Jagar Ritual Folk Dance, Uttarakhand

Jagar dance is a famous dance form that originated in Uttarakhand amongst the Kumaon and Garhwal region. The Jagar dance and ritual showcases how the spirits of the ancestors are worshipped amongst the local tribes. Each village and town has its own local gods and deities. Jagar is a ritual through which the tribe from the Kumaon and Garhwal region seek out to the local gods and deities to seek justice for some cases.

The word Jagar for the dance and ritual comes from a Sanskrit word which means 'To Wake'. This ritual helps in seeking penance against crime occurred and seek the gods to serve justice to the people in the Kuman and Garhwal region. Even when someone has fallen sick, people conduct the Jagar dance and ritual in order to find the remedy for the sickness.

This type of dance form is one of the ancient dance forms which were also mentioned in the famous epic scriptures like Mahabharata and Ramayana. Even in these epic scriptures, it was mentioned that each village had its own deity protecting the village, the boundaries and the people of the tribe. These deities are also known as Bhumyal or Kshetrapal according to the local tribes. This type of dance form and the Jagar ritual is known as the local heritage. Therefore, the culture has been preserved and passed down to the next generation for centuries now. There are many Garhwal region tribes and locals who have settled down in New Delhi and Jagar dance can be seen performed in the city of New Delhi as well.

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