Charkula is a traditional folk dance of the Braj region of Uttar Pradesh
. During the dance a female dancer balances a column of lighted lamps over her head. The dance is associated with legend of
. It is believed that the Charkula dance celebrates the victory of Lord Krishna over
. Krishna raised the Mount Goverdhan to protect the villagers from the wrath of Indra and as if to re-enact the event the Charkula dancer raises the Charkula on her head while performing the dance.
The charkula, a tapered wooden column with four to five circular tiers has earthen lamps on each level. The number of lamps ranges from 51 to 108 at times. This dance is performed on the dooj of
Holi, to the accompaniment of '
rasiya' songs rendered by the men folk.