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Assam’s khol players set new record

Filed on January 7, 2013

GUWAHATI - Assam on Sunday entered the India Book of Records for the largest khol-playing ensemble. Organisers now eye mention in the Guinness World Records for the largest group playing this traditional purcussion instrument.

A total of 14,833 traditional khol players came together for a 15-minute performance at Titabor in Assam’s Jorhat district, over 300 km from Assam’s main city Guwahati.

Assam’s khol players set new record (/assets/oldimages/ass_070113.jpg)

People in traditional attires play their drums during an attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World Record at a field in Titabar town in the northeastern Indian state of Assam January 6, 2013. A total of 14,833 Assamese people on Sunday attempted to enter the Guinness Book of World Record by playing the drums for 15 minutes non stop, organisers said. –Reuters

The khol is a drum-like instrument made of terracotta, usually played to accompany devotional music. In 15th century Assam, Vaishnavite saint-scholar Sankardev used khol in his plays and during devotional activities.

The instrument is used in Manipur and West Bangal too, when devotional music is sung.

Video recordings of Sunday’s performance will be sent to the Asia Book of Records and the Guinness World Records, organisers of the event said.

“The performance of the khol players today qualified for entry into the India Book of Records.

“We have followed all guidelines normally maintained by international bodies for such events, and we have appointed independent observers for monitoring the video recording,” Abhijit Baruah, representative of India Book of Records in Assam, said.

Ankita Borthakur, Delhi-based representative of the Asia Book of World Records, who was also present during the Sunday event, said: “As of now, the event has entered the India Book of Records. But I am sure this performance will be able to enter the Guinness World Records as well.”

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