Blessed with cultural richness, Uttar Pradesh has grabbed the attention of the tourists with its popular folk dance and music. The Charkula Dance of the Braj region in Uttar Pradesh is one of the spectacular folk dance where one can enjoy the fascinating sight where a veiled woman dancer performs with more than hundred oil lamps on her head.
Being Agra as the important centre, Khyal dance is yet another folk dance of Uttar Pradesh, which is even popular in other Indian states. The Khyal folk dance with different styles has its name categorised either by the name of the city, acting style, community or the author. Some of them include Jaipuri Khyal, Abhinaya Khyal, Gadhaspa Khyal, and Ali baksh Khyal which are performed on the local musical instruments like Dholak, Harmonium etc. Coming to Raslila which has been introduced through the mythological stories in Bhagavad Gita is a dance form which depicts Lord Krishna's love towards the milkmaids as well as his consort Radha in Vrindavan region. Reflecting the traditional essence and practiced in the entire Uttar Pradesh, Ramlila is one of the oldest folk dances and play of the state which depicts the life of Lord Rama and is mainly performed during the Dussehra festival making Ramlila an innate part of the religious culture and practice.
Other than these, there are other folk dance and drama popular in Uttar Pradesh including Nautanki, Naqaal, Swang and Dadra reflecting the lifestyle and beliefs of the people.
Traditional folk music in Uttar Pradesh has been categorized in three different ways including music transmitted orally, music with unknown composers and music performed by custom. With each and every district of Uttar Pradesh having its unique music and tradition, the folk music is here for every mood and occasion. The popular folk music of Uttar Pradesh includes Sohar which is sung to celebrate birth of a child, Kaharwa which is sung by Kahar caste at the time of wedding, Chanayani which is a type of dance music, Nauka Jhakkad which is popular in the barber community, Banjara and Njava which is performed during the night time. Apart from these folk music, Gazals and Thumaris have been quite popular in the Awadh region and so have been Qawwalis which is a form of Sufi poetry. Uttar Pradesh tour is sure to let the tourists explore and learn about the culture and tradition with some of them depicting the rich past.