Kirtan is another type of folk music usually sung by the Vaishnavas and are based on the love stories of Krishna and Radha. It is prevalent in Bengal. Kirtans were transformed into song and dance congregations by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (15-16th Century AD), drawing inspiration from Jayadeva's Geet Govinda. Kirtans are of two types: Nama-Kirtana and Lila-Kirtana. The first involves constant uttering of the name and singing of the glory of God, while the second describes the various anecdotes of the Radha-Krishna love. It is customary not to begin a Kirtan without paying due obeisance to Chaitanya in the form of an appropriate Gaurachandrika or event in the life of Chaitanya. The singing of Kirtans is accompanied by musical instruments like mridanga and cymbals.



The Kirtan or Dhun is related to the bhajan. The major difference is that is usually performed by a soloist, while kirtan and dhun usually involve the audience. The musical quality is consequently much simpler to accommodate the uncertain musical abilities of the participants. The term Kirtan is used by Hindus and Sikhs, while the term Dhun seems to be used only by Hindus, especially Gujuratis.



·        Khol

·        Kartal

·        Manjira

·        Harmonium

·        Dholak

·        Shankh

·        Chimpta