Dance, Art Forms and Paintings in India



  • Indian classical dance or ‘Shastriya Devesh’ is an umbrella termfor various performance arts rooted in religious Hindu musical theatre styles whose theory and practice can be traced to the Sanskrit text Natya Shastra.
  • The Sangeet Natak Academy recognizes eight Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Kathakali, Sattriya, Manipuriand Mohiniyattam. Additionally, the Indian Ministry of Culture includes Chhau in its classical list.
Dance Forms State Key Features
BHARATANATYAM Tamil Nadu ·         National dance of India

·         Originally known as Sadiraattam or Thevarattam

·         noted in the ancient Tamil epic Silappatikaram

·         oldest classical dance form of all dance forms

·         derives its name from Bharatamuni and Natyam

·         origin of this dance is traced to the solo dance performance of Devadasis (Temple’s dancers)

·         described as ekaharya in which one dancer depicts many roles. Siva as Nataraja, the Lord of Dance is depicted in various dance forms.

·         includes nrita (pure dance), nritya (solo expressive dance) and natya (group dramatic dance)

·         leans heavily on the abhinaya or mime aspect of dance – the nritya, where the dancer expresses the sahitya through movement and mime (gestures and facial expression)

·         The person who conducts the dance recitation is the Nattuvanar.

·         Practiced by male and female dancers

·         Thanjavur, Brihadeshwara temple dedicated to Shiva has been a major center 

·         Follows a seven-part order of presentation: Alarippu- Jatiswaram- Shabdam- Varnam- Padam-Tillana- Shlokam or a Mangalam

·         Rukmini Devi Arundale, Mallika Sarabhai, Yamini Krishnamurthy

KATHAK Uttar Pradesh
  • evolved during the Bhakti movement
  • Derives its name from the ‘ Kathika’ or storyteller who recites verses from the epics with music and gestures.
  • Found in three distinct forms, called “gharanas”, named after the cities where the Kathak dance tradition evolved – Jaipur, Banaras and Lucknow.
  • The Lucknow tradition of Kathak dance attributes the style to a Bhakti movement
  • Combination of music, dance and narrative
  • The costumes vary among Kathak performers, and find their sources in either Hindu or Muslim culture
  • ensemble of musical instruments vary ranging from two to twelve & most common instruments that go with Kathak are tabla
  • During the Mughal times, it was influenced by Islamic features, especially in costume and dancing style.
  • Later in the twentieth century, Lady Leela Sokhey revived the classical style of Kathak.
  • It is commonly identified with the court tradition in North India.
  • In the technique, Kathak follows Vertical lines with no breaks and deflection. Footwork is very important in training of dancers.
  • Only form of classical dance wedded to Hindustani or the North Indian music.
  • It consists of different kharanas like Lucknow, Jaipur, Raigarh, and Banaras.
  • Jugalbandi is one of the main features of Kathak recital. It shows a competitive play between dancer and tabla player.
  • Gatbhaar is the dance without music or chanting. Mythological episodes are outlined by this.
  • Kathak is accompanied by dhrupad music. During the Mughal period, Taranas, Thumris, and Gazals were introduced.
  • Lachha Maharaj, Shambu Maharaj and Pandit Birju Maharaj etc are the main proponents of Kathak.
  • Kathak expressions – particularly in Hindu devotional styles – are more introverted and withdrawn, while Bharatanatyam is more extroverted and expansive.
  • Kathak is normally performed in a standing form with legs and torso typically straight, while Bharatanatyam extensively utilizes bent knee form (ara mandi, half sitting position that is somewhat similar to Demi Plié ballet move).
  • Kathak is also different from Kathakali which is distinctive in its elaborate codified colorful makeup, masks and costumes.
  • a “story play” genre of art, but one distinguished by the elaborately colorful make-up, costumes and face masks that the traditionally male actor-dancers wear
  • a dance-drama where the actor does not speak their lines
  • performed in open air theatre or in temple premises
  • a Hindu performance art in the Malayalam-speaking southwestern region of Kerala
  • synthesizes music, vocal performers, choreography and hand and facial gestures together to express ideas.
  • incorporates movements from ancient Indian martial arts and athletic traditions of South India
  • depicts the eternal conflict between God and Evil
  • Reddening white portion of the eye is a peculiar feature
  • the structure and details of its art form developed in the courts and theatres of Hindu principalities, unlike other classical Indian dances which primarily developed in Hindu temples and monastic schools.
  • Kathakali follows the Hastha Lakshanadeepika most closely, unlike other classical dances
  • Thodayam and Purappadu performances, which are preliminary ‘pure’ (abstract) dances
  • Some major musical patterns-Chempada, Adantha, Muri Adantha
  • Kathakalī has lineages or distinctive schools of play interpretation and dance performance called Sampradayam
  • The Kidangoor style is one of the two, that developed in Travancore, and it is strongly influenced by Kutiyattam
  • Kabuki, another Japanese art form, has similarities to Kathakali
  • The Kalluvazhi style is second of the two, which developed in Palakkad (Olappamanna Mana) in central Kerala, and it is a synthesis of the older Kaplingadan and Kalladikkotan performance arts
  • traditional themes of the Kathakalī are folk mythologies, religious legends and spiritual ideas from the Hindu epics and the Puranas
  • modern compositions, Indian Kathakali troupes have included women artistes, and adapted Western stories and plays such as those by Shakespeare
  • Chakiarkoothu, Koodiyattam, Krishnattam and Ramanattam are few of the ritual performing arts of Kerala which have had a direct influence on Kathakali in its form and technique.
  • Guru Kunchu Kurup, Gopi Nath, Rita Ganguly etc are the famous proponents
KUCHIPUDI Andhra Pradesh
  • originated in a village named Kuchipudi
  • The advent of Bhagavatism made the dance a monopoly of male brahmins and began to be performed at the temple.
  • The recital is based on Bhagavata Purana but has a secular theme and dancers came to be known as Bhagathalus.
  • It was known under the generic name of Yakshagaana.
  • Kuchipudi became prominent under the patronage of Vijayanagara and Golconda rulers.
  • Kuchipudi consists of divisions such as Adavus, Jatis, Jatiswara, Tirmanas, and Thillanas.
  • The dance also expresses through Padas, Varnas, Shabdas, and slokas.
  • These features are also found in Bharatnatyam also.
  • Kavutvams are a feature of the performance that is distinctive to Kuchipudi. 
  • Lasya and tandava elements are important in kuchipudi dance form.
  • It is performed as dance drama i.e. performance in groups and also as solo items.
  • The court records of the Vijayanagara Empire – known for its patronage of the arts – indicate that drama-dance troupes of Bhagavatas from Kuchipudi village performed at the royal court
  • Costumes, ornaments and jewellery occupy an important place.
  • The dance style is a manifestation of earthly elements in the human body.
  • The dancer may undertake the role of the singer
  • The singer is accompanied by mridangam (a classical South Indian percussion instrument), violin, flute and tambura.
  • The music of dance is Carnatic.
  • Lakshmi Narayana Shastri bought renown to Kuchipudi dance form.
  • Dance-songs (kritis) of Thyagaraja
  • Popular dance-drama is Bhama Kalapam of Sidhyendra Yogi
  • originated in the Hindu temples of Odisha – an eastern coastal state
  • was performed predominantly by women, and expressed religious stories and spiritual ideas, particularly of Vaishnavism (Vishnu as Jagannath)
  • also expressed ideas of other traditions such as those related to Hindu gods Shiva and Surya, as well as Hindu goddesses (Shaktism).
  • theoretical foundations of Odissi trace to the ancient Sanskrit text Natya Shastra
  • traditionally a dance-drama genre of performance art, where the artist(s) and musicians play out a mythical story, a spiritual message or devotional poem from the Hindu texts
  • three bent form of dance called Tribangha posture is an important feature
  • Mudras and postures for expressing emotions are similar to that of Bharatanatyam.
  • Accompanied by both northern Indian (Hindustani) and southern Indian (Carnatic) music, though mainly, recitals are in Odia and Sanskrit language in the Odissi Music tradition
  • The basic unit of Odissi are called bhangas.
  • The primary Odissi ragas are Kalyana, Nata, Shree Gowda, Baradi, Panchama, Dhanashri, Karnata, Bhairavee and Shokabaradi.
  • The Odissi tradition existed in three schools:

·         Maharis were Oriya devadasis or temple girls

·         Gotipuas were boys dressed up as girls and taught the dance by the Maharis

·         Nartaki dance took place in the royal courts.

·         Noted Odissi exponents are: Kelucharan Mohapatra, Gangadhar Pradhan, Pankaj Charan Das, Deba Prasad Das and Raghunath Dutta, Sonal Mansingh

  • Dance-drama performance art with origins in the Krishna centered Vaishnavism monasteries of Assam
  • Attributed to the 15th century Bhakti movement scholar and saint Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardev
  • One-act plays of Sattriya are called Ankiya Nat, which combine the aesthetic and the religious through a ballad, dance and drama
  • performed in the dance community halls (namghar) of monastery temples (sattras).
  • themes played are related to Lord Krishna, sometimes other Vishnu avatars such as Rama and Sita and stories from epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana
  • Sattriya derives its name from the Vaishnava Monastries Known as Sattras.
  • governed by strictly laid down principles in respect of hastamudras, footworks, aharyas, music etc.
  • Consists of dhemali, drum playing, known as gayan bayan, where several men play drums, in various talas and also use hand gestures.
  • Natya Shastra, Abhinaya Darpana, and Shakaradeva’s Sangit Ratnakara
  • The Mati Akharas are the basic exercise and grammar of Sattriya Dance
  • It focuses more on the devotional aspect of dance, It narrates the mythological stories of Vishnu.
  • The dance form is performed in a group by male monks known as Bhokots as part of their daily rituals.
  • Accompanied by musical compositions called borgeets
  • Khol and Flute are the main instruments played in Sattriya dance.
  • Rhythmic syllables and dance postures along with footwork has given greater emphasis in Sattriya dance. Traditional Assamese jewellery is used.
  • Key musical instrument that accompanies a Sattriya performance are khols played with fingers
  • It combines the elements of Lasya and Tandava.
  • There is a strict guideline laid down for the hand gestures and footwork
  • Corpus of Sattriya dances thus consist of ankiya bhaona, dance-dramas in Brajabuli which is understood by common people.
  • They also consist of Ojapali dances in which the main singer sings and enacts abhinaya, telling stories and a group of dancers dance as back up dancers playing small cymbals.
  • also known as Jagoi
  • encompasses both classical and folk-dance forms.
  • attributed to regional deities such as Umang Lai and performed during Lai Haraoba, and also the dances of the different tribal communities
  • classical Manipuri Raas Leela is one of the major Indian classical dance forms
  • dance form is based on Hindu Vaishnavism themes, and exquisite performances of love-inspired dance drama of Radha-Krishna called Raas Leela
  • Manipuri emphasis on devotion. It incorporates both Tandava and Lasya in which more emphasis is given to Lasya.
  • The body connected through curves in the shape of ‘8’ called Nagabhanda Mudra is an important feature of this dance form.
  • Drums, flute, horns, esraj, tamboura, cymbals, and mridang are some of the important instruments used in Manipuri dance.
  • Manipur dance has a large repertoire; however, the most popular forms are the Ras, the Sankirtanaand the Thang-Ta.
  • The Kirtan form of congregational singing accompanies the dance which is known as Sankirtana in Manipur. The male dancers play the Pung and Kartal while dancing.
  • Generally known for its lyrical and graceful movements, Manipuri dance has an elusive quality. 
  • Manipuri abhinaya does not play up the mukhabhinaya very much – the facial expressions are natural and not exaggerated –sarvangabhinaya, or the use of the whole body to convey a certain rasa, is its forte.
  • Chali or Chari is the basic dance movement in Manipuri Raas dances.
  • the celestial enchantress of the Hindu mythology, is the classical solo dance form
  • it follows the Lasya style described in Natya Shastra, that is a dance which is delicate, eros-filled and feminine
  • includes music in the Carnatic style, singing and acting a play through the dance, where the recitation may be either by a separate vocalist or the dancer herself.
  • The song is typically in Malayalam-Sanskrit hybrid called Manipravalam
  • The dancers were called by different names during different periods of time.
  • They were called as TaiNangai or Nangachi (one with beautiful hand), Dasi (servant), Tevitichi or Deva-Adi-Achi (the one who served at the feet of the Lord), Koothachi (who performed koothu or dance).
  • Their dances were known as ‘Nangai Natakam, Dasiyattam, Tevitichiyattam, etc. 
  • The Nangiars, who are the women folk of Nambiar community, still follow a strict code of dance, performed in a small performing space, within the temple precincts, as practised in the olden times.
  • Mohiniyattam is characterized by graceful, swaying body movements with no abrupt jerks or sudden leaps.
  • The hand gestures, 24 in number, are mainly adopted from Hastalakshana Deepika, a text followed by Kathakali.
  • The basic dance units in Mohiniattam are known as atavus or atavukal, and these are grouped into four: Taganam, Jaganam, Dhaganam and Sammisram.
  • The repertoire sequence of Mohiniyattam is similar to that of Bharatanatyam,
  • The musical instruments usually used in Mohiniyattam are Mridangam or Madhalam (barrel drum), Idakka (hour glass drum), flute, Veena, and Kuzhitalam (cymbals). 



  • ‘Pari’ means shield while ‘khanda’ refers to sword. Therefore, both shield and sword are used in this art.
  • It involves fighting using Sword and Shield.
  • Its steps and techniques are used in Chhau dance of Bihar.
  • It was started in Mizoram, believed to have its genesis in 1750 A.D. in Duntland village.
  • This art consists of very strict rules that prohibit stepping out the circle, kicking and knee bending.
  • It also involves catching of the belt worn around their waist by the wrestlers.
  • When people migrated from Burma to Lushai hills then this art form was regarded as a sport.
  • It was originated and mainly practiced in South India and also popular in north-eastern part of Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
  • Techniques: Grappling, striking and locking techniques are used in this art.
  • This art was first mentioned in Sangam literature in the first or second century B.C.
  • Kuttu Varisai means ‘empty hand combat’.
  • It is an unarmed Dravidian martial art used to advance athleticism and footwork through yoga, gymnastics, breathing exercises etc.
  • It also uses animal-based sets including snake, eagle, tiger, elephant and monkey.
  • It is an unarmed martial art form. Since 1960 it is a popular art. Started in Varanasi. Kicks, punches, knee and elbow strikes are the techniques used by this martial art.
  • It incorporates the development of all three aspects physical, mental and spiritual.
  • The fights in this art are named on the Hindu God and divided into four categories.
  • The first is known as Jambuvanti that refers to the forcing the opponent into submission through locking and holding.
  • Second is Hanumanti, which is for technical superiority.
  • Third refers to Bhimaseni, which focusses on sheer strength and fourth is called Jarasandhi that concentrates on limb and joint breaking.
  • Lathi is one of the oldest weapons used in martial arts. It was originated in Punjab and Bengal.
  • Lathi refers to a ‘stick’ mainly cane sticks which is generally 6 to 8 feet in length and sometimes metal tipped.
  • It is also a common sport in various villages of the country.
  • It was started in Himachal Pradesh and Wooden bows, arrows are used.
  • Thoda name is derived from the round wooden piece attached to the head of an arrow to minimise its lethal potential.
  • It is a mixture of martial art, sport and culture.
  • It takes place during Baisakhi every year.
  • This martial art relies on a player of skill of archery and can be dated back at the time of Mahabharata where bows and arrows were used in the valleys of Kullu and Manali.
  • In the game, there are 2 groups of 500 people each. All of them are not archers but dancers also who came with them to boost the morale of their respective teams.
  • The two teams are called Pashis and Saathis, who believed to be the descendants of Pandavas and Kauravas of Mahabharata.
  • Gatka is a weapon based martial art form performed by Sikhs of Punjab.
  • Gatka means whose freedom belongs to grace. Others say that ‘Gatka’ comes from a Sanskrit word ‘Gadha’ means mace.
  • This art uses weapons like Kirpan, Talwar and Kataar.
  • It is displayed in various occasions, celebrations in the state including fairs.
  • This art was created by the Meitei people of Manipur.
  • Thang refers to a ‘sword’ while Ta refers to a ‘spear’ and is an armed martial art whereas Sarit Sarak is an unarmed art form that uses hand to hand combat.
  • In 17th century this art was used by Manipuri kings against Britishers later on when Britishers captured the area this technique was banned.
  • Thang-Ta is also known as HuyenLallong, which is a popular ancient martial art which uses other weapons including an axe and a shield.
  • It is practiced in 3 different ways: Firstly, ritualistic in nature linked with tantric practices, secondly, mesmerizing performance of sword and sword dances and thirdly, is the actual technique of fighting.
  • It is a kind of Staff Fencing originated in Tamil Nadu, a modern and scientific martial art.
  • Techniques of Silambam: Swift movements of the foot, use of thrust, cut, chop, sweep to achieve mastery & development of force, momentum & precision at different levels of the body, snake hits, monkey hits, hawk hits etc.
  • Silambam is promoted in Tamil Nadu by the rulers Pandya, Chola and Chera and the reference to the sale of Silambam staves, pearls, swords and armours can be seen in a Tamil literature ‘Silapaddigaram’.
  • This art also travelled to Malaysia, where it is a famous sport apart from a self defence technique.
  • For mock fighting and self-defence the long-staff technique is used. Infact, Lord Muruga (in Tamil Mythology) and sage Agasthya are credited with the creation of Silambam.
  • Even during Vedic age, training was imparted to young men as a ritual and for an emergency.
  • It is the oldest martial art in India originated in the state of Kerala in 4th century A.D.
  • Techniques of Kalaripayattu: Uzhichil or the massage with Gingli oil, Otta, Maipayattu or body exercises, Puliyankam or sword fight, Verumkai or bare-handed fight etc.
  • Kalari is a Malayalam word which means School/gymnasium/training hall where Martial arts are practiced or taught.
  • Kalaripayattu was introduced as martial art by a legend, sage Parasurama, who built temples.
  • This art is used as a means of unarmed self-defence and a way to achieve physical fitness today. Also used in traditional rituals and ceremonies.
  • It includes mock duels (armed and unarmed combat) and physical exercises, important aspect is the style of fighting and is nor accompanied by any drumming or song.
  • Its important key is footwork which includes kicks, strikes and weapon-based practice.
  • Its popularity also increases with the movie Ashoka and the Myth.
  • Women also practiced this art, Unniyarcha; a legendary heroine won many battles using this martial art.
  • It is a traditional form of gymnastics performed with a wooden pole (made of wood from sheesham or Indian rosewood and polished with castor oil), a cane, or a rope.
  • Though Madhya Pradesh declared Mallakhamb the State sport only in 2013, it had been developed as a competitive sport since 1981, with rules and regulations introduced at the first National Championship that year.
  • In this type of Martial arts person use Staff (Mainly Made of Bamboo) or Sword to defend or attack the enemy. Originated from Andra Pradesh and Some Parts of Telangana.
  • regarded as one of the oldest and most important martial arts to have been practiced in ancient Tamilakam (present day Indian state of Tamil Nadu).
  • The practitioners of Adimurai defeat the opponents by striking them either using their legs or hands.
  • It is believed that Adimurai originated from Southern Parts of Tamil Nadu Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari.
  • Mardani khel is an armed Indian martial art from Maharashtra.
  • It is particularly known for its use of the uniquely Indian patta (sword) and vita (corded lance).
  • The early history of mardani khel as a distinct system is difficult to trace prior to the 1600s, but it is said to owe its development to the particular geographic conditions of Maharashtra.
  • Sqay is an Indian martial arts form of sword-fighting originating in the Kashmir region of ancient India.
  • It is governed by the Sqay Federation of India.
  • Armed sqay makes use of a curved single-edge sword paired with a shield, or one sword in each hand.
  • Unarmed techniques incorporate kicks, punches, locks and chops.
  • Sqay have different techniques single sword double sword free hand techniques and lessons of both free hand and sword.
  • This is one of Manipur’s most ancient martial arts.
  • The fighting equipment comprises a sword and a shield, now modified to a stick encased in soft leather and a shield made of leather.
  • The contestants fight a duel, and victory goes to the person, who scores the maximum points.
  • In ancient times, sword and spears were used by the contestants.
  • Victory in this martial art, depends more on skill, than brawn and brute force.




  • Indian folk dances, which typically consist of a few simple steps, are performed throughout the world to celebrate a new season, childbirth, weddings, festivals, and other social occasions. In some Indian folk dances, men and women perform separately; in others, they dance together.
State Folk Dance
Andhra Pradesh Kuchipudi, Vilasini Natyam, Andhra Natyam, Bhamakalpam, Veeranatyam, Dappu, Tappeta Gullu, Lambadi, Dhimsa, Kolattam, Butta Bommalu.
Arunachal Pradesh Dance Forms Tribes
Aji Lamu Monpa
Chalo Nocte
Hiirii Khaniing Apatani
Lion and peacock dance Monpa
Pasi Kongki Adi
Ponung Adi
Popir Adi
Buiya Mishmi
Bardo Chham
Assam Bihu, Bichhua, Natpuja, Maharas, Kaligopal, Bagurumba, Naga dance, Khel Gopal, Tabal Chongli, Canoe, Jhumura Hobjanai, Hamja, Ojapali, Sattriya, Bhortal,
Bihar ·         Bideshiya is a form of dance-drama that is believed to have been created by Bhikhari Thakur, a barber with a passion for drama. It deals with social issues and conflict between traditional and modern, rich and poor.

·         Domkach is performed in the bridegroom’s house by women during a marriage ceremony.

·         Fagua is a dance and also a type of folk song performed during Holi.

·         Jat-Jatin is the most popular folk dance of North Bihar, especially in the Mithila and Koshi regions. It is performed by a man and a woman; the man is going far away to work. The dance reflects poverty and sorrow.

·         Jhijhian is sung and danced during a drought as a prayer to Indra for rain. Its music is usually a singer, a harmonium and a drum.

·         Jhumri is similar to Gujarat’s Garba.

·         Kajari is popular in Bihar’s Bhojpuri-speaking region. It often describes a woman’s longing for her lover as the black monsoon cloud hangs in the summer sky, and is sung during the rainy season.

·         Painki evokes the infantry’s agility, courage, and excitement. Danced on flat ground, it highlights the dancers’ weapon-handling ability.

·         Sohar is sung and danced by women to celebrate the birth of a child.


Chhattisgarh ·         Gaur Maria, Panthi, Raut Nacha, Pandwani, Vedamati, Kapalik, Bharthari Charit, Chandaini
Goa ·         Fugdi in a Goan folk dance performed by the women in the Konkan region during the Hindu religious festivals Ganesh Chaturthi and Vrata or near the end of other dances, such as Dhalo

·         Tarangamel, Koli, Dekhni, Shigmo, Ghode, Modni, Samayi nrutya, Jagar, Ranmale, Gonph, Tonnya mell

Gujarat ·         Dandiya Raas is an energetic, vibrant dance which originated in Gujarat. Often called the “stick dance” because it uses polished sticks (dandiya)

·         Garba is customarily performed by both sexes, and sometimes includes the stick dance

·         The Tippani dance originated in the Chorwad region of Saurashtra.

  • The Padhar dance is performed by the Padhar community.
Himachal Pradesh ·         Nati, Jhora, Jhali, Chharhi, Dhaman, Chhapeli, Mahasu, Dangi
  • Theatrical
    • Saang: Pioneering artists were Baje Bhagat, Dayachand Mayna and Lakhmi Chand, Ragini
  • Devotional
    • Chaupaiya (in verse), Raslila, Ragini
  • Seasonal
    • Gogaji and Gugga, Phaag, Sawan, Teej
  • Legendary courage
    • Kissa
  • Love and romance
    • Been (including its variant Nāginī dance)
  • Ceremonial
    • Dhamal dance, Ghoomar, Jhoomar, Khoria dance, Loor dance
  • Veeragase is performed by women. Based on Hindu mythology, it is performed during festivals primarily during the Hindu months of Shravana and Karthika.
  • Hulivesha is performed by men in the coastal region. The dancers are painted like tigers and perform like angry tigers.
  • Yakshgana, the state dance, has a number of forms which vary from region to region.
  • Dollu Kunitha is a drum dance.
  • Kolata
  • Bharatnatyam is performed in the Mysuru region.
  • Kamsale, performed by devotees of Male Madeshwara on pilgrimages to the Biligiriranga Hills, is popular throughout the state.
  • Lavani is performed in the northern border regions.
  • Buta Kola (spirit worship) is usually practiced at night.
  • Huttari, Suggi, Kunitha, Karga, Lambi
  • Lava, Kolkali, Parichakali
Jammu and Kashmir
  • Kud Dance, Chajja Dance, Crow Dance, Dogri Bhangra
  • Dumhal is a ceremonial dance performed by men of the Wattal tribe
  • Rauf, Hikat, Mandjas, Damali
  • Jhumar is a popular dance, performed during the harvest season and its festival.
  • Mardana Jhumair, a Nagpuri dance, is primarily performed by men.
  • Janani Jhumair is a Nagpuri dance mainly performed by women.
  • Domkach is a dance performed during a marriage ceremony by the bride and groom’s family.
  • Lahasua is performed by men and women, accompanied by a dhol.
  • Fagua is performed during the festival of Holi.
  • Paika is a martial dance.
  • Chhau dance is a semi-classical Indian dance with folk traditions which originated in the eastern states of Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Odisha. It has three styles, named for the locations where they are performed: Purulia Chau in Bengal, Seraikella Chau in Jharkhand, and Mayurbhanj Chau in Odisha.
  • Alkap, Karma Munda, Agni, Sarhul, Barao, Jhitka, Danga, Domkach, Ghora Naach.
  • Duffmuttu is performed by the Muslim community. Originated by the Arabs, it is accompanied by Arabic music. The name Duffmuttu is attributed to a drum known as a daff or tap.
  • Margamkali is performed by the state’s Syrian Christians, primarily by women during marriage ceremonies.
  • Oppana, another Muslim dance, is usually a bridal group dance performed the day before the wedding and is particularly popular on the Malabar Coast. Young female relatives of the bride sing and dance around her, clapping their hands.
  • Padayani (or Padeni) is associated with temple festivals in southern Kerala. Although the word means “military formations” or “rows of soldiers”, the dance has a series of masked divine and semi-divine impersonations (kolams) with colours and designs painted on areca nut fronds. The most important kolams in a Padayani dance are Bhairavi (Kali), Kalan (god of death), Yakshi (fairy), and Pakshi (bird).
  • Theyyam is a form of ritual dance worship. Theyyam is derived from the Malayalam Daivam (god), and the dance is part of ritual, music, painting, sculpture, and literature. It is performed to worship the goddess Kali, often by men from the scheduled castes and tribes who have inherited the right to perform it.
  • Thirayattam, performed in northern Kerala, is part of theatre, music, satire, face and body painting, masking, martial art, and ritual. It is performed in South Malabar’s kaavukal (sacred groves) and village shrines.
  • Thitambu Nritham is primarily performed by the Nambudiris of northern Kerala.
  • Ottan Thullal (“to jump about playfully”) emerged during the 18th century and is a solo performance combining dance and recitation of tales from the Puranas in verse.
  • Mohiniattam classical dance-The repertoire of Mohiniyattam includes music in the Carnatic style, singing and acting a play through the dance, where the recitation may be either by a separate vocalist or the dancer herself
Madhya Pradesh
  • Grida dance – Performed when the rabi crops are in bloom, the dance continues from morning to evening by village groups. 
  • The Matki dance is performed in the Malwa region, primarily for weddings.
  • The Phulpati dance is performed by semi-rural, unmarried women in celebration of nature
  • Tertali is a ritual dance performed by the Kamar tribe.
  • Jawara, Aada, Khada Nach, Selalarki, Selabhadoni, Maanch.
  • Pavri Nach (or Tarpha Nach) is a Kokna tribal dance performed in the hills of north-western Maharashtra, accompanied by the tarpha or pavri: a wind instrument
  • Lavani is a combination of traditional song and dance which is performed to the dholki drum.
  • Nakata, Koli, Lezim, Gafa, Dahikala Dasavtar or Bohada.
Manipur ·         Thougal Jagoi is the traditional folk dance of the Meitei community performed during the Lai Haraoba festival before the deities. It is also known as Khamba Thoibi Jagoi. A variant of Thougal Jagoi, performed only by women dancers, is known as Leima Jagoi. The dance uses traditional musical instruments like pena and laangden (traditional drum).

·         Yelhou Jagoi includes all the dances performed during the Lai Haraoba festival, mainly by the Maibis.

·         Luivat Pheizak is one of most popular dances of the Tangkhul Naga community of Manipur.

·         Shim Laam is the traditional folk dance of Rongmei community. It is popularly known as the fly dance.

·         Thabal Chongba (dancing by moonlight) is a Manipuri folk dance traditionally performed during the festival of Yaoshang in India

Meghalaya ·         Ka Shad Suk Mynsiem, Nongkrem, Laho
Mizoram ·         Cheraw Dance, Khuallam, Chailam, Sawlakin, Chawnglaizawn, Zangtalam, Par Lam, Sarlamkai/Solakia, Tlanglam
  • Chang Lo (also known as Sua Lua) is performed by the Chang Naga of Nagaland, originally to celebrate victory in war.
  • Rangma, Bamboo Dance, Zeliang, Nsuirolians, Gethinglim, Temangnetin, Hetaleulee.
  • Odissi (Classical)
  • Laudi Khela, traditionally performed by young Gopal men during the Dola festival
  • Bagha Nacha, a tiger dance, is performed during festivals. 
  • Ghumra dance, originally performed during wars to encourage soldiers
  • The Sambalpuri karma dance is performed during the harvest festival
  • Jhumair is performed in northern and western Odisha during festivals and the harvest season
  • Keisabadi, performed by men, is based on the story of Radha and Krishna
  • Savari, Ghumara, Painka, Munari, Chhau.
  • Garadi
  • Bhangra, Giddha danced by women in colourful costumes, Kikkli is performed by two colourfully-dressed girls
  • Daff, Dhaman, Bhand, Naqual
  • Ghoomar is a traditional women’s dance
  • The Kalbelia dance is performed by women in black, swirling skirts  accompanied by male snake charmers playing beens
  • The Kachchhi Ghodi dance is primarily performed in the Shekhawati region of north-eastern
  • Chakri, Ganagor, Jhulan Leela, Jhuma, Suisini, Ghapal
  • Maruni, also popular in Nepal, Darjeeling, Assam, Bhutan and Myanmar, is accompanied by musicians playing the Naumati Baja
  • Chu Faat Dance, Sikmari, Singhi Chaam or the Snow Lion Dance, Yak Chaam, Denzong Gnenha, Tashi Yangku Dance, Khukuri Naach, Chutkey Naach, Maruni Dance.
  • Bharatanatyam Classical
  • Parai Attam is a Tamil dance which is accompanied by a parai drum
  • Kummi, one of Tamil Nadu’s oldest folk dances, is accompanied by hand-clapping rather than musical instruments
  • Karakattam is danced to praise Mariamman, the Hindu rain goddess.
  • Mayilattam, or the peacock dance, is performed by girls dressed as peacocks at village festivals.
  • Although Oyilattam (dance of beauty) was traditionally performed by men, women have also begun dancing. 
  • Puliyattam is a tiger dance in which young men paint their bodies and costume themselves as tigers, dancing to drums.
  • Poikal attam is known as the false-leg dance.
  • Bommalattams (puppet shows) are held in every village during festivals and fairs.
  • Theru Koothu is normally performed by men in an intersection during village festivals in the months of Panguni and Aadi.
  • Perini Shivatandavam or Perini Thandavam is an ancient dance
  • Hojagiri is danced by the Tripuri reang(Bru) clan
Uttar Pradesh
  • Nautanki, Raslila, Kajri, Jhora, Chappeli, Jaita
West Bengal
  • Gambhira originated among the Hindu community of Malda,
  • Alkap is popular in rural Bengal, especially in Rajshahi, Murshidabad and Malda district and Jharkhand’s Rajmahal hills.
  • Domni, performed in Malda district, begins with prayers. Its dances are known as nachari or lachari.
  • Dhunuchi nritya is danced during the Durga Puja at Dussehra.



  • Koodiyattam is a traditional performing art form in the state of Kerala, India. It is a combination of ancient Sanskrit theatrewith elements of Koothu, an ancient performing art from the Sangam era. It is officially recognised by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
  • Krishnaattam is a temple art in Kerala, India. It is a dance drama and presents the story of Krishnain a series of eight plays
  • Chakyar Koothu is a performance art from Kerala, India. It is primarily a type of highly refined monologuewhere the performer narrates episodes from Hindu epics (such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata) and stories from the Puranas. Solo performance, by a narrator in a distinctive headgear. Performed in the Koothambalam; a place inside Hindu temples specifically designed for performing Kutiyattam and Chakyar Koothu
  • Nangiar koothu or Nangyar Koothu is an allied traditional art of Kutiyattam, an age-old Sanskritdrama tradition of India. It is performed traditionally by the women of the Ambalavasi Nambiar community of Kerala, known as Nangyaramma, but since the second half of the 20th century it’s no longer the case.
  • Garudan Thookkam (Eagle Hanging) is a ritual art form performed in certain Kalitemples in some Central Kerala districts in south India. The people who dress up as Garuda perform the dance.
  • Ottan Thullal is a recite-and-dance art-form of Kerala, India.
  • Koothambalam or Kuttampalam meaning temple theatre is a closed hall for staging Koothu, Nangiar koothu and Koodiyattam, the ancient ritualistic art forms of Kerala, India. Koothambalams are said to be constructed according to the guide lines given in the chapter 2 of Nātyasāstraof Bharata Muni.



BHAND PATHER Kashmir ·         unique combination of dance, music and acting.

·         Satire, wit and parody are preferred for inducing laughter.

·         In this theatre form, music is provided with surnai, nagaara and dhol.

·         Since the actors of Bhand Pather are mainly from the farming community, the impact of their way of living, ideals and sensitivity is discernible.

SWANG Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh ·         mainly music-based

·         prose too, played its role in the dialogues.

·         two important styles of Swang are from Rohtak and Haathras.

NAUTANKI Uttar Pradesh ·         The meters used in the verses are: Doha, Chaubola, Chhappai, Behar-e-tabeel

·         women have also started taking part in the performances

RAASLEELA Uttar Pradesh ·         In this theatre form the dialogues in prose combined beautifully with songs and scenes from Krishna’s pranks.

·         based exclusively on Lord Krishna

BHAVAI Gujarat ·         centers of this form are Kutch and Kathiawar.

·         instruments used in Bhavai are: bhungal, tabla, flute, pakhaawaj, rabaab, sarangi, manjeera, etc. In Bhavai, there is a rare synthesis of devotional and romantic sentiments.

JATRA Orissa and eastern Bihar, originated in Bengal ·         Krishna Jatra became popular due to Chaitanya’s influence. Later, however, worldly love stories too, found a place in Jatra.
MAACH Madhya Pradesh ·         songs are given prominence in between the dialogues.

·         The term for dialogue in this form is bol and rhyme in narration is termed vanag.

·         The tunes of this theatre form are known as rangat.

BHAONA Assam ·         presentation of the Ankia Naat

·         cultural glimpses of Assam, Bengal Orissa, Mathura and Brindavan can be seen.

·         The Sutradhaar, or narrator begins the story, first in Sanskrit and then in either Brajboli or Assamese.

TAMAASHA Maharashtra ·         evolved from the folk forms such as Gondhal, Jagran and Kirtan.

·         Unlike other theatre forms, in Tamaasha the female actress is the chief exponent of dance movements in the play.

·         She is known as Murki.

·         Classical music, footwork at lightning-speed, and vivid gestures make it possible to portray all the emotions through dance.

DASHAVATAR Konkan and Goa regions ·         performers personify the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu-the god of preservation and creativity.
KRISHNATTAM Kerala ·         cycle of eight plays performed for eight consecutive days.

·         based on the theme of Lord Krishna – his birth, childhood pranks and various deeds depicting victory of good over evil.

MUDIYETTU Kerala ·         performed only in the Kali temples of Kerala, as an oblation to the Goddess

·         seven characters in Mudiyettu-Shiva, Narada, Darika, Danavendra, Bhadrakali, Kooli and Koimbidar (Nandikeshvara) are all heavily made-up.



Himachal Pradesh ·         normally performed around the Dussehra festival

·         prefaced by virtuoso drumming, uses minimal props and often incorporates dance and comic acts

·         local variants all over Himachal Pradesh (banthada in Mandi, budechhu in Sirmaur and bhagtu in Kangra)

·         derives its theme from the daily life and concerns of the villagers


Kerala ·         based on Sanskrit theatre traditions

·         part of temple rituals performed in sacred theaters

·         recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

·         Emphasis on hand gestures and eye movements makes this dance and theatre form unique.


Karnataka ·         unique harmony of musical tradition, eye-catching costumes, and authentic styles of dance, improvised gestures and acting, with its extemporaneous dialogue holding a wide appeal

·         mythological stories and epics

·         presented from dusk to dawn, this folk theatre is predominantly seen in the coastal districts 


 Tamil Nadu ·         “street play”

·         mostly performed at the time of annual temple festivals of Mariamman (Rain goddess) to achieve rich harvest

·         cycle of eight plays based on the life of Draupadi

·         performance includes lively dances and songs sung in a high pitch by the male actors (even the female roles are played by males) who wear wide colorful costumes, sparkling shoulder plates, elaborate head-dresses and thick bright make-up



Uttarakhand ·         religious festival in honour of the village deity, Bhumiyal Devta.

·         made up of highly complex rituals that involve the recitation of a version of the epic Ramayana and various legends

·         performance of local songs and masked dances



  • String Puppets-Rajasthan, Orissa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu
    • Kathputli, Rajasthan
    • Kundhei, Odisha
    • Gombeyatta (styled and designed like the characters of Yakshagana), Karnataka
    • Bommalattam (combine the techniques of both rod and string puppets & largest, heaviest and the most articulate of all traditional Indian marionettes), Tamil Nadu
  • Shadow Puppets-Odisha. Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu
    • Togalu Gombeyatta (differ in size according to their social status), Karnataka
    • Tholu Bommalata (richest and strongest tradition), Andhra Pradesh
    • Ravanachhaya (one piece and have no joints. They are not coloured), Odisha
  • Rod Puppets- West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha
    • Putul Nautch, West Bengal
    • Yampuri (one piece and have no joints), Bihar
  • Glove Puppets (also known as sleeve, hand or palm puppet)
    • Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal and Kerala
    • Pavakoothu (influence of Kathakali), Kerala



Paintings Region /State Key Features
MADHUBANI PAINTINGS Mithila region of Bihar ·         Theme of these paintings are Hindu god and goddesses, mythology, wedding scenes, festival scenes and also royal courts scenes

·         exclusively made by women painters

·         no space left empty

·         outline directly draw with brush without any preliminary sketching.

·         use of colourful rice is prevail here

WARLI Maharashtra region ·         mainly tribal paintings

·         use cow dung for background plaster.

·         white colour paste use to draw figures. Male and female figures are draw in geometrically pattern.

MANJUSHA Bhagalpur region Bihar ·         also called as Angika art.

·         Snake paintings.

·         Paintings are made on the boxes of jute and paper.

KALAM (KALAMEZHUTHU) Kerala ·         ritualistic art practiced in temples and sacred groves

·         natural pigments and powders, usually in five colours.

·         Essentially a ritualistic art practiced in temples and sacred groves of Kerala where the representation of deities like Kali and Lord Ayyappa, are made on the floor.

·         Drawing is done with bare hands without the use of tools.


Bihar ·         Most of the paintings are of miniature category and made on paper

·         link between the Mughal style and the British style

·         Paintings on the daily life are in abundance

·         Colours are extracted from indigenously plants, barks, flowers and metals. Paintings are characterized by light colored sketches and life-like representations.

·         usually they do not paint any landscape, foreground or background

·         technique was commonly known as ‘Kajli Seahi’.


Odisha ·         Have their origin in the mud walls of aboriginal Lanjia Saora tribal homes in Odisha

·         Painting is called Idital and the person who creates it is known as the iditalmar

·         The wall is cleaned and smeared with locally available red soil, then rice paste is prepared as white colour for painting with bamboo sticks [instead of brushes]

·         Painting has a rectangular frame, and features icons of deities, or those drawn from nature


Bengal region ·         figures of Roman and Greek are copy here

·         figures of indian gods with many arms are condemn because they don’t follow human representation

·         Every day bazar scene and also the female dancer which are dancing in front of the British officers are the theme


Odisha ·         picture on a cloth.

·         The paintings also consist Hindu mythology, religious stories, folklore and the figures of deities.

·         Natural paints and a cloth canvas are used for creating of simple themes.



Gujarat & Madhya Pradesh ·         practised by tribes like Rathwas, Bhilalas 

·          found on the walls of the houses and are believed to bring peace, prosperity and happiness to the household.

·         These paintings are considered more of a ritual than an art form to plead the gods for a boon.

·         It is interesting to note that there is not even a single attempt to imitate nature.


Central India ·         practise by “Gondi” tribe

·         art form celebrates life i.e, hills, streams, animals, birds etc. The tribes, traditionally painted the paintings on the mud walls of their house.


West Bengal ·         paintings tradition of Patuas was started as a village tradition as painters of scrolls or pats telling the popular mangal stories of the gods and goddesses.

  • These pats or scrolls are made of sheets of paper of equal or different sizes which are sown together and painted with ordinary poster paints.


West Bengal ·         unique and delightful Blend of the Oriental and the Occidental styles of painting.

  • Paintings apart from depicting religious themes also portrayed different professions and costumes which were popular among the tourists.
  • Sometimes, even contemporary events like crime were the subject of many paintings. Images of goddess were popular among Kalighat artists.


Jharkhand ·         popularly known as the scroll paintings

·         popular in West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and other adjacent states of India.

·         used in storytelling performances and in socio-religious customs.

·         paintings that belong to this form have a common subject of what happens to human life after death. This scroll painting also mirrors the Bengali and Jharkhand daily life.

·         considered as the variable of Pata painting. Patapainting or Pata chitra was term used for long scroll painting.


Andhra Pradesh ·         hand-painted or block-printed cotton textile 

·          two distinctive styles of Kalamkari art in India – Srikalahasti style and the Machilipatnam style

·          “kalam” or pen is used for free hand drawing of the subject and filling in the colors, is entirely hand worked

·         Only natural dyes are used in Kalamkari and it involves seventeen steps.


Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Tibet and Sikkim. ·         Buddhist art form

·         theme for this painting revolves around the life of Buddha.

·         Vegetable colors are used

·         paint consists of pigments in a water-soluble medium of animal glue.

·         Both mineral and organic pigments are used


Marwar (Rajasthan) and later to Manavar (Madhya Pradesh) ·         essentially block printing

·         involved blocks that are carved onto motifs that represent flora such as Jasmine, Mushroom, lehariya and so on

·         inspired by the jaali work that embellished the Taj Mahal and various other forts


Tamil Nadu ·         art form draws its immediate resources and inspiration from way back about 1600 AD, a period when the Nayakas

·         characterised by rich and vivid colors, simple iconic composition, glittering gold foils overlaid on delicate but extensive gesso work and inlay of glass beads and pieces or very rarely precious and semi-precious gems

·         paintings are panel paintings done on wooden planks, and hence referred to as palagai padam


Rajasthan ·         clearly distinguished by its individualistic facial type and its religious intensity

·         sensitive, refined features of the men and women are drawn with pointed noses and chins, deeply curved eyes, and serpentine locks of hair


Rajasthan ·         Bani Thani was a singer and poet in Kishangarh in the time of Raja Samant Singh

·         Kishangarh Miniature

·         depicted with elegant and graceful features, rather stylized, including arched eyebrows, lotus-like elongated eyes and pointed chin


Rajasthan ·         The blend of Mughal and Deccani art elements in Bundi style are unique.

·         Excelled in its illustrations of Krishna-Lila and Rasikapriya. Besides these the other themes that these paintings depict are Nayaka- Nayika Bheda, Baramasa, Harem or Zanana, Hunting and Portraits.


Rajasthan ·         painted scroll, which depicts stories of epic dimensions about local deities and legendary heroes.

·         narratives of the folk deities of Rajasthan, mostly of Pabuji and Devnarayan are depicted


Jammu and Kashmir ·         reputed school of miniature paintings known for its vivid, evocative colors, bold lines, and deep-set facial patterns.

·         first school of Pahari paintings, many of which have evolved into the much more detailed and widespread style of Kangra painting school.

·         The Basholi paintings had obscure beginnings, although Raja Bhupat Pal is widely credited as its founder. 


  • Mainly consisting of portraits of Raja Balwant Singh of Jasrota (Jammu) designed by Nainsukh
  • Colours used are soft and cool unlike Basohli school
  • The painters under the royal Hindu patronage had been trained in Mughal style of art


Himachal Pradesh
  • prevalent with the fading of Basohli school of painting in mid-18th century
  • Named as Kangra style as they are identical in style to the portraits of Raja Sansar Chand of Kangra
  • In these paintings, the faces of women in profile have the nose almost in line with the forehead, the eyes are long & narrow, & chin is sharp.
  • no modelling of figures and hair is treated as a flat mass
  • Under the patronage of Maharaja Sansar Chand (c.1765–1823), it became the most important center of Pahari painting.


Himachal Pradesh
  • Flourished a folk style of painting in the Kulu-Mandi area, mainly inspired by the local tradition.
  • Style is marked by bold drawing and the use of dark and dull colours
  • Influence of the Kangra style is observed in certain cases yet the style maintains its distinct folkish character
  • large number of portraits of the Kulu and Mandi rulers and miniatures on other themes are available in this style
  • The art of painting in Kullu style are an exquisite expression of its iconic beauty. They share many common features with Basholi art as the similarities.


  • Block-printed textile that is resist-dyed using natural dyes
  • Including indigo, turmeric, pomegranate, jaggery, iron and and mud
  • Done mainly by Khatris Community in Kutch region


  • In this school excessive emphasis was given on the style and stylish figure of women
  • Use of strong and pure colours, heavy gold outlines, square shaped hands, enlarged eyes were the unique characteristics of this school.
  • Seen in Rajasthani and Mughal Paintings.


  • The rock paintings in Karikiyoor at Kil Kotagiri in the Nilgiri forests have withstood the forces of nature for some 5,000 years
  • Members of the Irula tribal community, have an ancestral link to the site.
  • Contain analogous-Indus script, meaning they resemble the script found in Indus civilization sites of northern India.



Nyokum Festival

  • A festival celebrated by the Nyishi tribe of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh
  • Close link with cultivation
  • The main prayer structure of the Nyishi is made of bamboo, called the yugang.
  • Alongside the yugang sacrificial animals are tethered. Like cows, mithuns, and goats.

Dance Forms of Tamil Nadu

  • Bamber dance, Bharatanatyam (Classical), Bommalattam or puppet show, Chakkai Attam, Devaraattam, Kamandi or Kaman Pandigai, Kai Silambu Attam, Kazhi Attam or Kolattam, Karagattam, Kazhai Kothu, Poi Kal attam, Kummi, Mayil Attam or Peacock dance, Ottan Koothu, Oyilattam, Oyil Kummi, Paampu attam or Snake Dance, Poikkaal Kuthirai Aattam or Artificial Horse Dance, Puliyattam or Puli Aattam (Tiger Dance), Shattam dance, Parai Attam, Theru koothu, Urumi Attam, Villu Paatu

Types of Holi in India

  • Lathmar Holi-Barsana in Mathura is famous for Lathmar Holi
  • Cultural Holi of Santiniketan-West Bengal
  • Phakuwa/Phaguwa-Assam
  • Ukkuli-Konkani community
  • Dhuleti-Ahmedabad Young Men
  • Bedara Vesha (Hunter Dance)-Karnataka
  • Holla Mohalla-Punjab (train Nihang Sikhs in martial skills)
  • Dol Jatra-West Bengal

Chikankari Embroidery

  • Famous in Lucknow & Uttar Pradesh
  • Created by block printing patterns on the fabric at first and then the embroider stitches along the pattern, and the finished piece is later washed to remove traces of the prints.

Phulkari Embroidery

  • Famous in Punjab
  • Embroidery of flower motifs with contrast of bright colours on light colored fabric. The stitches are embroidered on the reverse of the cloth.

Intangible Cultural Heritage of India, recognized by UNESCO

  1. Tradition of Vedic chanting
  2. Ramlila, the traditional performance of the Ramayana
  3. Kutiyattam, Sanskrit theatre-Kerala
  4. Ramman: Religious Festival and Ritual Theatre of the Garhwal Himalayas
  5. Mudiyettu: Ritual Theatre and Dance Drama of Kerala
  6. Kalbelia: Folk Songs and Dances (Kalbelia community of snake charmers living in Thar Desert)-Rajasthan
  7. Chhau Dance-Odisha, West Bengal & Jharkhand
  8. Buddhist Chanting of Ladakh: Recitation of Sacred Buddhist Texts in the TransHimalayan Ladakh Region
  9. Sankirtan-Manipur
  10. Traditional brass and copper craft of utensil making-Punjab
  11. Yoga
  12. Nowrouz
  13. Kumbh Mela (It is celebrated four times every 12 years, the site of the observation rotating between four pilgrimage places on the four sacred rivers at Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik.)

Types of Hindustani Music and its meaning 

  • Dhrupad – Effort from vocal chords and lungs
  • Dhamar – Play of Krishna during holy
  • Khayal – Delicate, romantic and based on imagination.
  • Thumri – Romantic religious literature
  • Tappa – Quick turn of phase
  • Bhajan – Religious devotional songs
  • Tarana – Syllables stung together to set a rhythm
  • Sabadas – Sikh religious songs
  • Qawali – Indo- Muslim repertories of songs in groups.
  • Ghazal – Independent couplets on love and devotion

UNESCO Creative cities network from India included are: Varanasi – Music, Chennai- Music, Hyderabad- Gastronomy, Jaipur- Folk art, Mumbai- Film

  • Sheethankan Thullal is a dance and poetic performance form in Kerala. One of the three major thullal forms prevailing in Kerala. Others are Ottan Thullal and Parayan Thullal. Dance is performed in a very slow tempo. Gives importance to gestures than vocal actions
  • Parayan Thullal is a dance and poetic performance form prevailed in the state of Kerala. One of the three major thullal forms prevailing in Kerala. Others are Ottan Thullal and Sheethankan Thullal
  • Ottan Thullal or Ottamthullal is a comedic dance and poetic performance form of Kerala. Introduced in the eighteenth century by Kunchan Nambiar, one of the Prachina Kavithrayam (three famous Malayalam language poets). Accompanied by a mridangam (a barrel shaped double headed drum) or an idakka (drum and cymbal). Has its origins in the classical principles of Natya Shastra
  • Sanghakkali traditionally performed by the Namboodiris as a ritual. Rare art forms of Kerala. Performed in Namboodiri homes during the ‘shodasa kriyas’(16 rites) as well as in Shiva temples. Kambadi Kali, Velakali, Poorakkali, Duffmuttu, Sanghakkali, Padayani, Margam Kali etc. come under martial art forms.
  • Kottichetham– An excerpt from the Tamil epic Silappathikaram, written by Ilango Adigal. Believed to have been danced by the Parayur Chakyan of the Chera court for the King and the queen. Dance of Lord Siva and Uma.
  • Ekaharya Lasyanga– Solo performance depicting themes of love and relationships, mentioned in the Sanskrit text Natyasastra (2BC-2AD). Natyasastra written in Kashmir by Abhinavagupta (9th-10thC) reached all over India, just as karanas from the Natyasastra were found carved in the 11th c Brihadeeswara temple in the South. A pre-Thanjavur Quartet repertoire of a solo Nati or Nartaki from Sangita Muktavali (15 C) featured: Pushpanjali, Mukhacaali, Suddha-Yati nrtta, Raagaanga- Yati-nrtta, Sabdanrtta, Rupa-nrtta, dance and abhinaya to songs in dance-dramas (Rupakas), Dhvaada, Sabdacaali, Sudasabda, Sudagita, various Gita-prabandhas, followed by local dances like Cindu, Daru, Dhrupad, etc.
  • Pulikkali- “Puli” = Leopard/Tiger & “Kali” = Play in Malayalam language. A recreational folk art from the state of Kerala. Performed by trained artists to entertain people on the occasion of Onam, an annual harvest festival, celebrated mainly in the Indian state of Kerala. Also known as Tiger Dance. Tempra Powder and varnish or enamel is used to make the paint and is said to be extremely hard to remove.
  • Sangrai dance performed by the Mog tribal community on the occasion of Sangrai festival during the month of Chaitra (in April) of the Bengali calendar year. The Mogs are one of the 19 tribes in Tripura. Mogs are Buddhist and have the close affinity with Burmese Buddhism. Arakanese descendants who migrated to Tripura through Chittagong Hill Tracts. Language is grouped under Tibeto-Chinese family which is also linked with Assam-Burmese section of language.
  • In Assam, the day before bhogali bihu or magh bihu is called Uruka — community feasting by a bonfire.
  • Chindu Yakshaganam-Traditional art forms popular in Telangana. combines dance, music, dialogue, costume, make-up, and stage techniques with a unique style. Popular drama of this form is where Jambavantha — an important character from the Ramayana — explains Srishti Rahasyam. Q&A session, a character keeps shooting questions, and Jambavantha explains the evolution of the universe, birth of gods, Shakti Puranam, Pancha Brahma Jananam, 66 castes and 18 varnas. Performed during summer and winter
  • Theyyam popular ritual art form of worship in Kerala. Performed by mainly by males, except the Devakoothu theyyam. The Devakoothu is the only Theyyam ritual performed by women. Similar custom is followed in the Mangalore region of neighbouring Karnataka known as Bhuta Kola. Performed in sacred groves and other places usually once in a year and is known as Kaliyattam
  • Our country has a very rich heritage of traditional sports. For example, you may have heard the name of a game called“Pachisi”. This game is played as “Pallanguli” in Tamil Nadu, is called “Ali Guli Mane” in Karnataka and is known as “Vaman Guntlu” in Andhra Pradesh. It is a type of game employing strategy in which a board is usedwith many pits, in which the players have to catch hold of the pellet or seed. It is said that this game has spread from South India to Southeast Asia and then to the rest of the world. Traditional Indian game, called “Moksha Patam” or “Parampadam”. We also have another traditional game in our country called “Gutta.
  • The traditional Art of ‘Talamaddale’, a variant of Yakshagana theatre. In the conventional ‘talamaddale,’ the artists sit across in a place without any costumes and engage in testing their oratory skills based on the episode chosen. It has only spoken words without any dance or costumes. Hence it is Yakshagana minus dance, costumes and stage conventions.

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