Nati

One of the most celebrated folklore dances in the country is Sirmour Nati that is mainly practised in the northern part of India. Among the earliest types of north Indian dances, performed extensively in Himachal Pradesh, Nati is a joyous form of expression. It involves intricate moves and is practiced mostly during New Year celebrations called Losai. Performed in a group, Nati has been included as the largest mass performing folk dance in the Guinness Book of World Records. Tourists can catch a mesmerising performance of the dance on their trip and get wooed by dancers dressed in traditional attire, moving to the tunes of ethnic music.

Nati

Charasay-Tarasay

Also known as Birshu-Nirshu, the dance form is performed in March-April by married women only. No musical instruments are used during the performance and these women dance to the tune of songs. It begins in the evening and ends the next day in the morning.

Charasay-Tarasay

Buddha Statues

Also known as Birshu-Nirshu, the dance form is performed in March-April by married women only. No musical instruments are used during the performance and these women dance to the tune of songs. It begins in the evening and ends the next day in the morning.

Buddha Statues

Singing Bowls

Used to make melodious tunes, a singing bowl is a musical instrument that produces sound when it is struck, scraped or shaken. An inverted bell-like structure, it comes in various sizes, and for more delicate sounds you can buy smaller bowls, while for deeper tunes, larger bowls are preferred. Usually, a mallet is used to strike the singing bowls. Since music has often been believed to be an important component of meditation and healing, the bowls are used in spiritual purposes. It is said that the sounds that the bowls produce gives energy that is used to join the broken frequencies of soul, body and mind.

The most common method of making a singing bowl is hammering a flat metal sheet by at least three people into a bowl shape. The edges are bent and hammered until they are smooth. Another method of making the bowl is by pouring molten metal in a mould. The other part of the bowl, the neck, is formed by welding it with the bowl, after which it is polished. This method produces sounds that are longer lasting. The bowl is embellished by enamelling mainly.

Singing Bowls

Thangka

A popular form of Buddhist art that is made on silk or cotton scrolls, thangka paintings are a beautiful expression used to convey messages of Buddhist philosophy. They can be done in intricate applique or embroidery form as well. Buddhism and its philosophies are conventionally depicted through scenes, mandalas and deities in these paintings. While they are quite appealing aesthetically, they are also used for meditative purposes as practitioners focus on the deities in the paintings and try to develop a clear visualisation.

Earlier, these paintings were used to teach people about the lives of the masters. It is said that a lama would go around preaching on dharma and carrying scrolls of thangka to illustrate his message. Considered sacred, this art form dates back to the 7th century, when it originated in Nepal. The most prominent of thangka paintings is the Menri type, which is distinguished by its vibrant colours and a central figure who is surrounded by events and people in his life.

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Thangka