Voices along the Ganges : Weddings & Funerals

As I write this post, news has already poured in : River Ganges has been declared the National River of India. Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh later announced : ‘the emotional link between Ganga and Indians needs to be recognised‘.

In my earlier posts Voices along the Ganges : Saints & Beggars and Voices along the Ganges : Chants & Folklores, I let you experience some great exotic sounds right from the source of the Ganges, Gomukh to Benares (Varanasi) and then Patna in Bihar.

Bihar has immensely contributed to the hindustani classical music and has produced musicians like Bharat Ratna Bismillah Khan and dhrupad singers like the Malliks (Darbhanga Gharana) (see previous post on the Malliks) and the Mishras (Bettiah Gharana). Bihar has a very old tradition of beautiful folk songs, sung during important family occasions, such as marriage, birth ceremonies, festivals, etc. They are sung mainly in group settings with the help of many musical instruments like Dholak, Bansuri and occasionally Tabla and Harmonium are used. Bihar also has a tradition of lively Holi songs known as ‘Phagua‘, filled with fun rhythms.

Patna – Sohar :  (Download)

Patna – Marriage Song :  (Download)

During the 19th century, when the condition of Bihar worsened under the British misrule, many Biharis had to migrate as indentured laborers to West Indian islands, Fiji, and Mauritius. During this time many sad plays and songs called biraha became very popular, in the Bhojpur area. Dramas on that theme continue to be popular in the theaters of Patna.

Continuing our journey southwards along the bank of the Ganges we come across Mithila, a land shaded by old mango groves and watered by melt water rivers of Nepal and the Himalayas.

Mithila – Ropni Geet (sowing of paddy) :  (Download)

Mithila – Kohbar :  (Download)

Malda – Domni Chant :  (Download)

The men of Mithila have been famous as priests and scholars. The women largely illiterate, find cultural expression through exquisite paintings created for ritual occasions. They cover their courtyard walls in abstract images in brilliant colour.

In the 1960s some local officials realised that if the women would only put some of their paintings on paper there might be a worldwide market for their creations. They proved to be correct and it is a mild irony in Mithila that the fame of the women has surpassed that of the men, because Mithila Art, otherwise known as Madhubani Paintings also, is now recognised throughout the world.

.. more Voices along the Ganges »

The journey along the river Ganges will continue…

Enjoy !!



  1. Vikas said,

    November 13, 2008 at 3:47 pm


  2. Sachin said,

    November 14, 2008 at 1:33 am

    hello sir

    i am completely bowled over by seeing huge collection of songs….. or should i call them gems!!! at one place.i know how much of hard work must have gone in doing so.i really appreciate your effort from the bottom of my heart.

    i am a novice here.so i need some guidance.i went on this page: http://indianraga.fileave.com/files/indianraga-collection.html

    where can i find all of these songs?actually i was trying on all songs by Pt.Channulal Mishra (930-986). i searched esnips but could not find all songs, esp Kaun Gali Gaye Shyam. where can i find these. r they deleted by esnips ?plz i implore you.do something…… upload once more…….
    i know its hard but plz….. there can be some solution……..

    do reply

  3. indianraga said,

    November 14, 2008 at 7:25 am


    The collection that you mentioned is for information purpose. You may choose a song from that list and send your request by email. Normally I upload only one song per request onto my eSnips account.

    To visit my eSnips account go to :


    As regards Channulal Mishra songs, I have uploaded many of them on eSnips. Browse the following folders for them :


    Don’t rely on eSnips Search too much…as far as I know eSnips is not indexing mp3 files any more and files that have been uploaded lately are not appearing in the search.

  4. in the navy! said,

    April 16, 2009 at 7:54 am

    niyavu kulina boci.

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