Dhrupad Mela Festival in Varanasi, February 2006 (Guest Post)

January 7, 2011

The following is a guest post from my NYC-based friend Beau Gordinier -C:

So here is a track from the Dhrupad Mela, a north indian classical music fest in Varanasi (Benaras) from February 2006 that I recorded, likely very late at night. The Mela ran for three days and music ran from 8pm until 8am, yes, that’s not a typo, it went all night long until the sun came up on the Ganges river, providing the most sublime reward for enduring a monkey and mosquito filled night full of ancient Vedic musical gifts. I have no idea who the artists were, but the music was otherworldly of course, and the setting was likewise, right there on Tulsi Ghat sitting above the ganga river. This is one of the shorter tracks as you can imagine, most are well over 10 minutes, and again can’t offer much in description of the song, but you will hear tablas, tambura and sitar and dhrupad (long song) vocals. Very often harmonium, sarod, santoor and bamboo flute are included in the instrumentation, through the course of the night you will likely hear combinations of all of these. I’m trying to dig up some photos to go along, I had some fantastic shots but the drive they were stored on died. Some are stored online, but only small thumbnails it seems…check them out here. Also, according to an Uttar Pradesh tourism site, this year’s dhrupad mela seems to be running from February 28th to March 2nd. I encourage anyone with the ability to check it out! An incredible musical journey in a truly magical place. -Beau

The music speaks for itself!:


Dhrupad Mela 2006

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2 Responses to “Dhrupad Mela Festival in Varanasi, February 2006 (Guest Post)”

  1. Beau Says:

    More mela recordings can be uploaded upon request!

  2. shuchi Says:

    Hi…im going to attend the dhrupad mela this year from 28 feb – 2march i suppose. Do we need to buy tickets?


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