at festivals and celebrations by women from some of the higher castes. These songs are based on ragas, which are compositions of Indian classical music, as are the martial jhanjhotis. Ainchaliyan are religious songs, sung at the bride's house after a wedding and by women at the home of an unmarried girl. In Chamba-Pangi, wandering musicians play a khanjari (tambourine) and perform, also using string puppets.

Musical instruments


Himachal Pradesh folk music features a wide variety of drums, including dammama, damanght, gajju, doru, dhaunsa, nagara, dholku, nagarth, tamaka, dafale, dhol, dolki and hudak. Non-drum percussion instrumnts include the ghanta and ghariyal (gongs), chimta (tongs), manjira and jhanjh (cymbals), ghungru (bells), thali (platter) and kokatha murchang.


There are also wind instruments like algoja/algoza (twin flutes), peepni, shehnai (oboe), bishudi (flute), karnal (straight brass trumpet) and ranasingha (curved brass trumpet).


String instruments include gramyang, riwana (small fretless lute), sarangi (bowed lute), jumang, ruman, ektara and kindari davatra.


Mohit Chauhan's 'morni', Karnail Rana's various folk songs, Dheeraj's love songs and Thakur Das Rathi's 'Naatis' has given great contribution to enrich the music of Himachal Pradesh.


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