Archives: Heritage



Melodies of songs used by Bauls are influenced by the melodies of diverse music genres popular in various regions. Baul practitioners can be seen across a vast geography of Bengal. There are multiple other traditions of folk music also prevalent across such geographies. Consequently, the influence of folk forms of music such as Jhumur, Bhatiyali […]   read more


Different Baul songs written by different Mahajan-s and sung by different Bauls use different dialects. Baul traditions are spread over a vast region across the eastern subcontinent. It is spread across West Bengal in India and Bangladesh and can be found in the southern Gangetic plain, the Varendra and the Rarh regions and places like […]   read more


Lyrics of songs composed by Mahajans carry an overt as well as underlying meanings. In Baul Fakiri, the songwriters are called Mahajan. In commonplace practice, the term Mahajan means usury. But in Baul-Fakiri traditions, the songwriters are called Mahajan, because, like usury who lend money as a resource, these lyricists lend the most valuable literary […]   read more

Transmission of knowledge

The Baul Gurus operate out of their Akhras. The Akhras are an institution of traditional learning vis-à-vis the Baul-Fakiri doctrines. The Gurus initiate the would-be learners, and through this initiation process the latter become Shishyas to the former. Thus, in Baul, the transmission happens from the Master to the Pupil through the Guru-Sishya parampara.   read more


Baul philosophy (of self-searching and winning over earthly desires) propagated through song and manifest as the following Tatwa-s (Theories) – Atmatattwa, Dehatattwa, Premtattwa, Bhaktitattwa, Paramtattwa, Sadhanatattwa, Nabitattwa, Gourtattwa.   read more

Traditional Practices

Bauls receive money or gifts for performances. Associated traditional processes of this are: Madhukari, Sadhana, Sadhuseva and Mahotsav. Madhukari is an age old customwhere Bauls used to receive food, clothes as part of the barter system. Sadhana is the praxis of the disciplines of faith that the Baul must undertake. Sadhuseva and Mahotsav witnesses many […]   read more


A variety of musical instruments used in performances, with regional and historical variations. This includes the Ektara, the Dotara, the Duggi-drum, the Dhol-drum, the Manjira/Khanjani cymbals, flute, the Khamak or the Gabgubi which was christened ‘Anondo-Lahari’ by Rabindranath Tagore.  The usage of multiple instruments leads to soulfully rendered crescendos emanating from seats of Baul Fakiri […]   read more


There is no dress code for Baul fakirs in their life, but on stage they wear a dress of their choice which expresses their individuality. In places like Kushtia (in Bangladesh), they wear White dress. In  Murshidabad and Nadia, the dress is mostly black or white. In Bardhaman & Birbhum, they wear Saffron colour dress. […]   read more

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