Pandavani is a Chhattisgarhi folk-singing style.

 Pandavani means the story of the Pandavas. 

It narrates the story of the Pandavas of the epic Mahabharata.

Whereas, in which Bhima is the main character. 

These stories are the singing tradition of the Pardhan and Dewar castes of Chhattisgarh. 

Pardhan is a sub-caste of Gond and Dewar is a smoker caste. 

There is a difference in the speech and instruments of these two castes. 

“Kinkni” is in the hand of the storyteller or reciter of the Pardhan caste and Rrunjhu is in the hands of the devars. 

In today’s context, the credit for making Pandwani famous goes to the well-known artist Teejan Bai.

Origin of pandavani

Pandavani is a traditional narrative art form from the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh. It is a storytelling tradition that involves the recitation of epic tales from the Indian epic, the Mahabharata. The term “Pandavani” is derived from the words “Pandava” (referring to the five Pandava brothers from the Mahabharata) and “vani” (meaning “storytelling” or “narration”).

The origin of Pandavani can be traced back to the tribal communities of Chhattisgarh, particularly the Gond and Pardhan communities. It has evolved over generations within these communities and has become a significant cultural and artistic tradition in the region. Pandavani combines storytelling, music, and dramatic elements to narrate episodes from the Mahabharata, with a particular focus on the heroic deeds and adventures of the Pandava brothers.

Singing Styles of Pandavani

Kapalik style Pandavani

The Kapalik style exists in the memory or “Kapal” of the singer-singer.

Famous singers of the Kapalik style are Teejanbai, Shantibai Chelkane, and Usha Bai Barle.

Vedmati style Pandavani

The singers of Vedmati style sing Pandwani while sitting in a Virasana posture.

The basis of the Vedmati style is the Mahabharata of Sabalsingh Chauhan in the Khadi language, which is in the form of verse.

Mr. Jhaduram Dewangan, about whom Niranjan Mahavar says, “He is undoubtedly the best artist to present the Shanti Parva of Mahabharata.”

And Punaram Nishad and Panchuram Revaram are among the male artists who have adopted the Vedmati style.

Lakshmi Bai and other artists are among the women artists.

Cast of Pandavani

Teejanbai, Khublal Yadav, Jena Bai, Ritu Verma, Ramadhar Sinha, Laxmi Sahu, Phool Singh Sahu, Prabha Yadav, Some Shasri, Punia Bai, Usha barle


Pandwani is that single drama of Chhattisgarh, which means Pandavvani – that means Pandavkatha,

Means the story of Mahabharata. 

There is a difference in the dialect of castes, and instruments.

Teejan Bai

Made Pandwani famous in today’s context, not only in our country but also in foreign countries.

Teejanbai (born 24 April 1956) is a Pandwani folk song-drama from the Chhattisgarh state of India.

First female artist Teejan Bai, who exhibited her art in the country and abroad

Has been awarded the honorary degree of D. J. by the University.

She was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1988 and the Padma Bhushan in the field of arts in 2003.

 also honored with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1995 and the Nritya Jashromjan in 2007.


types of singers

Dewar caste is also said that the Dewar caste is made up of Gond Baiga Bhumia castes.

The priest is also called Baiga.

By the way, Baiga is also a caste. 

These bagas are famous in the bush

And their knowledge of herbs deepens.

The village priests in the Mandla region do not call themselves Baiga. 

Devar singers also sing the Pandvani Ramayana epic. How can the wall people roam their life

Jalya, there are different views about it.

Pardhan Jajat, the singers of Pardhan Jajat used to go to the house of their hosts and recite Pandwani. This 

plot of pandavani

The Pandwani of the Pradhan caste is based on the Mahabharata as well as a mixture of the Gond sects.

While the hero of Mahabharata is Arjun, the hero of Pandavani is Bhima.

Bhima is the master of all the species of the Pandavas.

Pandwani Manku Nati is called Mata Kotma and Gandhari is called Gandhataran.

Twenty-one of gandhataran Sons have been told.

The area shown in Pandwani is Chhattisgarh only.

where did the Pandavas live

It has been called Jaitnagari.

The abode of the Kauravas has been called the city of Hasna.

In Pandvani, both Pandavas and Kauravas are herders.

Pandavas and Kauravas grazing with cattle

Used to go Among the animals were cows, goats, and elephants.

Kauravas always harassed Ajuthan and Bhima.

Who used to teach a lesson to the Kauravas.

Pandavani -the story of Bhima

In Pandavani, the Kauravas once poisoned Bhima with food and drowned him in the ocean.

Bhim When Patal reaches the underworld, Sanjogna revives him by pouring him nectar.

Sunjogna is Nag Kanya which happens to be the marriage of Bhima and Sanjogna in Patal Lok.

After a few days, Bhima starts sobbing and wants to see his mother and brothers.

Then Sunjogna brings Bhima from Patal Lok to the beach.

Bhima becomes very happy after reaching his mother and four brothers.

when the Kauravas Wanted to kill the Pandavas in Lakh Mahal, it was Bhima who lays the groundwork for a path to Hades.

and protects everyone.

After this incident, Bhima reaches Bairat Nagar with his mother and brothers. 

The name of the king of the city (Bairat Nagar in Pandwani) is Sangram Singh.

Bhima killed Kichak in the same Javrat Nagar.

 In Pandavani, the war of Mahabharata has been described as the battle of Mahadhan.

Draupadi’s thinking has been shown to be very different.



There is no need for any festival or festival to perform Pandwani.

Pandwani  can be organized  Anytime Anywhere

Sometimes Pandavani goes on continuously for many nights.

Pandwani at present the Gajaika singers walk around the stage with a tambourine in hand and present the story.

The tambourine sometimes becomes Bhima’s mace and sometimes Ajuthan’s bow.

Gond tribal beliefs have a deep connection with the Pandavas and especially with Bhimsen.

The Gonds consider him the god who brings rain.

Scholar Sheikh Gulab has written, according to Gond’s belief, there was a severe drought at some point in time.

It didn’t rain, the crop got destroyed.

All the animals and birds started dying of hunger.

Gond Thakur started craving water for farming.

If there is no rain, if there is no agriculture, then what will people eat Everyone was thinking about water, Gunia and witches did sorcery.

Offerings were made to the gods, and sacrifices were made but nothing happened.

Gond Thakur knew that Bhima is the one who rains water, it rains by his grace.

They bring water into the clouds and then it rains.

This time Bhim Sen has become angry, it will rain only when he is happy.

They started thinking of ways to please Bhimsen.

Once Bhimsen was happy and danced playing the instrument, then it rained.

Thinking of this, he started preparing for Bhima Nacha to please Bhimsen.

Preparations for Bhim Puja started in the village.

Then they started coming wandering in the sky.

It started raining heavily and thus the program of Bhimsen Puja was completed.

According to another legend narrated by Shaikh Gulab, Tuma is Bhima’s Baja, it has only one guard.

Whenever he was in high spirits, he used to play Tuma Baja and Draupadi used to dance happily listening to it.

When there was a crisis with the Pandavas, they started working in the baraat.

When Bhima did not get a job, he started playing and dancing with Tuma and started feeding himself with this.

Bhima is worshiped as the God of rain

Even today, villages all over Chhattisgarh have Bhima Dev’s shrines, chubby wooden pillars, or statue representing Bhima Dev. In the Bastar region, Bhima is worshiped as the God of rain.

Every year his Bhima Jatra is celebrated by people from all over the village together on the Friday of the month of Bhadon.

If it rains well, normal worship is done with coconut and incense sticks, but in case of no rain, Bhima Jatra is organized on a large scale by the entire village.

Gond tribal youths and women sing and dance enthusiastically in this.

Bhima Dev’s head is called, Bhima Dev plays by climbing on it.

He is pleased and assures good rain.




Jhaduram Devangan

Pandvani Performer, Jhaduram Devangan, Chhattisgarh

In the year 1945, Mr. Jhaduram Dewangan, who is known as Pandwani’s grandfather, was rising, with his rise there have been extensive changes in the presentation and form of Pandwani.

If we look into the past, we know that the Gond tribe was prosperous farmers and socially influential in the entire Gondwana region.

There was also a tradition of organizing stories and songs here.

It is believed that in the beginning these stories were sung only by some Gonds, the family groups of those storytellers later took the form of a storytelling caste.

Pardhan, Dewar, and Bhimma are such tribes.

Common people of these communities and researchers of tribes all agree that Pardhan, Dewar, and Bhimma communities are only sub-branches of the Gond tribe.

These people believe that their ancestors were Gonds only.

All these three communities are itinerant storytellers-singers and their main traditional judges have been Gond farmers.

At least once a year, they must go to the house of their host and receive wealth and blessings in charity by singing stories.

Pardhan people dance by playing the instrument called Bana, Dewar people by playing Sarangi / Sarangi, and Bhimma people by playing Tuma Baja.

Pradhan storytellers have been reciting oral narratives like Gondwani, Pandavani, and Ramayani for centuries.

Dr. Sonauram Nirmalkar -a reasearcher

According to Dr. Sonauram Nirmalkar, who has done extensive research on the Devar community, the storytellers of the Devar community used to sing small stories (Pandwani) of Mahabharata along with many other stories during begging.


Chetan Dewangan, a senior disciple of Pandwani

Chetan Dewangan, a senior disciple of Pandwani’s grandfather Jhaduram Dewangan, says that he has heard that long ago the Satnami community of Shivrinarayan area used to sing Mahabharata story episodes like Ghatotkachav Bayah, Nakul Bayah and Sahdev Bayah in their choupals, their recitation traditions.

Later, before Jhaduram Dewangan, Narayan Lal Verma of Ravana-Jheepan village was probably the first known Pandwani singer here during British rule.

It appears that the present form of Pandwani was probably introduced by Narayan Lal Verma.

Chital Ram Dewangan Pandwani singer

Although at that time also Chital Ram Dewangan and Poonaram Nishad were famous traditional Pandwani singers. But in the then Chhattisgarh, Jhaduram Dewangan’s Vedmati Mahabharata Pandwani had such a wide impact that folk-based Pandwani singing almost ended, and Shastrasammat Pandwani became popular with its new singing style.

By the 1970s, the situation of Pandwani singing had changed even more.

A new chapter in the world of Chhattisgarhi Pandwani singing started with the beginning of Pandwani singing by Tijan Bai of the Pardhi or Bahelia caste.



Thus we see that the present popular form of Pandwani has come a long way from its traditional origin.

The present urban form of Pandwani of Chhattisgarh has lost its ritualistic and social energy and importance and has become a medium of public entertainment.

In the changed environment, this may be the only way left for survival in this form of time.

The form of Chhattisgarhi Pandwani Katha singing that we see today is very different from its original form. It is also interesting to know what is the form of this journey of Pandwani singing from the rustic courtyards and chaupals to reach the urban forums. Although in negligible quantity, in its original form, this tradition continues even today in some villages.

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