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Gujarat is famous for its musical traditions, encompassing elaborate classical as well as earthy folk music. The state has been home to many renowned musicians. Narsinh Mehta was a Vaishnav poet belonging to Junagadh who created many hymns and devotional songs. Legend has it that Narsinh Mehta was spiritually in communion with Lord Krishna when he sang the Raag Kedar. He is associated with the famous hymn, Vaishnav Janto, one of Mahatma Gandhi’s favourites. Spiritually uplifting music has been part of Gujarat’s notable musical traditions.


Music Evolution

Music in Gujarat has a long history and wide diversity. The state is known for different forms of music, appropriate for different occasions. Some of the major types of music include lullabies, festival songs, wedding songs, devotional music, and Rannade. The Vaishnavs, devotees of Lord Vishnu, were creators of temple music. The Gadhavis and Charans, on the other hand, are folk artistes. The tradition of music in these communities is passed down on a hereditary basis. This has helped preserve the traditional form of the music. In the context of classical music, Gujarat has contributed to naming of ragas such as Bilaval, Sorathi, Gujaqri Todi, Lati, Ahiri and Khambavati. In the context of folk music, Gujarat’s contribution, besides different styles of singing, include varied musical instruments. These instruments include wind instruments, string instruments, and percussion. Wind instruments such as Bungal, Pava, and Turi and string instruments such as Ektaro, Jantar, and Ravan Hattho are contributions from Gujarat. This region has also gifted folk music with drums and percussion items such as Zanz and Manjira.  Gujarat has a long and rich tradition of classical and folk music. Music can rightly be said to form part of life in Gujarat, and most auspicious occasions have some kind of music associated with it. Even dedication to god is shown with a devotional hymn.



The Garba and Raas are dances associated with Lord Krishna, who lived at Gokul during his childhood. Lord Krishna is famously depicted in pictorial representations holding a flute, which he is said to have learned during his childhood. Another art form associated with him is the drama Bhavai. Gujarat is also famous for its vibrant dance forms, be it the Dangi, Siddi, Tippani, or Padhar. The Gaekwad rulers of Baroda were patrons of music, and their court featured singers and musicians such as Ustad Hazrat Inayat Khan, Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, Ustad Faiyaz Khan, and Pandit Omkarnath Thakur. The All India Music Conference was first held in Baroda in 1914 under the patronage of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad.



Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad, a great admirer of Indian Classical Music, established a music school in Baroda. Ustad Moula Bux received assistance from the Maharaja for establishing the Academy of Indian Music. Today, this institution is part of the Faculty of Performing Arts at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. The Gyan Shala was first set up in 1886, and is today known as the Department of Indian Classical Music (Vocal-Tabla). The Department of Indian Classical Music is the largest in the Faculty of Performing Arts.


Modern Today

Modern forms of music have also become popular in Gujarat, particularly among the youth. Hip Hop, Pop, Jazz and other styles of Western music have been appreciated, and Indian musical traditions from other states, such as Punjabi Bhangra, have also caught the fancy of young people. As New Year celebrations and other occasions feature many types of music, artists come flocking to the larger cities such as Ahmedabad to participate in musical events.

Home to old and new musical traditions, Gujarat is indeed a delightful place for lovers of music and performing arts.



Gujarat is one of the most vibrant states of India. This is due to the fact that it has a rich culture. The people of the state still follow the ancient practices of art and craft with great zeal. Gujarat arts and crafts are famous world wide. They were originally made for daily use purpose in homes. But with time, the stature of the crafts grew, converting it into a full fledged industry. Skilled artisans, inherent good taste, creativity and economical use of the resources contributed to the growth of the art and craft. Consequently, there are varied items available in the craft galore of the state.
The wide array of items to choose from include furniture, jewelry, metalwork items, embroidered garments, colorful linen, leatherwork, beadwork, mirror work, baked clay articles, etc. Gujarat is famous for its furnishings also. You can decorate your home with ethnic craft pieces, ranging from elegant cushion covers to quilts and from tablemats to bedcovers. These items are available in simple colorful geometric designs as well as complex patterns. Gujarat’s arts and crafts are essentially the legacy of its glorious past. They truly reflect the lifestyle, culture and, above all, the spirit of the state.
The artists here put in their best efforts in designing any form of crafts. Every piece of art reflects the attitude of people and craftsmanship towards life. Thus every craft and its concept differ from each other. Every craft reveals the individuality of the designers which is connected with religious value.
It is believed that the individuality of the craftsmen and their connectivity with religion has helped in improving their skills immensely. The feeling and knowledge can be seen in every painting, music, art, architecture, and poetry. The religion and its belief have played a key in helping these artists to express their creativity skills. The architecture, painting, music, frescoes, bronze, clay, textile, brass, and printing all manifest their emotions and the sense of creativity. The artists emerge nature, religion, and creativity in designing every stone, bronze, brass, clay wood, and others in a language which impresses every on-looker.


Following are some of the different types of art and craft that are well known among Gujarati people.


Sculpture and Miniature Painting

The Gujarat paintings are quite different and exclusive as compared to other types that are quite often seen. Every picture is beautifully sculptured painting. The outlines, curves, and bright colors make it all more attractive and worth buying.

It has a marvelous grace, something that is not seen even in Roman paintings. The aggressiveness and dialect is marvelous, which makes it quite distinct from others.
The Gujarati school and miniature can be traced back to the 11th century. The Jain patronage has all words of praise for this art. The fine art has great influence of Rajasthan and Rajputhana paintings.



Calligraphy reveals unique combination of science and creativity. It is a form of art which is passed from the father to his son, and also from the master to his disciple. Such form of art included everything such as preparation of color that was required for painting purposes. Unlike the other paints, this color would never fade and remain fresh for ages together. It is mainly used for wall decorations and other places, and some of the paintings are still there looking fresh.


Music and Art Stage

Gujarati folk music and dances also form a part of its rich tradition. Some of the famous poets and their works existed in the medieval times. The music and songs are still played with passion. Ragas have always been closely connected with the Hindustani music, and are still an important component of Indian classical music. The Gujarati music has great been greatly influenced by Narsingh Mehta and Baiju Bawara. The present day song and folk music still has the same ragas, and is sung passionately by singers. Bhavai is a famous and popular Gujarati folk stage art. Every artist excels in the skill of expressions, and everything and anything they do is worth watching and enjoying. In earlier times this show was performed in the village square, and was used as a medium to convey social messages to the people.


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