Chari Dance – Journey into Vibrant Traditions of Rajasthan

Chari Dance of Rajasthan

Rajasthan, the land of kings, is renowned for its rich cultural heritage and vibrant traditions. Among the many captivating folk dances that grace the desert state, the Chari Dance holds a special place. This mesmerizing dance form, performed predominantly by women, originated from the heartland of Rajasthan and continues to enthrall audiences with its graceful movements and captivating rhythm.

Chari Dance is a traditional folk dance of Rajasthan, India, typically performed by women. The dance involves balancing brass pots, called “char,” on the head and dancing gracefully while holding a lighted lamp in the pot. The women often move in a circle, clapping their hands and singing songs in praise of deities or celebrating important life events. The dance is believed to have originated as a way for women to fetch water from distant sources while carrying the pots on their heads.

Today, Chari Dance is often performed at festivals and weddings and is a vibrant celebration of Rajasthan’s rich cultural heritage. It is typically performed by women of the Gujjar community, a pastoral group of people who primarily live in the northwestern regions of India and Pakistan. The pots are filled with burning charcoal, which is believed to represent the element of fire and is thought to bring good luck and prosperity. In this article, we delve into the intricate details of the Chari Dance, exploring its origins, significance, and the spellbinding experience it offers.

Performance of Chari dance

The performance of the Chari Dance is a mesmerizing display of grace, balance, and rhythm. The dancers, usually women, start by balancing the brass pots filled with burning charcoal on their heads. They then move in a circular formation, with their hands holding small diyas (lamps) or flowers. The dancers perform intricate footwork and hand gestures while swaying and twirling to the beat of the music. As the dance progresses, the dancers often make formations and patterns, creating a visually stunning display of movement and light.

The performance is accompanied by the energetic beat of the dhol and other musical instruments, as well as the sounds of the dancers’ bells and ankle bells. The Chari Dance is not only a celebration of culture and tradition but also a symbol of strength, perseverance, and endurance. The dancers must maintain their balance and composure throughout the entire performance, despite the weight and heat of the brass pots on their heads.

Costumes of the Chari folk dance

The attire worn by the Chari dancers is a reflection of the colorful Rajasthani culture. The women don traditional Rajasthani dresses, including Ghagra and Choli, adorned with vibrant hues and intricate designs. To enhance their appearance, they wear a variety of golden ornaments such as Hansli, Timniya, Mogri, Punchi, Bangdi, Gajra, Armlets, Karli, Kanka, and Navr. These ornaments add a touch of elegance and grace to the dancers, complementing their movements.

Musical instruments used in Chair Dance

The Chari Dance is accompanied by a variety of traditional musical instruments, which add to the lively and energetic atmosphere of the performance. Here are some of the key instruments that are commonly used in the Chari Dance:

Dhol: The dhol is a large drum that is played with sticks. It is the primary instrument used in the Chari Dance and provides the main beat and rhythm of the performance.

Harmonium: The harmonium is a small keyboard instrument that is played with the hands. It is often used in Indian music and adds a melodic element to the Chari Dance.

Shehnai: The shehnai is a type of wind instrument that is similar to a flute. It is often used in Indian classical music and adds a high-pitched, nasal sound to the Chari Dance.

Manjeera: The manjeera is a small percussion instrument that consists of two cymbals that are struck together. It is often used to add a metallic sound to the performance.

Ghunghroo: Ghunghroos are small bells that are tied around the ankles of the dancers. They jingle and add a rhythmic sound to the performance, as well as accentuating the footwork and movements of the dancers


The Chari Dance of Rajasthan is a captivating folk dance that pays homage to the daily rituals and traditions of Rajasthani women. With its graceful movements, vibrant costumes, and mesmerizing music, it has become an integral part of the cultural fabric of Rajasthan. As efforts continue to preserve and promote this enchanting dance form, the Chari Dance will undoubtedly continue to captivate audiences and serve as a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Chari Dance:

Q1: What is the Chari Dance?

A1: this Dance is a traditional folk dance form that originated in Rajasthan, India. It is performed predominantly by Rajasthani women, who balance brass pots (chari) on their heads while dancing.

Q2: What is the significance of the Chari Dance?

A2: This Dance holds cultural and historical significance in Rajasthan. It is often performed during festivals, weddings, and other celebratory occasions as a way to showcase the grace, skill, and strength of Rajasthani women.

Q3: How is the Chari Dance performed?

A3: During this Dance, women balance brass pots filled with a flaming object, usually cotton soaked in ghee (clarified butter), on their heads. They move in synchronized patterns, displaying graceful hand movements, footwork, and body postures. The dance is accompanied by traditional Rajasthani folk music.

Q4: What are the traditional costumes worn during the Chari Dance?

A4: The dancers wear traditional Rajasthani attire, including vibrant lehengas (long skirts), cholis (blouses), odhani (scarves), and traditional jewelry. The costumes are often embellished with mirrors, beads, and embroidery, adding to the visual appeal of the dance.

Q5: What are the brass pots (Charis) used in the Chari Dance?

A5: The brass pots, known as charis, are an essential prop in the Chari Dance. They are typically decorated with colorful threads, mirrors, and other ornaments. The chairs symbolize prosperity and are believed to bring good luck.

Q6: Is the Chari Dance only performed by women?

A8: Yes, traditionally, this Dance is performed exclusively by women. It is considered a symbol of feminine grace, elegance, and strength. However, in modern times, there may be variations where men may also participate in the dance form.

Similar Posts