The Dhamal dance of Haryana is an ancient dance form of the agricultural Hindu communities from the North Western region of India. These regions have vast river plains with rich alluvial deposits that make it a prime land for agriculture and the people living in those regions have a rich tradition of agriculture. This dance is believed to be originated from the Ahir tribe of the Gurgaon and Mahenderghar in the prehistoric times. The Dhamal dance is performed during the Phalgun month of the Hindu Lunar year which is the time for the yearly harvest.

The dance is performed only by the men and it also includes the worship of the Earth and the principal deities of the Hindu Pantheon. The Dhamal dance is performed in the open air and preferably during the evenings of full moons of a month. The clothes adorned by the men are specific for this event and have an array of colors and often characterized by sticks used as props. The long sticks are decorated with colorful pieces of cloths that flutter during the athletic dance movements.

Dance Form

The Dhamal dance is performed by the men that own the agricultural lands in celebration of the harvest. The men dressed in rich, light and colorful dresses with a turban on their heads form a circular formation and dance with a highly charged enthusiasm and energy. Not only that the dance is vigorous, the accompanying music and singing is also filled with energy that is evident from the high pitched shouts and fast paced tempo of the drum beats.

Musical Instruments

The traditional Punjabi musical instruments are used in the Dhamal dances that are described as:

Dhol: It is the quintessential North Indian drum with a higher range in the bass clef.

Dafali: It is a light open drum that is held in one hand and has a light ringing sound like a tambourine and it is held by the dancers of the Dhamal dance.

Sapera: It is a wind instrument that is synonymous with the snake charmers but is also used in various folk arts. A long note from the Sapera signifies the start of a Dhamal performance.


The Dhamal dance is probably the oldest dance form in the Bhangara tradition, often believed to have references in the mythical legends of the Hindus. It is an inseparable part of the lifestyle of the agricultural communities of North Western India.


There are many dances that have similar form in the Bhangra tradition but they essentially differ in their theme and purpose.

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