Martial Arts, Drumming and Rasa Lila dance dramas constitute the majority of a Ranganiketan performance.

The martial arts tradition of Manipur is inherited from their forefathers who had to defend themselves from the attack of neighboring countries. In the spirit of Chitrangada, the famed warrior princess of Manipur, women also participate in martial arts presentations.

The main drums of Manipur are called, Dhol, Dholak and Pung. Among them the two-headed pung drum, made from the seasoned woods of the Jackfruit and Wang trees, is an indispensable part of the lives of Manipuri Vaisnavas because it is used during Hari Nama Sankirtan which is performed at all religious and social ceremonies. Drumming, in Manipur,


entails graceful, rhythmic and dynamic movements of the body involving the head and legs. The sounds of the Pung are characterized by the modulation of sound from a soft whisper to a thunderous climax. These virtuosic and acrobatic drum dances are powerful demonstrations of Sankirtan that blend complex talas with the devotional mood of Srila Narotama Dasa Thakura.


Top: Manipuri Dhon drum player

Bottom: Manipuri classical drum (Pung) players

Opposite: Thang Ta, Manipuri Martial Artists