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#16 Traditional Music and Dance of Old Delhi (Old Delhi Series)

0 Old Delhi resounds with diverse music and dance woven into its cultural fabric. Exploring these lively art forms offers a glimpse into the city’s living heritage. Old Delhi comes alive with the sounds of music and dance. As you walk along the busy lanes, you can hear melodies that transport you back in time.  The soulful voices of qawwals singing devotional songs echo from the alleys near Nizamuddin Dargah. The rhythmic beat of dholaks and the swirling sounds of the santoor float above the chatter of the bazaars. Under the arches of monuments, dancers wearing anklet bells perform flowing Kathak movements.  From classical ragas perfected in royal courts to folksy Bhatial dance tunes, music and movement bring Old Delhi’s layered culture to life. Let the harmonies of past and present carry you away. Melodies of Mystic Sufis The alleys around Nizamuddin Dargah echo with qawwalis and Sufi renditions. Do you know Amir Khusro, the revered Sufi saint, invented qawwali here in the 14th century? You’ll be amazed that qawwalis infuse Persian, Arabic, Turkish and South Asian sounds glorifying the divine. Watching qawwals perform at the Dargah is mesmerising.   Not only that but musical gatherings called mehfils at the Dargah feature soulful songs passed down generations. Courtly Dance and Music Old Delhi was the hub for prestigious dance and music under Mughal patronage. Do you know Tansen gave his first Delhi performance here? You’ll be shocked that the Red Fort hosted legendary courtesans who excelled in Kathak dance, singing and poetry. Their kalbeliyas or dance bells still jingle in Old Delhi’s lanes. Not only that but majestic naubat recitals on traditional instruments once marked royal occasions inside the Red Fort. Folk Traditions of Shahjahanabad Old Delhi bustled with street performers and folk arts trending among the common public.  You’ll be charmed watching Bhatial folk dancers in colourful costumes perform acrobatics and fire dances near the Red Fort. Not only that but rustic music traditions like Nautanki, Khyal and Sham-e-Ghazal historically thrived in the walled city’s bazaars.  From exalted classical arts to earthy folk forms, Old Delhi resounded with diverse melodies and movements reflecting its composite culture.  Old Delhi’s lanes and ruins still echo with centuries of melodies and rhythms. The alleys hummed with Tansen’s ragas, Amir Khusro’s qawwalis, and courtesans’ ankle bells. Even today, the narrow streets are filled with the resonant voices of qawwals singing praises, the beats of festive drums and the strains of sitars from the past.  Music and movement intertwine with Old Delhi’s living heritage. Through its many notes, steps, and traditions, we can discover the enduring soul of a city and its people. The cultures of yesterday blend seamlessly into the culture of today through these vibrant expressions.

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