Dhrupad Mela in Varanasi

Location: Celebrated at Tulsi Ghat.

When: In the month of February or March


Dhrupad Mela is a five-day long musical festival devoted to Dhrupad style and organized at Tulsi Ghat in the month of February or March. During these five days renowned artists from all over the country come to perform Dhrupad. Dhrupad Mela is one of the major tourist attractions of Varanasi as music lovers from not only the country but from around the world come here to take part or be a part of the musical extravaganza. This great event has become one of the major key points for tourism in Varanasi and very popular with enthusiasts of Indian traditional music. Journey to Varanasi during the Dhrupad Mela is definitely worth for people who wants to explore deeper into the merits of Indian traditional music in the hopes of finding a rare gem. Dhrupad singing is actually rare because it has remained unchanged since the Vedic times, when it used to be the accompanying music to the chanting of Vedic hymns and mantras and was also sung at the royal courts of the Mughals.

Dhrupad singing was completely declined in the 18th century but in the 19th century, Dhrupad singing got recognition because of the rising foreign curiosity in the Indian music. One of the main reasons for holding the Dhrupad Mela is to provide a prominent platform for Dhrupad singers and instrumentalists to showcase their talent. Dhrupad Mela does that by attracting huge crowd to its ‘dawn to dusk’ concerts and with a number of foreign tourists attending. Dhrupad singers use lyrics from religious and spiritual poetry as well as romance. Dhrupad singing is performed through a solo singer or small group of singers by using the music instruments like Rudra Veena, Pakhawaj or Tanpura. Dhrupad style of singing is one of the oldest type in Hindustani classical music and currently commemorate as a musical ritual. The word Dhrupad originates from Dhruva and Pada words (Dhruva means fixed and Pada means words), and symbolizes the type of poetry form and the technique in which it is to be sung.