Raibenshe is a folk martial dance form which evolved from ancient martial art practised by the bodyguards of the kings and the Zamindars of Bengal. As performers were originally soldiers, Raibenshe was originally danced with spears and the dance form is characterised by vigorous body movements and balancing acts. Along with the energetic and masculine movements, it involves acrobatics by the dancers with a Raibansh, which is the long bamboo pole from which the dance takes its name. According to legend, the strength and courage of the people of this region owes its origin to the courage of Bhima, one of the Pandavas in the Mahabharata.


Total 288 Raibenshe artists from Birbhum, Bardhaman and Murshidabad are covered under the RCCH II initiative.