Lalharhi – a show stopper folk dance at Manali Winter Carnival 2016

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Manali: Women from across Kullu valley have taken it upon themselves to revive ‘Lalharhi’, an old pahari folk dance form that the new generation has almost forgotten.

Dancing troupes from about 30 Mahila mandals of Kullu have stepped up keep the tradition alive and promote this dance form among the younger generations.

Reviving an old traditional dance form

Reviving an old traditional dance form

Jeetram Sood, a local resident and founder – Museum of Himachal culture and folk art, Manali disclosed to Hill Post that in Lalharhi only unmarried and married women perform this dance during fairs and marriage ceremonies.

The dance is tuned and time just by the songs as there are no musical instruments played during this dance form.

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The dancers arrange themselves in two rows facing each other. One of the rows starts singing, dancing and moves towards the other row. Then they come back to their previous positions. The other row of dancers follows the same step.

Over 300 women today congregated on the busy Mall Road of Manali and danced Lalharhi to the tunes of old pahari folk songs.

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The purpose was to teach it to younger generations. Given the crowds that thronged to see the performance, tourists in large numbers were among those who enjoyed the participative dance that lasted for hours.

Sub-divisional magistrate Jyoti Rana also joined the woman bandwagon seen in traditional attire to participate in one show.

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“Lalharhi is one of the main attractions for this years Winter Carnival of Manali which opened up on 2nd January 2,” said Jyoti Rana while speaking to Hill Post.

It is hardly known among the younger generations and we with the help of local Mahila Mandals have made a conscious effort to revive and conserve this heritage dance form, said Jyoti Rana.

Manali magistrate Jyoti Rana (Left) in Kullvi dress

Manali magistrate Jyoti Rana (Left) in Kullvi dress

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Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice. He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express. With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology. Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.

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