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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Khol at Titabar ~ aimed entry into Guinness records


Something to read about Srimanta Shankardeva … and have you heard of ‘Khol’…

In India music is associated with bakthi movement.  The khol  is  also known as mridanga (not to be confused with mridangam).  It  is a terracotta two-sided drum used in northern and eastern India for accompaniment with devotional music (bhakti). It originates from the Indian states of West Bengal, Assam and Manipur. The drum is played with palms and fingers of both hands. This percussion instrument accompanies singing of Bengali kirtans. It is also used to accompany Gaudiya Nritya, one of the nine Indian classical dances.  For ISKCON and for Gaudiya Vaishnavas, the khol is the primary drum for bhajan and kirtan. Due to their beliefs, ISKCON members use khols which do not include animal products.

Jorhat is the Second major city in Assam after Guwahati. Jorhat city acts as a gateway to upper Assam and to Nagaland. It was the last capital of the Ahom Kingdom. The city also serves as the base for tourism to famous places such as the Kaziranga National park and the largest river island Majuli, formed by the Brahmaputra River.  Understand that there are several  Sattras (monasteries)  teaching Vaishnavism.  Titabor is a neighbourhood town of Jorhat City.  Titabor is in news

Because of 15,000 who played traditional drums ‘khol’  for 15 minutes in attempt to set record for largest percussion ensemble.  It is reported that  14833 people wearing traditional Assamese played the  percussion instrument  khol  trying to create the  Guinness World Record; in the earlier record it was 10102 persons playing percussion at Hong Kong in July 2002

These extraordinary pictures show how a huge group of percussionists attempted to break the world record for the largest ensemble of drummers. Assam, on Sunday [6th Jan 2013]  entered the India Book of Records for the largest khol-playing ensemble. Organisers now eye mention in the Guinness World Records for the largest group playing this traditional percussion instrument. Video recordings of Sunday’s performance will be sent to the Asia Book of Records and the Guinness World Records, organisers of the event said.  Ankita Borthakur, Delhi-based representative of the Asia Book of World Records, who was also present during the Sunday event, said, “As of now, the event has entered the India Book of Records. But I am sure this performance will be able to enter the Guinness World Records as well.”

The khol players were dressed in traditional attire complete with headgear - and they all had numbers on the front of their outfits; the drummers played in rhythm for 15 minutes.  Many of the drummers  who had descended at Titabar  were young boys playing the kohl. 


It is really exciting to see the photos [courtesy : www.dailymail.co.uk ] to see and read about this event.  
      
Srimanta Shankardeva (1449–1568) was a 15th-16th century Assamese Vaishnavite saint-scholar, playwright, social-religious reformer and a colossal figure in the cultural and religious history of Assam, India. He is credited with providing a thread of unity to Assam straddling two major kingdoms (Ahom and Koch kingdoms), building on past literary activities to provide the bedrock of Assamese culture, and creating a religion that gave shape to a set of new values and social synthesis. The religion he started is named as Eka-Sarana Hari-Nāma Dharma, also referred to as Mahāpurusism or Assam Vaisnavism. It is deeply rooted in the Vedantic philosophy, as contained in the Bhāgavata and the Gitā. His literary and artistic contributions are living traditions in Assam today.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
8th Jan 2013.

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