"The rhythm is gonna get you. So bring it on!"
Garba is a sacred Indian dance form, where performers move in circles and make circular movements with their hands and feet.
This represents the circle of life, moving from life till death.
Alongside Garba, there is also Dandiya Raas, another Gujarati folk dance form, which originates with Radha and Lord Krishna’s ‘Raas Leela’ – meaning a playful dance.
The beauty of Garba is the fact that it can be performed at any joyous occasion.
Bollywood has inspired some incredible Garba and Dandiya songs over the years.
DESIblitz counts down some of our favourite Garba and Dandiya tracks to dance to!
1. Sabse Bada Tera Naam ~ Suhaag (1979)
One witnesses the iconic Jodi – Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha – performing Dandiya dedicated to the Goddess Sherawali.
This devotional track encapsulates the real spirit of festivals like Navratri and makes you want to dance.
2. Dholi Taro Dhol ~ Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)
Now, how couldn’t this song be included in the top 10?
So, it begins with Salman Khan tying an anklet on Aishwarya Rai Bachchan before the track breaks out into becoming the most extravagant Garba tracks in Hindi cinema.
Singing this fantastic Ismail Darbar composition is Kavita Krishnamurthy, Vinod Rathod and Karsan Sagathia.
One just can’t get enough of this! It’s no surprise as to why the song remains a classic till date.
3. Chand Aaya Hai ~ Dil Hi Dil Mein (2000)
It’s not often we hear a Garba track from the maestro AR Rahman and when we do, it’s something remarkable.
In this song, we see Sonali Bendre and Kunal doing Garba and playing dandiya. This song was also received well by Bollywood at the time of its release.
Avinash Ramchandani writes:
“The variation of beats and tones and drums is absolutely mesmerising. And the constant Garba beat is just splendid.”
Plus, with Udit Narayan and Kavita Krishnamurthy on the vocals, no wonder why the track is so magical!
4. Radha Kaise Na Jale ~ Lagaan (2001)
Lyrics by Javed Akhtar and music (once again) composed by AR Rahman. In this evergreen song, we see Aamir Khan and Gracy Singh play Dandiya in the beginning.
The steady tempo, pumping beats of the drums and foot-tapping composition makes it eligible for a Garba too.
But if that’s not enough, then Asha Bhosle and Udit Narayan’s terrific vocals will get you off your seats!
5. O Rey Gori ~ Aap Mujhe Acche Lagne Lage (2002)
How amazing is to see our beloved Kaho Na Pyaar Hai Jodi, Ameesha Patel and Hrithik Roshan, groove to this interesting Rajesh Roshan track?!
Besides the usual drums, Rajesh Roshan also uses synthesisers to give this Garba/Dandiya track a modern Tadka!
6. Dola Dola ~ Bride and Prejudice (2004)
As Nitin Ganatra says in this Gurinder Chadha razzmatazz: “The rhythm is gonna get you. So bring it on!”
This is precisely the case with ‘Dola Dola’.
Not only is this song a colourful depiction on Garba and Dandiya, but it’s also an interesting moment to see Aishwarya Rai Bachchan groove with Martin Henderson and Daniel Gillies.
As the tempo in Anu Malik’s music increases towards the end, our hearts race faster and the urge to dance increases!
Watch all the Garba tracks mentioned in the playlist below:
7. O Rang Rasiya ~ Merchants of Bollywood
One cannot express enough how fantastic this Salim-Sulaiman rendition is.
Whilst ‘O Rang Rasiya’ itself is a very popular Dandiya Raas track, Vaibhavi Merchant choreographs a traditional Garba with certain elements of popping for this stage show extravaganza.
8. Shubhaarambh ~ Kai Po Che (2013)
‘Shubhaarambh’ isn’t your quintessential Garba track.
Amit Trivedi amalgamates traditional instruments of drums and Shehnai with some Hip-Hop style music and what a combination it is!
Plus, Divya Kumar and Shruti Pathak’s vocals are soothing and energetic.
Suparna Thombare of BollywoodLife applauds:
“With authentic Gujarati lyrics, it smells of the soil of Gujarat and is definitely a new addition to the list of Dandiya numbers.”
9. Nagada Sang Dhol ~ Ram-Leela (2013)
From the first blow of the Shankh (conch), you know this song is going to be epic.
Whether it’s the Drum beats, banjo notes or Shreya Ghoshal and Osman Mir’s energetic vocals, Sanjay Leela Bhansali has composed one of the best ever Garba tracks in Bollywood.
Mohar Basu of Koimoi writes:
“It is hard to make folk appealing to commercial audiences, and this song manages to do that to perfection!”
As such, one hears a line from the traditional track ‘Lili Lemdi Re’ to encompass the full Garba flavour. Now your challenge is to perform the Bethak choreography like Deepika Padukone in the movie!
10. Rangeeli Raat ~ Pritee Varsani and Parlé Patel
The first ever British-Gujarati song by Pritee Varsani and Parlé Patel which was recently performed at the Rangeelu Gujarat event in London.
This song is based at the beginning of a Garba or ‘Gujarati Lok Geet’, in which Parlé also performs a ‘Bhavai’ – an old technique of poetry seen in Gujarati theatre and music.
Talking about the song, Parlé says:
“As the song is heavily influenced by Gujarati folk, the lyrics are quite light, playful and funny.”
Furthermore, ‘Rangeeli Raat’ fuses dubstep with the authentic Gujarati folk music to widen its appeal to young people and music enthusiasts.
Overall, there are countless Garba and Dandiya tracks which you can groove to.
But regardless of the song, these dance forms are best performed with love, purity and devotion!