Asia Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU)
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Performing Arts

Baul Gaan

Wandering Devotee Song


(from left)
-A Baul in a stage performance
-A Baul group
(c) Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi.

The term baul is derived from Sanskrit vahul meaning mad or affected by wind. The Baul are wandering devotees trying to reach God through music.

Reasons for selection

The Baul of Bengal (including Bangladesh)are wandering minstrels who perpetuate mystical tradition. They sing of the philosophical concepts on man's view of life provided by Vaishnava poets.

Area where performed

East of India

Essential elements of the performing art

Music, Dance

Detailed explanation

The Baul of Bengal, which includes Bangladesh, are wandering minstrels who perpetuate a mystical tradition known as Sahajiya. The faith found its expression in the Baul in the beginning of the 17th century A.D.

The Vaishnava poets provided the foundation to the Baul philosophical concepts on man's view of life and gave them a form of narration and an aesthetic expression. Baul believe that it is through the medium of human form that divine beauty can be realised.

Publication and textual documentation


Audio documentation

Disc/tape recordings of various Baul are available in Akademi. These recordings have been made over the years since 1950 till date.

Visual documentation

Video & photographs are available from Bauls in Akademi. These recordings have been made over the years.

Institution/organisation involved in preservation and promotion

-Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi.
-West Bengal Akademi, Calcutta, West Bengal.

Data provider

Ms. Sharbari Mukherjee
Sangeet Natak Akademi
Address: Rabindra Bhawan, Ferozeshah Road, New Delhi - 110001, India