Culture of Uttar Pradesh


Uttar Pradesh has been the cultural seat of the country for a very long time. The history of Uttar Pradesh is fascinating, and it has shaped a rich cultural heritage of the state that has emerged as the focal point of the Indian culture. The Mauryans, the Mughals, the British, etc. all brought with them their own cultural traits.

A cultured, genteel lifestyle was the essence of the rule of the Muslim Nawabs of Awadh. Music, dance, literature, poetry, arts and crafts flourished under royal patronage. Women were encouraged to learn the fine arts and to read and write, albeit within the ‘purdah’. Litterateurs, painters, dancers and musicians created masterpieces in their respective genres.

Writers like Munshi Premchand, Mahadevi Verma, Srikant Verma, poets like Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’, Harivanshrai Bacchan, Sumitra Nandan Pant, Mahavir Prasad Dwiwedi, and Upendranath ‘Ashk’; artistes of the stature of the shehnai maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan, Kathak wizard Birju Maharaj, tabla maestro Kishan Maharaj, the legendary Baba Allaudin Khan and his disciples Pt. Ravi Shankar and Ustad Vilayat Khan; ghazal singers Begum Akhtar, Rasoolan Bai, Girija Devi and many more have lived and practised their art and craft here.

Uttar Pradesh is the place where one of the six foremost classical dances of India, the Kathak, flourished. The word Katha, from which the name is derived, means story. It originated in northern India, during the 7th century A.D. Kathak has very intricate and complex movements of hands and feet along with facial expressions. The footwork is accompanied by the music of various percussion instruments such as tabla and pakhwaj, which are native to north India.

Folk arts of Uttar Pradesh include these theatrical forms-
Braj Raslila, which is associated with the life of the lover-God, Lord Krishna
Ramlila is another such art form dealing with the life of Lord Rama
Charukala is another folk dance of the state. The dance of Charkula involves a female dancer balancing a column of lighted deepikas over her head while dancing.

Rasiya describes the love of Radha and Shri Krishna. Charkula and Rasiya are native arts of the Braj region of the state.

Source: up-tourism.com

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