Padhar Dance of Gujarat
Padhar Dance is one of the popular folk dance form performed by the people of Padhar community. Padhar Community is one of the prominent communities of Gujarat. The community is also one of the ancient communities of the state. Padhar people are followers of Hinduism and they worship various forms of Goddess Durga and pay special reverence to the goddess Hinglaj Mata. A few have also become members of the Swaminarayan sect.
When performing this dance form the people are in a mood of excitement and frenzy. People indulge in a lot of fun, merry making, music and dance.
The Padhar are distributed in six villages in Surandarnagar and four villages in Ahmadabad District. Their main villages are Shahpur, Sahiyal, Dharji, Devadthal, Nam Katechi, Ranagadh, Ralal, Parali, Parnala, Godi and Anandpur. They claim to have originated in Sindh, and their existence is due to the grace of Hinglaj mata, a Hindu goddess. The Padhar have been given scheduled caste status, and speak Gujarati. According to some traditions, they were originally Kolis, although this claim is denied by the Kolis.
The dance replicates the events that happen in the life of mariners. Rising and falling of sea waves and the wandering nature of mariner’s job is shown through this dance form. As sea plays a major role in the life of these people, it also reflects in various art, dance and music forms performed by Padhar community people. These dance forms depict the rich traditions and culture of the place. They also show the hardships of the people and their way of accepting challenges and overcoming them. Dance is the best way to express sentiments and emotions that are difficult to put across in words. The dances also show the life style of people of a specific region. Gujaratis celebrates every occasion in their life with great joy and fervour and so is with the Padhar dance
Costumes of Padhar Dance:-
The people of the Padhar community wear normal Dhotis and Kurtas while performing the dance. A waist band of cloth is tied with the outfit of the performers. The head of the dancers is also covered with the tied piece of the cloth making the performance look graceful and pleasant.
Picture of Padhar Dance :-
Video's of Padhar Dance :-