Haveli Sangeet is an ancient classical form of Hindustani classical music sung in Havelis. It originated in Mathura (Braj), Uttar Pradesh in North India. Havelis were places where Hindu deities were installed; due to restrictions on Hindu temples during the Muslim rulers, it was called Haveli Sangeet. It started 500 years ago by Sri Vithalesh, son of Sri Vallabhachayra, the medieval saint who founded the Pushtimarg Vaishnav sect. The Vaishnav tradition has a form of devotional music called Haveli Sangeet. Haveli Sangeet is a vocal style based on traditional genres like Dhrupad, Dhamar, and Thumri. Haveli means “mansion” and also refers to a temple of the Pushtimarg sect. It derives its name from Krishna temples, traditionally called "haveli" by the Pushtimarg sect.
Haveli Sangeet is another name for Hindu temple music practiced by the followers of Vaishnavism of Nathdwara in Rajasthan, Gujarat, India, and considered a part of a rich historical tradition. Having its origin in Rajasthan and Gujarat, the Haveli music is believed to have an edge over dhrupad (the core of Indian classical music) for the common belief that the music has none other than Lord Krishna himself for an audience. Essentially a tribute to Krishna, its form includes devotional renditions like kirtans, bhajans, and bhava nritya, all related to religious cult worship. Although a mix of classical and folk music, the style is inherently borrowed from the dhrupad and dhamar. Haveli Sangeet is commonly played at the many temples of India, like the Radha Vallabh of Vrindaban, Krishna of Nandgaon, Uttar Pradesh and Sri Nathji of Nathdwara, to name a few. With time, the Haveli Sangeet lost its popularity in India and is no longer in practice, as the general audience tends to take it for granted that all Haveli music simply falls under the devotional genre. In Gujarat, one school of thought holds that Indian classical music has its origins in the Haveli Sangeet of Vallabha Acharya, a pioneer in this genre. The history of Indian classical music has it that the Vaishnavites of Nathdwara were the ones to uphold this sect founded by Vallabh Acharya.
Haveli sangeet flourished in the 16th century when its exponents included the eight poets called 'ashtachap kavis', and the blind bard of Braj, Sant Surdas. These exponents enriched the tradition and gave it a structure. The impact of the Bhakti Movement on Indian music was through the Ashtachap and Haveli sangeet along with the Bhajan and Kirtans. The Haveli Sangeet lost its popularity in India and is no longer in practice, as the general audience tends to take it for granted that all Haveli music simply falls under the devotional genre. They suggest the bhakti movement was a revival, reworking, and of ancient Vedic traditions.