The narration of tales from Mahabharata in folk singing style is found in Pandavani. Bhima is the hero in the story and it includes musical accompaniment. It is most popular in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, and Andhra Pradesh. The singers like Jhaduram Dewangan and Teejan Bai are the most famous singers of this style.
The Pandavani was performed usually by men later on women also started presenting Pandavani. The Mahabharata showcases a rare old singing style. The Pandavani is a part of all the traditions and cultures. The ancient anecdotes and epics are re-enacted to educate and entertain the masses.
About the style
The songs or stories of the Pandavas mean Pandavani. It includes singing an episode by the lead singer and also enacting. The ektara or tambura is used as a musical instrument. Tambura is decorated with peacock feathers in one hand and pair of cymbals in another hand.
The tambura is used to personify Bhima’s mace or Arjun’s chariot or Draupadi’s hair. This even includes mimicry and theatrical movements. A group of performers uses harmonium, tabla and dholak and manjira and three singers `who sing.