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It is obvious that each state of India is different in terms of culture and tradition. Chhattisgarh too is known for its distinct art and cultural traditions. Not just for minerals, Chhattisgarh is also famous for its old traditional heritage. Bilaspur a well-known region of Chhattisgarh is famous for its cultural heritage. In Chhattisgarh, there are many religious sects like Satnami Panth, Kabirapanth, Ramnami Samaj and others, but in Bilaspur influences of Satnami Panth can be seen. Numerous religious sects and their culture adds color to the culture of Bilaspur. Apart from major Indian festivals many local festivals are also celebrated with pomp and show. Bilaspur rich in its cultural heritage is famous for its particular dance styles, folk songs, cuisine and more.
Traditional Dance Forms in Bilaspur
Bilaspur is famous for its traditional dances. Panthi, Rawat Nacha, Karma, Kaksar, Padnwani and are famous dances of the region.The Panthi is a folk dance mostly performed among the Satnami community. This dance has some religious overtones and performed on Guru Ghasidas’s birth anniversary on Maghi Purnima. A special Jaitkhamb is set up for the day around which dancers perform to convey the spirit of their Guru. The Rawat Nacha is also a very interesting folk dance perform by cowherds. It is a traditional dance form of Yaduvanshis, the traditional worshiper of Lord Krishna. The Pandwani artist Teejan Bai is one of a repute performer of Pandwani dance which is highly praised and liked in this region of Chhattisgarh.
Traditional Folk Songs in Bilaspur
Traditional folk songs like Sohar song, Bihav song & Pathoni songs are very famous in Bilaspur.While Sohar songs are sung on the occasion of child birth, Bihav songs are related to marriage celebration. Pathoni songs are related to gouna (departure of bride to bridegroom home).There are several special folk songs of Bilaspur that are performed in a specific time of the year and some are sung throughout the year. For example- Sawnahi (in rainy seasons), Baramasi (12 months), Fag (Basant Geet) etc. The Festival's related folk songs of Bilaspur are Cher-Chera songs (it is sung in welcome of new crops, child songs), Sua songs (Dipawali) Dohe of Rout Nacha (Dipawali) etc.
Other popular regional folk songs are Goura songs (worships Shivji & Parvati in Dipawali), Janvara songs, Mata Seva songs, Bhojali songs, songs of Nagpanchami Dhankul songs, etc. Loriya, Khuduwa (Kakdi), Fugdi, Chau-Mau, Kau-Mau, Dandi Pouha are other popular amusing songs of Bilaspur. Some others like Karma songs, the Danda & Dewar songs are equally famous in Bilaspur.
Folk Plays of Bilaspur
The narration of the renowned epic Mahabharata is sung in Bilaspur and it is called Pandwani. Traditional folk plays:- Gond, Uranv, Halba, Korva, Kol, Madiya and many schedule tribes are found in Bilaspur.
Lorik-Chanda, Kari, Chandaini-Gonda, Gammatiha, Hareli, Sonha-Bihan are most famous and popular folk plays of the region. Rahas is one of the
modern folk plays of Bilaspur.
Entertainment in Bilaspur
People of Bilaspur particularly celebrate music, marriage, dance, and other cultural festivals like Ganga Dushhara, Navakhani, Sarhul Chherka, Dushara, Dipawali, Karma & Kartika. The people of this region are very fond of various colours. The dresses they wear are all multicolored. Women also wear sarees with Kardhani. In countryside areas the women wear mala made of coins of one rupee, though this has gone out of fashion these days. The people of this region are also known for creating humor out of language. Amusing plays are very popular and are worth watching.
Religion and Languages of Bilaspur
The land of Bilaspur is known for its cultural richness. In Bilaspur influences of Satnami Panth can be felt clearly. Hindi is the official language of the state but in rural areas of Bilaspur you find people speaking Chhattisgarhi language.
Festivals in Bilaspur
In Bilaspur all major Indian festivals are celebrated. But at the same time some of the locale festivals are equally famous in this region of Chhattisgarh. These traditional festivals reflects the rich culture of Chhattisgarh. Ganga Dushhara, Navakhani, Sarhul Chherka, Dushara, Dipawali, Karma & Kartika are popular festivals of the region. Navakhana is a traditional festival in Bilaspur which is an occasion to thank God for a good harvest. It takes place in calendar after the harvesting season and reaped rice is offered to the God first and after that dancing and drinking starts from the night. To pay respect to “Mother Earth” a special festival Surhul is celebrated. This happens when the Sal tree is in its full bloom and people go to the forest to pray.