The various art forms of Himachal Pradesh reflect its rich culture and heritage. The people in this state preserve their traditional and social art forms through paintings, architecture, dance and music. You can get a sneak peek at the diversity and cultural heritage of the state with our Himachal Pradesh tour packages. With these customizable tour packages, you can enjoy the tour and explore the tourist attractions of your choice. Contact our travel experts for more information and book a tour with us!
An amalgamation of various cultures in Himachal Pradesh gives tourists a chance to explore its ethnic diversity. There is a strong Tibetan influence in the visual and performing arts in regions like Lahaul and Spiti, where most people are Buddhist. In Himachal Pradesh, music and dance form an integral part of celebrating any social occasion.
Music in Himachal Pradesh
Folk music and dance make religious festivals and social gatherings special. Religion has a strong influence on the people of Himachal Pradesh. During weddings, Ainchaliyan is played at the bride's house. It is a form of religious folk song that is mostly vocal and sung without any musical accompaniment. In temples, devotees sing Karak songs in honor of the deities.
There are also ritual folk songs like Dholru and Soohadiyan. The women sing Soohadiyan to celebrate childbirth. Dholru is a seasonal song popular among the farmers during the harvest season. The popular love songs of Jhoori, Mohana and Gangi speak volumes about the changing culture of Himachal Pradesh. These songs are a blend of the traditional and modern.
Another striking feature of these love songs is the extensive use of musical instruments such as the drums, nagara, and shehnai. Apart from these, musicians also use string and wind instruments. In addition, traveling musicians in Chamba play the tambourine.
Dances of Himachal Pradesh
- Dance is an indispensable part of social life in Himachal Pradesh. The regional dance forms make this state unique for tourists who are eager to explore its art and culture. Kullu, Kinnaur, Chamba, Lahaul Spiti, and Sirmaur have performances on every special occasion.
- The Kinnauris perform the Kinnaur dance form during the Tibetan New Year. They also welcome the autumn season with Namagen.
- Chamba has the legendary Dangi dance performed in the Chhatrari village. Sikri performances during the Suhai Fair every year attract tourists.
- The specialty of the Sirmaur dance lies in its Gee Dance, performed during the festival of Lohri. There is a unique custom of only girls born in the village to participate in the dance troop. After marriage, women who have come to Sirmaur from other parts of the country cannot take part.
- Nati is performed in 13 different styles, mostly in Kullu district.
Other prominent dance forms in Himachal Pradesh are:
- Mala Dance
- Demon Dance
- Dalshone and Cholamba Dances
- Nagas Kayang
- Jataru Kayang
- Shan and Shabu Dances
Paintings of Himachal Pradesh
The miniature paintings of Himachal Pradesh have received praise from domestic and global tourists. Popularly known as the Pahari painting, it depicts the lives of Radha and Krishna. In their contemporary form, these miniature paintings also depict flora and fauna of the state. Local artists also preserve the famous Kangra and Chamba School of Painting and the Buddhist Gompa style.
Handloom of Himachal Pradesh
There are Central Asian and Rajputana influences in the handloom of Himachal Pradesh. The Tibetan refugees have also brought their culture to the state. You can buy Tibetan handloom from the Tibetan markets in Shimla, Manali, Dharamshala and McLeodganj. Check out the timeless thangkas (embroidered and painted silk canvases).
Handloom Products - Shawls, woolen garments, carpets, blankets, caps, handkerchiefs, and bedsheets
Raw Materials - Wool is obtained from migratory mountain goats, angora rabbits, and sheep bred on farms in Kinnaur, Chamba, Mandi, and Hamirpur districts. Fine oak Tasar and mulberry silk are obtained from silk farms in Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Kangra, Sirmaur, and Una districts. Chemical and vegetable dyes are used to dye threads in various colors.
Interesting feature - The Chamba rumal (handkerchief) embroidery on silk and muslin is an interesting feature of the Himachali craft. Designs depict the lives of Hindu gods such as Krishna and Shiva. The rumal is traditionally used during weddings. Most interesting is that you will not find any knots in the satin embroidery.
Woodwork of Himachal Pradesh
The people of Himachal Pradesh are involved in both basketry and woodwork. Their carved designs are Rajasthani in style with Mughal influences. You can buy them in Lakkar Bazaar in Shimla. If you go to any Tibetan markets, you will find Tibetan-style woodwork.
Wooden Products - Baskets, trays, utensils, boxes, sticks, toys, and statues.
Raw Materials - Wood from pine, birch, mulberry, horse chestnut, and walnut trees are used. Additionally, bamboo stems and leaves are used for weaving baskets, trays and other household products.
Interesting feature - You can see artistic carvings on the wooden doors and walls of temples and monuments in Himachal Pradesh. Check out Viceregal Lodge in Shimla, Chini Vishnu temple in Kalpa, and other temples in Shimla, Kinnaur, Chamba, Sarahan, and Brahma.
Metal work of Himachal Pradesh
The Dharamshala, Shimla, and Chamba museums display a wide range of ancient metalwork of Himachal Pradesh. You will find a Tibetan influence in the metal statues and a Rajput influence in the jewelry designs.
Metal Products - Teapots, bowls, doorknobs, statues, lamps, musical instruments, smoking pipes, and jewelry
Raw materials - Copper, brass, bell metal, tin, iron, silver and gold
Interesting feature - The metal jewelry of Himachal Pradesh is in demand worldwide.
Leather and stonework are other crafts of Himachal Pradesh.