The Mayapuris Kirtan Extravaganza Sat, 19 Nov 2016 04:23:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Thanksgiving Dinner & Concert 11/24/2016 Sat, 19 Nov 2016 04:06:49 +0000 Continue reading ]]>  photo Thanksgiving_2013_handout_04_zpsreas2l3n.jpg

This will be the first time that Govinda’s restaurant will be hosting a Dinner Show!

Govinda’s is going through a wonderful evolution and my father happens to be part of that great team!
In support of these great changes, we want to help spread the word to show everybody what an awesome place we have in Gainesville. They are already serving new items in the menu and are hosting parties and doing catering.
We want to help push forward the amazing energy that’s happening at Govinda’s, so please come show your support by Chanting, Dancing and Feasting with us!

The Dinner plate is only $9.95 and kids from ages 6-12 get it for $4.95. All kids 5 years and under eat free!

There is limited seating but we will try our best to accommodate everyone. It will be good if you come on time so you can get a table and good seating for the concert.
Parking is at the back and if that fills up please park across the street at Earth Origins, there is plenty of parking there.
If you have any questions please let us know 🙂

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Diwali at the Chapel, Princeton 2016 Thu, 18 Sep 2014 22:46:12 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

This past weekend we celebrated Diwali in the Chapel @ Princeton University.
We performed this traditional chant with an extra special melody that was composed by our dear Jai Uttal.
He taught Vish the guitar and the melody and gave us his blessings to put our Mayapuris touch to it.
We hope to record it soon with Jai Uttal so we can have another Jai & Vish duet singing the names of Lord Rama!

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2015 and lot of new exciting projects and performances! Stay Tuned! Tue, 12 Mar 2013 05:07:08 +0000

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Our Official Mridanga Music Video Fri, 20 May 2011 18:49:16 +0000 Mridanga Music video featuring The Temple Dancers. Spread the word!

The Mayapuris Official Music Video

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Mridanga Music Video to Premiere May 19th Tue, 10 May 2011 11:15:47 +0000 Continue reading ]]>  


Cross-over world music sensation and performance art troupe, The Mayapuris are to release a music video to showcase the title track of their hit album Mridanga (2010) which reached #7 on the iTunes world music chart the first week of its release. The video imbibes the dual nature that makes the Mayapuris unique: spunky and youthful with a new spin on the centuries-old chant culture of ancient India, kirtan. Their instrument of choice: the mridanga drum, a hand instrument invented over five hundred years ago as a portable and powerful alternative to the inner sanctum temple drums .

“Why the obsession with the mridanga?” asks Krishna Kishor (vocalist, flutist, drummer), “It was invented by Chaitanya, who revolutionized kirtan by bringing it out from the temples and into the streets for everyone to take part in. Through him we want to keep the revolution going. So…got to keep drumming.” In the video The Mayapuris are joined by The Temple Dancers consisting of Visvambhar’s wife Vrinda and his sister Ganga both of whom studied the ancient art of Bharatnatyam in South India.

The band’s ties to mridanga and kirtan run deep. All three of them attended boarding school in India where they learned the fundamentals of mantra music. Naming their group after the holy village of Mayapur, where the kirtan movement started, the Mayapuris returned home to Florida before signing to Mantralogy, a division of Equal Vision Records, in 2009. The title track of their first release, “Mridanga,” is the rhythmic instrumental composition that, when performed live, is a dance as well as a drum ensemble. It was an aspect that the band wanted reflected in their video.“We wanted it to have the energy and impact of our live performances,” says Kishor, “But with a twist.”

Gaura Vani and Rasa Acharya, who are both longtime friends of the band members and co-owners of their record label, Mantralogy, had ties to the movie industry and were eager to bring a fresh visual representation of the artform to the Mantra Music scene.“The Mayapuris are vibrant and fun people,” says Acharya who, alongside Vani, produced and directed the video, “It would be hard to not capture their spirit on camera.”

Visvambhar, lead-vocalist and drummer says, “I believe in kirtan. I believe people naturally want to give something–to sing and partake in mantra chanting. I see the Mantra Music scene growing every day in a big way. The video will add a new dimension to all of it as we begin to recognize chant culture as something much bigger than music.”

The video will premiere May 19th on and will later be viewable on YouTube, Facebook, and

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2011 Tour Teaser Thu, 20 Jan 2011 23:16:05 +0000 We are gearing up for another year of amazing kirtans and performances. New tour dates will be posted soon! For now, check out our latest video.

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Kirtan Down Under – No Worries! Dancing with the Kangaroos! Wed, 18 Nov 2009 07:23:13 +0000 Continue reading ]]> oz21

I was sitting in our big white van cruising through the streets of LA, when Gaura, who was driving and eating and talking on the phone (always multitasking!), threw the question to us over his shoulder, “hey guys, how would you like going to Australia?” Need I make our unanimous answer explicit?!

When Australia sent out initial feelers to Gaura, they were thinking to bring him and maybe one more person, that’s it. Ultimately there was six of us! Due to a combination of Gaura’s love for all of us and his insistence that we come, and the Aussie organizers giving in to Gaura’s “demand”.

And so it happened, that six of us stepped out of the airport coming to Australia for the first time. It didn’t take Vish and Gaura long to figure out that now we’d done kirtan on every continent (save for Antartica).
It’s an amazing thing when total strangers met for the first time and immediately feel bonded. This was the case with the Australian crew that brought us over, took care of us, and traveled with us through the country. I didn’t feel that I was among strangers at all. Maybe our goal, or interest, in kirtan simply took over and connected us on a higher level.
Before we arrived Sitapati, the main organizer, sent us a forty-page playbook, indicating every show, every meal, basically every detail. We were quite blown away by such detailed pre-planning. The person behind such meticulous planning had to be a seasoned older gentleman. When Sitapati met us at the airport, I think everyone of us asked him a version of the question, “Who are you?” Because we simply didn’t expect the force behind such a major tour to be our age.

And this turned out to be one of the many sweet things about the Australia tour. The guys who brought us out there were not rich people dipping into large bank-accounts. They hustled to get us over there, called everyone they knew with the idea, collecting funds as one person here and there would donate. There was a real grassroots feel to it.

We did around ten shows and one 24-hour kirtan during the fourteen days we were there. But because the organization was seamless and our reception so enthusiastic, we did not feel drained or tired but enthused and inspired. So many Aussies love kirtan! I was delighted by Janardan in Brisbane, Tina in Sydney, Krsnagraja in Melbourne, to mention a few. Notably, this enthusiasm was not limited to experienced kirtan-singers like the above, but to those completely new to it.

“Is there anything bad about Australia?” I kept asking our hosts as we drove through the beautiful country side from Brisbane to Sydney, then Sydney to Melbourne.

I was particularly happy when Sitapati, who had never seen The Mayapuris and As Kindred Spirits play together, commented that “We couldn’t imagine you without each other. You complement each other so well. ” His observation highlighted something I’d been reflecting on for a while. Gaura and As Kindred Spirits are melodic, sweet as honey, soulful, while we are passionate and fierce, with an edge that would border on aggressive without the soothing vibe of our kindred spirits. We feel so blessed to be singing, dancing, and serving together.

And being Down-Under only made it more dreamy and surreal. Did we dance with Kangaroos? No, didn’t even see one (though Gaura did chase a wallaby up a hill with his iPhone for a close-up) But everyone we did kirtan with put a kangaroo’s jump to shame, as they reached their arms high in the sky, jumping high, spirits soaring! Singing the holy names!

What more can I describe than this? Millions of opulences are of no use to me, my only wish is to have these pastimes constantly appear in my mind. 🙂


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Australia Tour – Listen Live! Thu, 22 Oct 2009 14:07:58 +0000

Maha Kirtan in Australia

Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits and the Mayapuris are currently touring all around Australia. Our hosts have provided free live streaming audio from all the events. To listen, sign in at

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The Mridunga Drum Sat, 03 Oct 2009 19:29:22 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Our Favorite DrumThe Mridunga – Our Favorite Drum

If there wasn’t the Mrdunga, there would be no such thing as the Mayapuris. We feel that it’s the best drum in the whole universe, especially for kirtan. That is our happy bias. Today we play other instruments, like tabla, flute, harmonium, etc, but the mridunga was the first instrument each of us, the Mayapuris, learnt to play. Actually, my mother played mridunga often when she was pregnant with me, so I began to learn the rhythms from within the womb. The first mridunga I played was a nicely decorated Quaker Oatmeal box, with a strap attached to it. Kish practiced on a wooden block for years, because his little arms couldn’t reach both sides of the mridunga. In fact, Kish’s dad remembers him playing on one side, ti ti ti, then crawling to the other side, ta ta ta.

There is a mridunga pranam mantra that I learnt from my teacher, Bablu Mashai, whom I studied under from the age of ten. We would chant thismantra before each class to offer respects. The mantra begins by offering respects to Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the founder of kirtan, who also invented the mridunga five-hundred years ago. Earlier they played big heavy wooden drums. Instead, the mridunga makers used the clay from the nearby banks of the Ganga to create a light-weight drum. “Mrid” means clay and “anga” is body, so literally clay-body. It’s the primary instrument in Gaudiya Vaishnava kirtan, the kirtan of Western India, the style that our music is rooted in. Bhaktivinode Thakur, a scholar and poet from the Gaudiya tradition, says, “When I hear the sounds of the mridunga, all my worries, all my problems and sorrows fly away like crows at the sound of thunder, and my heart dances in ecstasy.”

Another interesting point of the mridunga is the range from the small, high side to the larger, low side. There is a symbolism inherent here as well; the sweet sound of the high side represents the feminine energy, or Radhe, and the low, bass side is the masculine energy, Shyam. Practically speaking, it’s a very dynamic drum. It can be played very softly and sweetly with lots of intricacies, and also very loudly with full vigor and passion. You can sit with it, dance with it, walk, and twirl with it. It’s the heart-beat of the kirtan.

– Vishvambhar

Our Favorite Drum

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The Name “Mayapuris” Fri, 02 Oct 2009 17:52:44 +0000 Continue reading ]]> mayapur_01

The kirtan movement was inaugurated in Mayapur, which lies along the banks of the Ganga in West Bengal, India. This special place is very close to our heart. My brother Bali and I studied and lived in the ashram there, Vish lived there with his family, and Vrinda was four the first time her parents brought her all the way from Sweden. Even now when we go to Mayapur, there is a feeling of having gone back in time, five-hundred years ago, to the time when Caitanya Mahaprabhu danced in kirtan through the villages. The story of how kirtan started is one we relate to quite a bit. Initially, the kirtan movement started surreptitiously. The doors were open only to Caitanya’s intimate associates who gathered together blissfully singing the night through. They dove deep into the essence of the holy names. This was the secret “nocturnal school of kirtan.” Eventually, Caitanya, full of compassion for the lost souls in the world, brought kirtan out into the streets of Mayapur and eventually all of India. Everyone was encouraged to join in this kirtan, which caused quite a revolution in the caste-divided India.

We love the history of kirtan because we’ve been singing at home and in our temples for many years before the idea of becoming kirtan-musicians even crossed our minds. Unknowingly, we’ve spent all our life doing kirtan, preparing in a sense to do what Mahaprabhu did, go out into the world and share this singing, this dancing, this happiness!

We were also quite inspired early on by the Manipuri drummers from Manipur, who have a well-developed style of dancing and seemingly flying with their drums. Once we had our mridunga-techniques down, we spontaneously began dancing with our drums, and the name “Mayapuris” manifested from this joint love of the mridunga-dance and the place Mayapur.


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