Tejaji 2020-21 Projects

Two projects are ongoing in 2020 - 2021 but have been delayed due to Covid-19 lock down.


1. Translation into Hindi of Hadoti transcription of Tejaji from Ramnagar area near Sultanpur, Kota district.


2. Translating the 2019 Tejaji recording from Kharnal near Nagaur where Tejaji was born.

Dhanraj Kalbelia - Sings Tejaji Gatha

Teja Dashmi,September 2018


This young man, Dhanraj Kalbelia of Thikarda taught himself the Tejaji Gatha from our book and has now become an expert singer and is in great demand.


The transcripts of Tejaji recordings from Johar Kheda and Sursura (Ajmer District) have been completed. During the monsoon of 2017 one more style of the Tejaji ballad was recorded by Madan in the Nagaur belt of Marwar region under a Senior Research Fellowship from the Department of Culture. The translations of these three Tejaji recordings will be completed soon.


We published Raja Bharathari-ki-Katha on the Sahapedia website recorded with the Jogi of Banda village in Sawai Madhopur.


Tejaji - World Oral Literature Project

Madan Meena Tejaji World Oral Literature Cambridge University
Dr. Madan Meena


The Kota Heritage Society works to promote traditional local culture and has supported the recording and archiving of a Hadoti Ballad as part of the World Oral Literature Project based at Cambridge University, England.


Tejaji is a warrior snake deity honoured throughout SE Rajasthan and into Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh in rural areas where the danger of snake bites is very real. The 19-hour ballad in the unwritten local language of Hadoti describes his heroic deeds and tragic death from a snake bite on his tongue. (It supports the belief that a thread tied in Tejaji’s name will save the afflicted person from death as promised by the snake.)


 The Ballad has never been transcribed and recorded to the necessary international standard. Dr Madan Meena and Victoria Singh are co-grantees. Although the main recording is of the Mali Community in Thikarda village near Bundi, who sang the ballad during five nightlong sessions, Madan also spent 21 other nights recording in over 20 villages during the monsoon period of July and August 2010 as part of the Project. A book of the Ballad has been published using the Hindi script, and has been distributed to the musicians, other participants in the project and schools in the area. It is also for sale to the public at Rs. 750 and to members for Rs. 500.


At a workshop on the challenges of archiving oral literature in Cambridge in December 2010, Dr Meena presented this Ballad to an audience of academics.


An English translation of the story of the Ballad, which is very detailed, is available to members on this page on logging-in.


The World Oral Literature Project also hosts the collection of Madan Meena's work and you can visit his webpage on their website by clicking here.



Algoza Music School

Oct 2018

Good news! Since 2014 a Tejaji performing group has been formed with a young algoza player and they have won state youth awards.


Aug 2015

Thikarda DVD launch 30 August 2014
Click to enlarge

The boys are finding it very difficult to learn the algoza and prefer to sing. This group of boys are learning to sing the Tejaji Ballad from the book and performed during the launch of DVDs at Thikarda on Saturday 30th August 2014.


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The two young boys on either side of the algoza player (a bamboo double flute) are learning to sing the previously unwritten Tejaji Ballad from our book. They are founder members of the Algoza Music School at Thikarda and will learn to play this wind instrument to revive this dying art.