Jammu & Kashmir Festival

Dates: 7th – 9th October

Artistes: 180 artistes

Venue: Multiple Venues

  • 7th October – Sri Ram Centre – 7 p.m.
  • 8th October – DLF Mall, Saket – 7 p.m.
  • 9th October – Jamia Millia Islamia – 4.30 p.m.



DIAF has an interesting three day Kashmir Festival at the multiple venues featuring 180 artistes, and reflecting the culture of all parts of the Jammu and Kashmir including the Kargil, Srinagar, Ladakh etc. It is a beautiful Folk arts Festival from the state which is often in news for all the wrong reasons, unfortunately.


This Festival reflecting the multi-cultural nature of Jammu & Kashmir is spread over three days from 7th-9th of October and would be a highlight programme of the Delhi International Arts Festival 2009. It includes elements of folk culture reflecting all regions and communities of the state.

The artistes from Kargil would be singing folk songs like Da Lhtongbyuru Lhtong, Shon Lhoo and Yar-Gyas. The first song is about the predicament of the girl of a minister who has been married to a distant village far away from her parental home. Shon Lhoo is a song essentially sung at the end of the harvest season in most of the villages around the Wakha Mulbekh belt of Kargil District. Sung by both males and females, the song reflects the contentment of the farmers after a good season’s harvest. The song, Yar-Gyas, reflects the heartfelt concern of the poet towards the diminishing culture ethos in lights of the modern era of science and technology and it is sung by both males and females. Here the poet requests the youth to know the worthiness of the indigenous products like local food, wool and leather.

Some of the performances to be staged are Kashmiri Dhamali Dance, Chabskyan dance, Music of Godri, Kashmiri Chakri, Dogri Punjabi Dance, Pahari Dance, Dogri Haran Dance, Kashmiri Bhand, Purgi Dance of Kargil, Dogri Kud Dance, Kashmiri Bachnagma and Dogri Chajjha Dance. Kashmiri Chakri is one of the most popular folk music played in the region played with the musical instruments like harmonium, rabab, sarangi and nout. Chakri was also used to tell stories like fairy tales or famous love stories “Yousuf-Zulaikha”, “Laila-Majnun”.

Some among these dances are Ladakhi dance forms namely Chabskyan, Jabro Dance and Bagston. Chabskyan dance is the heritage of Ladakhi kings and was presented only in the royal court only in the royal court with the drowning of democracy. Here the dancers perform carrying ‘Chabskyan’ or goblets of wine on their head. The artistes first place the goblets on the floor and then they sing a song in praise of kings and queens and the song, in particular, is in praise of the king Jamyang Padkar.

Jabro dance is a community dance of the nomadic people of Tibetan origin, living on the hills of the Changthang area of Ladakh. It is performed by men and women at all festive occasions. Jabro, which is essentially a tap dance, is very popular in the entire region.

Bagston is the traditional song and dance performed during the long proceedings of the wedding in the region. On any marriage, the singer (Nyopon) is traditionally engaged to lead his party (Nyopas) on the ceremony.



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