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Panihari: Rajasthani Folk Music Developed by the Women of Rajasthan

Panihari form of folk music is believed to have been developed a very long time ago by the women of Rajasthan. Most of the songs in Panihari style of music are based on the theme of rain.

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Panihari Rajasthani Folk Music

Panihari Rajasthani Folk Music

Rajasthan is a state that is fond of celebrations from religious festivals to art fairs, every occasion in the state is incomplete without music. Rajasthani folk music is a distinctive art that reflects the strong roots and rich culture of people inhabiting the desert state. One of the popular forms of folk music in the state other than the Maand forms of music is Panihari.

Here is an instrumental piece of Panihari folk music, check it out:

Panihari form of folk music is believed to have been developed a very long time ago by the women of Rajasthan. Due to the scarcity of water, they used to go far off places to fetch water, which is known as Panihari. As the women used to get tired and exhausted from fetching water, they developed their own tunes and used to hum sounds.

These talked about the water flowing in the rivers and the splashing waves. This is why most of the songs in Panihari of music are based on the theme of rain. As time passed, these songs got popular as Panihari songs. Gradually these songs incorporated the daily activities and household chores performed by the women.

From talking about the struggles of daily life to expressing love and disappointment, these songs became an inseparable part of rajasthani folk music. Over the years, this form of art became an effective medium for women to express their creativity and emotions.

The most common theme of Panihari songs is a tale of a young woman who goes to fetch water from a well and meets a stranger on her way back home. Feeling pity she offers him water but the man starts praising her beauty and starts following her. As the villagers notice this, they complain to her mother who then finds out that the man is actually the young girl’s fiance

There is no formal raag or tune on which these songs are set, rather these are quite spontaneous. Some of the most popular Panihari songs are sung by Anuradha Paudwal and Seema Mishra. These songs have become an essential part of the celebrations during the festivals of Rajasthan.


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