‘The mountain, forest and streams are our gods’
Purusottam Thakur • Kalahandi, Odisha

‘The mountain, forest and streams are our gods’

The Adivasis of the Niyamgiri hills of Odisha won a victory in 2013 against mining, but the threats to their ancestral land remain. Rajkishor Sunani, poet-activist, sang about at the recent Niyamgiri festival

April 20, 2018 | Purusottam Thakur
Dancing to the dollu in Hesaraghatta
Vishaka George • Bangalore Urban, Karnataka

Dancing to the dollu in Hesaraghatta

Young women on the outskirts of Bengaluru excel at a Kannada drum-and-dance form long thought to be a skill for burly men. In the video here, watch the group perform with extraordinary energy and rhythm

November 14, 2017 | Vishaka George
Drums and dreams beyond pickle and papad
Puja Awasthi • Patna, Bihar

Drums and dreams beyond pickle and papad

Battling barbs from villagers, abusive husbands, and centuries-old caste prejudices, ten Dalit women in Dhibra village of Bihar have formed a band – and now have many marching and swaying to their beat

August 3, 2017 | Puja Awasthi
Melodies of Mahila Holi in Munsiari
Arpita Chakrabarty • Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand

Melodies of Mahila Holi in Munsiari

In the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, different types of Holi are celebrated across many days, and the festivities are a time for the women in the villages here to dance and let their songs reverberate amid the mountains. A photo story for PARI's International Women’s Day series throughout March

March 17, 2017 | Arpita Chakrabarty
Dhol on wheels
Sinchita Maji • Birbhum, West Bengal

Dhol on wheels

Srilal Sahani is a fish-seller by day and an extraordinary musician by evening – he rides hands-off on a bicycle while playing a dhol and cymbals behind him – in Santiniketan, West Bengal

December 22, 2016 | Sinchita Maji
Bringing them to school singing and drumming
Saurabh Chandra • Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh

Bringing them to school singing and drumming

In Mawaiya Uparhar village in Uttar Pradesh, a student-led procession to promote the education of girls gave Mamta Nishad a chance to study further

November 11, 2016 | Saurabh Chandra
Dawandi
Namita Waikar • Solapur, Maharashtra

Dawandi

A village crier in Solapur spreads messages to the beats of a drum

September 27, 2016 | Namita Waikar
Drums, bagpipes and Choliya dance
Yashashwini Raghunandan & Ekta Mittal • Bageshwar, Uttarakhand

Drums, bagpipes and Choliya dance

Choliya troupes in Uttarakhand integrate Scottish bagpipes into rural Indian music

April 2, 2016 | Yashashwini Raghunandan & Ekta Mittal
A different kind of drumbeat
Namita Waikar • Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu

A different kind of drumbeat

Two young girls at Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam play the mridangam

November 13, 2015 | Namita Waikar
Pung
Anubha Bhonsle & Sunzu Bachaspatimayum • Thoubal, Manipur

Pung

This traditional drum of Manipur's Meitei community is central to their culture, and to spectacular music and dance

December 31, 2015 | Anubha Bhonsle & Sunzu Bachaspatimayum
Kali dances – Thappattam
Aparna Karthikeyan • Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu

Kali dances - Thappattam

Watch Kali Veerapadran – perhaps the only male dancer who has mastered the classical dance form Bharatanatyam, as well as three ancient Tamil folk dance forms – in a riveting performance

July 20, 2014 | Aparna Karthikeyan