18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Travel
Bangla Nam Kirtan

A team of Bengali community presenting their folk dance and music while singing ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’ at Bangla Nam Kirtan in Ravindranagar, Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, India. I was invited to the Kirtan by the organizing committee and could visit the place only for a half an hour. I was on my tour to Narora Bird Marathon and took a little detour to see the enormity of this Akhand Kirtan. Bangla Nam Kirtan is a religious practice of Indian subcontinent. People from West Bengal usually practice this way of pleading to Lord Krishna. People sing ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’ on the beats of various classical musical instruments and folk dances. The teams may change during the event, but the singing, music and dance does not stop for even a moment in this continuous practice of 72 hours. People plead to lord Krishna for blessing human beings of this Kalyuga with more awareness and wisdom of life and environment (nature, animals, and rivers).There’s this belief that in this Kalyuga people have forgotten their duties towards environment and mother earth in the rat race of materialism and thus they praise and plead lord for more wisdom. Akhand Kirtan has its own spiritual importance as people who attend this practice try to meditate and achieve spiritual awakening and a connect with the almighty.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 02.2019
Date Uploaded: 11.2020
Photo Location: Lakhimpur kheri, India
Camera: vivo 1611
Copyright: © Priyanshu Tripathi