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Art and Craft

Indian Art and Craft – Raas Leela

Indian Art and Craft – Raas Leela

Raas Leela is a traditional Indian Folk Dance a sort of cosmic dance item. The origin of Raas Leela (Ras Lila) is Vrajadham or Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh. It is deeply associated with Lord Sri Krishna and the Gopis. Raas Leela is popular in the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Manipur. The eternal love and togetherness between Lord Krishna and Radha Devi is depicted through the Raas Leela performance.

Origin of Raas Leela

Raas Leela performance is estimated to be since the early 15th century CE by Swami Sri Uddhavghamada Devacharya at Vamshivata in Vrindavan, Mathura. It is basically a dance between Lord Krishna and the Gopis (Maidens). It depicts deep emotions and sentiments of love, romance, tiffs, mischief, care, worry, jealousy and complaints. According to one legend, children used to dance and play along the banks of Yamuna. As they grew old, they stopped playing and dancing, which Krishna used to watch and enjoy. But he was very upset that it stopped and he decided to play music with his flute. Young people and children started dancing to his mesmerizing music around him. Krishna and Radha also danced along with them, which ultimately termed as the Raas Leela.

Costume and Theme

Men generally wear yellow dhoti and cover their bodies with heavy jewelry, with a turban having peacock feathers representing Lord Krishna. Women on the other hand wear ghagra-choli, drapped with a dupatta. Drums and Cymbals are used to play melodious songs. The theme of Raas Leela is such that the Gopis stealthily visit the forest to meet Lord Krishna in the night. Krishna used to play flute and gopis danced around him throughout the night. The traditional Raas Leela performance can go up to three hours.

Content collected from various sources and published for public awareness only

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Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


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