Bhatiyali, a song form known for its long-drawn notes, is traditionally sung by boatmen while sailing downstream. The name is said to originate from the word ‘bhati’, but others believe the origin is ‘Bhata’, meaning ‘ebbing tide’. Another name is ‘Bhati Desher Gaan’, and it is related to the mystic rivers of Bengal. The music is inspired by the confluence of nature and expresses the pure and deep love of a beloved through its simple language. The boatmen also hum songs of leisure and peace, performed while comfortably rowing downstream. The songs also depict demotic love, love of Radha-Krishna and spirituality.
Total 68 Bhatiyali artists are covered in North 24 Parganas district under the RCCH initiatives.