Sufism and Qawwali in West Bengal

in Image Gallery
Published on: 06 November 2018

Avishek Ghosh

Avishek Ghosh is a folk musician and independent researcher in the field of traditional folk music. He plays and teaches dotara (a Bengali folk instrument). He has research experience in folk music and mystic spiritual traditions, especially in West Bengal, Rajasthan, Bihar and Punjab.

Qawwali in Bengali language, better known as Bangla qawwali, is one of the religious musical traditions popular among a small section of Bengali speaking Muslim and Hindu communities in West Bengal. Bengali Muslims are the second largest Muslim community after the Arabs and their faith is an amalgamation of Islamic Sufi tradition with indigenous Buddhist, Nath and Hindu cultures, which gave birth to the syncretic folk-religious cults like Pir, Baul and Fakir. In the present scenario of West Bengal, qawwali performances take place in Sufi dargahs, households and religious celebrations across districts like Medinipur, Howrah, Bardhaman, Bankura, Purulia, Hooghly, North 24 Parganas and South 24 Paraganas. This image gallery documents some of these sites and performances.