Home » Unlabelled » Nagar Vadhu (courtesans or bride of the city') dance around burning funeral pyres in Varanasi
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Nagar Vadhu (courtesans or bride of the city') dance around burning funeral pyres in Varanasi
Perhaps Banaras, where dying means attaining moksha, is the only place on this planet that showcases such a unique musical night with full of life and energy at the cremation ground where people normally avoid to make visit particularly during night hours. The smokes from the pyres and cracking sounds coming from the burning bodies seemingly fail to dishearten people watching the show as well as the performers.
"It is really Maha Smashan Nath, the lord of cremation site, on the seventh night of Chaitra Navratra annually. After performing religious rituals they present dance and music at the makeshift stage amid the burning pyres in respect of the lord of cremation ground. "It is a tradition in Varanasi that the Nagar Vadhu (courtesans or bride of the city') perform for the deity at the seventh night of Chaitra Navaratra," said the organiser Gulshan Kapoor adding that besides the local sex workers the women of this trade also arrived from Mirzapur and Chandauli.and to see these women dancing amid burning dead bodies. It is beyond my imagination," wondered a foreign backpacker who was trying to capture the scene in his camera. These women coming from different places were the sex workers, who performed dance and music at Manikarnika Ghat, the greatest cremation site, on Wednesday night. Traditionally the sex workers offer prayer to
"We charge money from the clients for our performance whole year, but on this particular day we perform for the lord just to get rid our sins," said one of them. Clad in glittering attires they presented dance on Bollywood numbers after rendering religious songs. Mostly the local natives were among the audience while some foreigners were also watching them with utmost curiosity. TOI
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