Article By: Rohit Agarwal
There are some cities that the moment you hear their name, some music starts playing in your head. As India has been the land of dance and music since ages and thanks to the Bollywood movies, it still remains the same way that most cities here will give you that kind of experience. However, there are a few cities that are special in that sense. While some of them impart the feelings of purity, contentment and relaxation with their extraordinary soothing music, others fill you up with vigor, thrill and happiness. With the belief that different souls have different voices, I have decided upon the following list of cities with a musical soul that touches the hearts of millions.
With international recognition of being declared as the ‘City of Music’ by UNESCO this city deserves to be on the top of the list. According to the Vedas and puranas, Varanasi has been described as a land created by Lord Shiva – the developer of music and dance. There are various other legends also attributed to this pleasing city which add to its melody. Apart from this, with the so many notable musicians including the ultimate sitar player Ravi Shankar, the Shehnai expert Bismillah Khan, and the vocal music singer Girija Devi belonging to this city, it surely is worthy of the title “City of Music”.
Being the origin of one of the most popular Indian classical form of music i.e. Carnatic Music or the Karnatak Music, this city earns the second position on this list. Although it is now practiced in many parts of southern India, you will find the maximum number of Carnatic concerts and Carnatic Music Classes being held in this city. Being a soft music, it brings peace and calmness to the people of this city. Experience of such forms of music is really enriching and reassuring and makes you feel your emotions deeply.
The moment I hear the name “Punjab”, the following things flow automatically to my mind – dhol, bhangra, gidda, jhappi and pappi, lassi and sarso ka saag and it just continues like that. Not a city can be named as this is one state where every celebration starts with dhol music and ends with it too. The warm and welcoming nature of the people just adds to the tune. Be it a festival or a good news or anything as small as an ice cream treat, everything is a celebration here. People of Punjab are very happy go lucky people who believe in rejoicing everything with the dance and music. The Punjabi music is considered the liveliest style of composition with vibrant, contagious energy that travels fast from one person to the other.
- Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaipur – Rajasthan
When it comes to the “Music of Rajasthan” we cannot settle with just one city in the list. The three cities – Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaipur mark the origin of the Music of Rajasthan. Maand is a customary singing style here which is renowned in the classical cycle. The soulful music with expressive Sarangee tunes along with the lyrics on the life of Rajasthani people, it is known as a classical folk music now. Interestingly, this place is so serious about the music that the castes here are divided according to the kinds of music produced by their ancestors – as Langas, sapera, bhopa, jogi and Manganiar, etc. It may also be fascinating to know that the songs here revolve around the daily life of people like not sowing a certain crop or changing of seasons, etc. These cities with their exclusive conventional yet folk music technique are just an exceptional experience to have at least once in a lifetime.
Last but not the least, Mumbai – known as the city that never sleeps, also offers variety of music and dance forms – from the folk Lavni and Koli to the widespread Bollywood music, this city has it all! Lavni is a very popular dance music played to the foot tapping beats of the dholak in Mumbai. Koli is another folk music found here. It is a fishermen’s song which talks about their lives at sea and a loud energetic dance is necessarily goes with it. Apart from these folk dances and music, Mumbai is the foundation of diverse range of bollywood songs and rhymes. Some people also believe that there is a jingle in the traffic of this city too, which they think is the melody of their dreams.
If you ever want to experience all the kinds of Indian Music, visiting the above mentioned cities will solve the purpose in a very short period of time. So, go ahead and enjoy your visits to these cities.