Artists from Rajasthan perform ‘Kalbelia’ dance during the National Folk and Tribal Art Festival in Bhopal.

Key details:

  • Kalbelia dance is a folk dance of Rajasthan.
  • It is well known by other names like ‘Sapera Dance’ or ‘Snake Charmer Dance’.
  • Kalbelia dance is particularly performed by a Rajasthani tribe called ‘Kalbelia’.
  • Rajasthan’s Kalbelia dance and songs are now in UNESCO’s representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity from the year 2010.
  • In Kalbelia dance, males play various traditional instruments and females perform the dance.

Kalbelia Dance Elements

  • Kalbelia dance has a traditional musical instrument which is Poongi also called Been.
  • Poongi is a kind of woodwind musical instrument used by Kalbelia tribe during catching snakes.
  • Other traditional musical instruments used by Kalbelia tribe in Kalbelia dance are Dufli, Morchang, Dholak, Khanjari, and Khuralio.


  • On the upper body, the female Kalbelia dancers wear Angrakhi.
  • On the head, the female Kalbelia dancers wear Odhani.
  • They wear a long skirt called Lehenga or Ghagra.
  • This complete dress is essentially black in color with the red decorative laces.

Kalbelia tribe

  • The Kalbelia are a snake charming tribe from the Thar Desert in Rajasthan.
  • The dance is an integral part of their culture and performed by men and women.
  • Kalbelias are followers of Sage Kanifnath.
  • They are also called Sapera and Jogira, Gattiwala and Poogiwara.
  • They live a nomadic life and belong to the scheduled tribes.


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