Culture has always been an attraction for Indian Tourism. The traditions, lifestyles, traits, habits, food have played an important part in boosting the cultural aspects of India. Also, these factors of Indian Culture have made their mark on international terms as well. A recent report indicated that Ghoomer, a folk dance of Rajasthan, was listed as world’s most amazing local dances, after it was being ranked fourth on the list by an international travel website. Ghoomer is a very simple and beautiful folk dance of Rajasthan. The graceful performances of Ghoomer elevate its aesthetic appeal in synchrony with the twirling of colourful, long–flowing skirts and the display of rhythmic talent. As the dance is performed on certain ceremonious and auspicious occasions such as Holi, Gangaur and Teej celebrations, it is considered as one of the traditional rituals of the community.

How did Ghoomer originate?

Ghoomer is a true spirit of the vivacious culture of Rajasthan. It derived its name from the word ‘ghoomna’ which means ‘to spin’. Ghoomer is basically a dance performed by a majority of the Rajputs. Ghoomer originated from the Bhils who are the tribal people of Rajasthan. It is because the Bhils were allies with the Rajput royalty, the royal women of Jaipur adopted Ghoomer and performed it on all auspicious and festive occasions such as weddings and during Navaratri. 

How is it performed?

Ghoomer is performed by women in swirling robes which is accompanied by women singing together. They form circles, spin and dance. The grace of the rajasthani skirt (ghaghra) is so amazing that it flairs slowly while the women folk twirl in their circles with their faces covered with the help of the veil. While singing some songs, they have certain measured steps to various body inclinations, beating palms or snapping fingers at particular rhythms.

Which musical instruments are needed to perform Ghoomer?

Ghoomer is broadly divided into two types–one which is performed by the non–tribal population of the urban areas while the other is prevalent among the tribal communities in the rural areas. Both of these forms are accompanied by the same musical instruments. These include the Dhol (drum), Jhalar (an idiophone), Algoza (a kind of double flute), Dholak, Nagara, bowl–shaped drums, Shehnai (the wind instrument) and harmonium.

Is there a costume peculiar to this dance?

Ghoomer is generally performed by women. This is well signified in the beautiful ghagra or the skirt which flows in a circular motion during the dance. Also, they wear a blouse along with a colourful dupatta that goes over the head. Since the costumes are so bright and colourful, women dancers wear nice traditional jewellery to go with the costume. 

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