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Garba

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The Dance

Originated in Gujarat, garba is similar to Social Dancing. The literal meaning of Graba is inside the earthenware lamp. It comes from the Sanskrit word Garba Deep.

It is performed during Navratris - the nine auspicious nights - wherein the Goddess Ambaji is worshipped. Goddess Amba is the one of the nine forms of Goddess Durga - the main diety.For the dance the Ambajis Idol is placed in the middle of the circle of boys and gils. The entire dance goes round and round the Goddess Idol. The modern Garba is a reflection of the Ras Dance.

The Garbo or the earthen pots has holes in it all around. Light within signifies Knowledge. The Concept of Garbo is linked to microcosm and macro- cosm. Moving around in circle signifies the never ending cicle of creation, maintenanace and destruction of the human body and things around it. The songs used in the dance are the traditional Gujarati songs sung by Gujarat Singers.

Facets Of Garba :
Navratri and Dance
Navratri and its Dance
The nine forms of Goddess Durga - Bhadrakali, Amba or Jagdamba, Annapurna, Sarvamangala, Bhairavi, Chandika, lalita and Bhavani - are prayed on this day. In Gujarat the main diety is Ambaji - the Mother of the World. Playing with colors is also a part of the tradition.

Garba Dancer Costume
Costume of Garba Dancers
Women wear bright colored Chaniya Cholis- long skirts with tops, and men wear the dress known as Kedias. Sea shells, heavy embroidery, and dy ed colors are the trademark of the Garba Dancers.Kamkha, Chudla, Kedia and Modjee are the part of the dress.


Navratri Dance
The Dance Form of Garba

Garba dance is the one which hails from Saurashtra - one part out of the four parts of Gujarat. Garba songs are in prais e of the Goddess Amba describing her Strenth, power and her beauty. Social Themes and seasons also make a part of the Garba Songs.Damru, Tabla, Nagara, pot drum, percussion, Ektaro, Ravan hattho, Jantar, Pavo, shehani, murli, turi, and taturi are the musical instruments used in Garba Dance.

Modern Garba also includes Ras Dance. Dancing in Circle by men and women is the main feature of the Garba Dance. Three variety of Garba Dance are described -
  • Dandia Ras - In this sticks or dandas are used for dance.
  • Mandala - Clapping is used in this dance form.
  • Lata Rasaka - Dancers cling to each other and dance like a creeper to a tree.


  • Dress used in Garba
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