Asia Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU)
Asia-Pacific Database on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH)

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Bangla Kheyal

Bengali Kheyal

It is a new wealth in our cultural heritage. This is the traditional form of classical music based on raga and performed in Bengali language.

Reasons for selection

Various classical forms of the sub-continent are being widely practised in Bangladesh for a long time. This is one of the decorative form of traditional classical music song in Bengali language.

Area where performed

All over Bangladesh and in West Bengal

Essential elements of the performing art


Detailed explanation

In the Vedic era, Saama Gaan were sung in Sanskrit language. Later, Dhrupod songs had been composed. All these songs were written in either Urdu or Hindi language. In the period of Muslim Rules, several popular Muslim musicians composed Dhrupod, Kheyal, Toppa, Thumri etc. The creator of Persian poems Ustad Amir Khosru first introduced the Kheyal songs.

In that time, the Indian Sub-Continent had classical songs written in almost all languages, i.e. Hindi, Urdu, Panjabi, Tamil, etc., but not in the Bengali language. So the Bengali people were deprived of learning and singing classical songs in their own language.

The Bengali Kheyal has opened a door to the classical music lovers, for knowing the Kheyal song genuinely.

Bangla Kheyal comprises all natures of classical music authenticity of raga, depth of music and the original mode of singing the classical songs.

It is being tried to keep the glory of Bangla Kheyal as well as to introduce it to the people of the world.

Publication and textual documentation

1999 Bangla Kheyal (Part 1 & 2).

Audio documentation

First Bangla Kheyal Long-Play Record by Azad Rahaman
CD of Bangla Kheyal by Azad Rahaman

Visual documentation

Center for Education, Creative and Performing Art, 64/C Green Road, Dhaka.

Institution/organisation involved in preservation and promotion

Center for Education, Creative and Performing Art, 64/C Green Road, Dhaka.

Data provider

Azad Rozana
Research Officer, Music
Center for Education, creative and Performing Art
Address: 64/C Green Road, Dhaka - 1205, Bangladesh