The credit and development of folk dances of Maharashtra go to its village and small town.

However, these dances are performed on the occasion of festivals by the people of Maharashtra which reflects the culture of the state.

Vibrant music and folk dance forms are the main topics that make the state famous and reflection of social culture.

The beautiful music and dance tradition here is also one of the best to feel and understand the culture of Maharashtra folk dances.

Povadas is a dance form that reflects the lifelong achievements of the famous Maratha ruler, Shivaji Maharaj.

Lavani and Koli, these types of dance amuse people with their music and musical movements.

The Dhangaris of Solapur to pay gratitude to God perform this dance.

Dindi and Kala folk dances are religious folk dances, reflecting the bliss of Lord Krishna.

There have also been many great saint poets in Maharashtra, such as Gyandev, Namdev, Tukaram, Jani, and Soyra, who has taught the importance of worship through their folk songs and urged everyone to merge into one God.

Folk dances of Maharashtra Contents

Dindi and Kala

Dindi and Kala | folk dances of maharashtra
Dindi and Kala

These folk dances are religious folk dances, reflecting the bliss of Lord Krishna.

Dindi dance

  • It is also a religious folk dance of Maharashtra.
  • On Ekadashi in the Kartik month of the Hindu calendar, this dance is performed.
  • This dance depicts Lord Krishna performing acts and playful nature.

Kala dance

  • It is a form of folk dance that describes the mood of Lord Krishna.
  • This folk dance is a symbol of fertility.
  • A man breaks the pot and sprinkles yogurt on the female dancers.
  • The dancers wave sticks and swords in a fierce battle dance after the opening of the ceremony.
  • The most attraction of this dance form is the rhythm.

Dhangari Gaja

Dhangari Gaja | folk dances of maharashtra
Dhangari Gaja

As the Dhangars of the Sholapur district of Maharashtra herd to green pastures for grazing for their cattle.

So, They become acquainted with nature.

Inspired by the scenic beauty, they also compose poetry, called ovi writing.

But, To pay homage to Lord Biruban annual festival is organized.

During this festival, they spend their time with their family.

However, The people of Dhangar Jati perform their traditional dance.

Dhanagri Gaja on this occasion to take the blessings of Lord Biruba.


Traditional dress Folk dances of Maharashtra

So, Dhoti, angarakha, pheta, and colorful handkerchiefs are traditional Marathi dresses.

That dancers wear while doing dance performances.

Musical instruments

To perform this dance a group of people used the drum as a musical instrument.

Koli Folk Dance

Koli dance
Koli dance

The dance performed by the Koli caste known as the Koli dance.

However, Koli is a fishing tribe of Maharashtra.

Like every community, this has its own identity which makes it different from other communities.

It also has its own dress and dance.

But, This dance consists mainly of those elements that are very familiar with – the ocean and fishing methods.

So, Both men and women perform this dance.

Moreover, they form two groups of women and men are two rows and they stand holding each other’s hands.

Firstly, In this dance, the dancers make the agar of the boat moving in rows.

Display the action of the boating. the fishermen are in the second row holding hands which move towards the dancer of the opposite row.

Two lines are broken and mixed together in this dance.

When they symbolize the sea waves. So, they put the net on sea waves and go fishing.

Lavani Dance


However, It is an integral part of the folk theater style of Maharashtra.

Moreover, the theme of dance can be taken from anywhere.

This style is suitable for displaying emotions like valor, love, devotion, and grief.

So, Music, poetry, dance, and drama all form Lavani.

Their combination is so fine that it is almost impossible to separate them.


Dance form Folk dances of Maharashtra

Adorned with colorful gaudy saris and gold ornaments. Dancers dance to the beat of the dholak. They gracefully wave their bodies.

The theme of the song can be anything from religion to love, etc. But most of the songs in this dance form are of love and disconnection.


Type Folk dances of Maharashtra

Dance is of two types –

  • Nirguni Lavani – In Nirguni Lavani, where there is an inclination towards spirituality.
  • Shringari Lavani – Shringari Lavani is immersed in Shringar Rasa.


Povadas Dance


Povadas is one of the folk dances of the state. Marathi ballads form is used to present this dance.

Great Maratha ruler, Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s life is the main topic of dance, dance describes the ruler’s life. Shivaji is one of the best rulers who founded the Maratha Empire.

In this dance, dancers (men dancers) wear traditional style turban and perform ballad-dance form.

The dancer wears a salwar and a colorful waistband tied with side knots.



It is a cosmic form of folk drama in India.

Began in the 16th century in the state of Maharashtra in western India.

So, This in itself is a distinct art.

A spectacle is a form of drama. It started in Maharashtra in the 16th century.

This folk art is slightly different from other arts here.

The word ‘tamasha’ means “entertainment”.

Some researchers believe that it originated from Sanskrit drama forms – Prahasana and Bhan.

The ‘Kolhati’ community of Maharashtra performs this dance.

These are the forms of Krishnalila in Marathi religious literature which depict various events of the birth of Lord Krishna.

In addition, Tamasha also has a variety of verbal sarcasm and codified questions by Natukani, Songadya, and other characters.

Later, there is always the message of the victory of good over evil and truth over untruth.

Lezim dance

Lezim dance

Lejim dance is a folk dance in Maharashtra.

However, social and religious festivals are prominent in the dances based on the martial arts of Maharashtra.

The lezim dance is usually done in every region of Maharashtra.

This dance also includes Ghoti Lejim, Ghungroo Lejim, Dakhni Lejim, and Palita Lejim.



 The Lezim dance derives its name from the main musical instrument used in the performance. The Lezim is a percussion instrument consisting of metal cymbals and jingling bells attached to a wooden frame. Dancers hold a Lezim in each hand, and the jingling bells and cymbals produce rhythmic and melodious sounds as they move.

Energetic Movements

 Lezim dance is characterized by high-energy movements and acrobatics. Dancers perform a combination of intricate footwork, leaps, jumps, and spins to the beat of the Lezim instrument. The dance is often performed in groups, and the synchronized movements of the dancers create an impressive visual spectacle.

Traditional Attire

 Dancers typically wear traditional Maharashtrian costumes, which may include colorful saris for women and dhotis or kurta-pajamas for men. These costumes add to the visual appeal of the dance.


 Lezim dance often portrays cultural and historical themes from Maharashtra. The themes may revolve around mythology, folklore, or important events in the state’s history. The dance serves as a way to narrate stories and celebrate the cultural heritage of Maharashtra.


 Lezim dance is commonly performed at various festive and celebratory occasions, such as traditional festivals, weddings, and cultural events. It is also a popular form of entertainment during sports events and parades in the region.

Expression of Joy

 Lezim dance is an expression of joy and celebration. The lively and rhythmic music, along with the vigorous dance movements, create a festive atmosphere and often encourage audience participation.

Community Bonding

 It is not uncommon to see Lezim dance being performed by local communities and groups who come together to celebrate their shared culture and heritage. The dance fosters a sense of unity and belonging among the participants.

Lezim dance is an important cultural and artistic tradition in Maharashtra, and it continues to be a symbol of the state’s rich cultural heritage. It showcases the vitality and enthusiasm of the people of Maharashtra and is a captivating form of entertainment that is appreciated both within the state and beyond.

Gafa Folk Dances of Maharashtra

gafa dance
gafa dance

It is one of the folk dances of Maharashtra.

A group of boys performs this dance.

The young boys are too enthusiastic while performing the dance.

Nakata Folk Dances of Maharashtra

nakataNakata dance is a folk form of Maharashtra.

Fisher community performs this dance.

The dance gives information about the lifestyle and occupation of the fisher.

This dance helps the people of this community to forget the many hardships.

Both men and women can dance.

They usually form a single line or stand in pairs.

In this dance, the simulation of rowing of boats, the movement of waves, and the act of catching fish are eye-catching.

The dance tends to vary in style depending on the region.

While performing a dance, the women are generally in green-colored saris.

On the other hand, the men wear lungis around their waists.

Dahikala Dasavtar or Bohada Folk dances of Maharashtra

Dahikala Dasavtar
Dahikala Dasavtar

Dashavatar is a famous theatre form.

TheDashavatar refers to ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

The ten incarnations are the fish, tortoise, boar,lion-man, dwarf, Parashuram, Ram, Krishna, Buddha, and Kalki.

It is carried out at some stage in the once-a-year.

Each person enters the dance from at the back of a curtain held with the aid of using persons.

The Dashavatar overall performance contains of sessions, the preliminary session, and the latter session.

The initial presentation precedes the primary overall performance.

It depicts the tale of the approximately killing of the demon Shankhasur.

This act additionally consists of the characters of Lord Ganesha, Riddhi, Siddhi, a Brahmin, Sharada (the goddess of learning), Brahmadev, and Lord Vishnu.

latter session acknowledged as ‘akhyan’ is taken into consideration to be the primary overall performance.

primarily based totally on Hindu mythological tales, highlighting one of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

The performers use brilliant makeup and costumes.

They are observed with the aid of using 3 musical instruments: a paddle harmonium, tabla, and Zanj (cymbals).

Dashavatar is famous in foremost localities like Sawantwadi, Kudal, Malvan, Vengurla, Kankavli, etc. withinside the Sindhudurg district of the South Konkan Region of Maharashtra.

The villages of Devgad and Dodamarg additionally have annual performances of Dashavatar.

It is practiced with the aid of using agriculturists or farmers inside the Sindhudurg district of the South Konkan vicinity of Maharashtra and the North Goa district of Goa.

Dashavatar is a famous shape of drama in rural areas.

Today, it’s miles an artwork shape of all classes.

Musical Instruments Used in Folk Dance of Maharashtra

Maharashtra, a state in western India, has a rich tradition of folk dances, many of which are accompanied by traditional musical instruments. These instruments play a crucial role in creating the rhythmic and melodic backdrop for the vibrant folk dances of the region. Here are some of the key musical instruments commonly used in Maharashtra’s folk dance performances:


The dholki is a small, double-headed hand drum that is widely used in Maharashtra’s folk music and dance. It is often played by women during dances like Lavani and Tamasha.


The Lezim is a percussion instrument that is an essential part of many Maharashtrian folk dances, especially the Lezim dance. It consists of metal cymbals and jingling bells mounted on a wooden frame. Dancers hold a Lezim in each hand and create rhythmic sounds by shaking and striking the instrument.


The dhol is a large, barrel-shaped drum that is commonly used in various folk dances of Maharashtra. It provides a powerful and rhythmic accompaniment to dances like Tamasha, Koli, and Powada.


The Zanj is a type of ankle bell or ankle rattle used by dancers to create jingling sounds as they move their feet. It is often used in dances like Tamasha and Lavani.


The halgi is a traditional wind instrument similar to a trumpet or horn. It is frequently used in the Warli and Koli folk dances and adds a unique melodic element to the performances.


The sambal is a pair of cylindrical wooden clappers that create a clapping sound when struck together. Dancers often use sambals to accentuate the rhythm of their movements during various folk dances.


While not exclusive to folk dance, the harmonium is a widely used musical instrument in Maharashtra. It provides melody and accompaniment for songs that are often incorporated into folk dance performances.


The flute is another versatile instrument that may be used in folk dances in Maharashtra, especially for performances where a melodic and serene atmosphere is desired.


Ghungroos are small, metallic bells tied to a dancer’s ankles. They create a tinkling sound with each movement and are often used in dances like Lavani to accentuate the footwork.

These musical instruments, along with the energetic and colorful dance movements, are integral to the cultural and artistic expressions of Maharashtra’s folk dances, preserving the region’s rich heritage and traditions.

Source of article


You might also enjoy: