of Andhra Pradesh
of Andhra Pradesh
Kuchipudi, one of the four classical dance forms of natya
shastra, owes its name and existence to a small village on the
Krishna belt in Andhra Pradesh called Kuchipudi. It is a consequent
result of the Bhakti Andolan during the 6th century. In the 7th
century, Siddhendra Yogi, one of the Kuchipudi's original exponents,
took a group of village boys and trained them, to present a
dance-drama and purposely elevated this dance-drama performance
which became a tradition. The exponents of this dance need to be
well versed in dance, mime, music and song. Apart from being a good
dancer and an actor, he/she needs to have fine knowledge of the
languages like Sanskrit and Telugu.
Kuchipudi is played under the night sky on makeshift ramps. The main
role played in these dance dramas is the choreographer who keeps the
whole show under a tight grip and infuses a continuity by his
showmanship. Its fast paced nature has propelled this dance form
into renowned art drama.
Andhra Natyam is an ancient lasya dance tradition performed by
female dance artistes of Andhra Pradesh for the last two thousand
years in Bouddha Aaramas, Temples, Courts of Maharajahs and in
public places for the common people. This art is the spiritual
expression of the Telugu people and another unique dance form of
this state. Nava Janaardana Parijatam is an episode from the divine
life of Lord Krishna, the Blue God and his spouse Satyabhama.
'Tholubommalata', a shadow puppetry theatre is a fascinating folk
art. Ornamentally painted leather puppets locally referred to as
‘Tholubommalu’ take the form of mythological characters from the two
renowned epics, Mahabharata and Ramayana. The inanimate characters
are handled with bamboo sticks against a magnificent lamplit
is the dance of Lord Shiva, who outraged at the humiliation meted
out to Sati Devi, his first wife, picked a relic out of his
Jata-Jhuta (hair) and created Veerabadhra. The Veeramusti community
which claims to be the descendents of Veerabadhra, perform this
vigorous dance with instruments like Thambura, Soolam, Dolu, Thasha
and Veernam usually at Draksharamam in East Godavari district of
Andhra Pradesh. This place is believed to be Dakshawatika, the birth
place of Veerabhadra.
dance of Masks. A typical folk dance form, popular in Tanuku of West
Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. Butta Bommalu which literally
means Basket toys are made of woodhusk, dry grass and cow dung. Each
dancer wears a different mask over the head and shoulders enlarging
the scope of the performer and dances to a nonverbal rhythm which
adds colour to the movements.
Dappu, a percussion instrument made of goat skin and wood, is a
tambourine-like drum which is when played with sticks creates a
rhythm that’s softened only by the sound of ankle bells that the
16-20 dancers wear. Part of a Telangana custom which sees the Dappu
dancers at the front of any procession, whether it be for Jataras,
Festivals or Marriages, this is truly a celebration of the
percussion powers of dance.
dance of Colours and Costumes. This lively art form hails from
Nizamabad district. The performers in colourful make up and costumes
dance to the musical patterns set by Cymbals, Tabla and Harmonium.
Mythological themes are usually enacted and the audience is mostly
rural. The applause is however universal.
dance of the Rain God. Popular in Srikakulam and Vijayanagaram
districts, this is a devotional dance which invokes the Rain God
with its vigour, rhythm and tempo. Also performed during festivals,
the dance sees 15 – 20 vibrant artists with drums around their necks
creating mesmerising beats and heart stopping acrobatics.
This dance is associated with daily tasks like harvesting, planting,
sowing, etc. and belongs to the Banjaras, a semi-nomadic tribe seen
all over Andhra Pradesh. The Lambadi is performed by the Costumes
embroidered with glass beads and mirrors, ornate jewellery, ivory
bangles, brass anklets and a natural rhythm makes this dance a
colourful exposition of joy which is the highlight of many an
dance of the Balancing Pots. The folk festival of Bonalu in the
Telangana region brings with it a celebration of colourfully dressed
female dancers balancing pots (Bonalu), stepping to the rhythmic
beats and tunes in praise of the village deity Mahankali. Male
dancers called Potharajus follow the female dancers to the temple
lashing whips and emerald margosa leaves tied around their waists
adding colour to the roaring trumpets and pulsating percussion.
This tribal dance form of the Hill Tribes sees 15-20 women forming a
chain and dancing to the beats of instruments like Mori, Thuduma and
Dappu that are played by members. They dance in praise of their
local deity.It is generally performed in the local fairs and
festivals in Viskhapatnam district. Women attired in typical tribal
dresses and ornaments.
of Andhra Pradesh
Banjara Needle Crafts
This art form belongs to the nomads and gypsies of Andhra Pradesh.
The embroidery of this form is live and vibrant. Banjaras in Andhra
Pradesh display their colorful lifestyle through their exuberant
This craft belongs to the the city of Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh.
It basically involves silver inlay on metal, which is very
exquisite. There are many legends related to its entry and exit into
the country and then to Andhra Pradesh.
The famous bronze idols were based on the verses from the
Shilpashastra. These verses were called dhyana. These verses
instruct the craftsmen about the physical measurements, proportions,
description of the deity, characteristics, symbolism and above all,
The Budithi Brassware originated from a small village called Budithi
in central Srikakulam, a district in Andhra Pradesh. This place is
famous for creating beautiful shapes out of alloys. These shapes are
also available in modern as well as antique style.
Durgi Stone Craft
The famous Durgi stone craft originated in the Durgi. It is situated
10 Kms from Macherla in Andhra Pradesh. There is a school of
sculpture and stone carving located here, which imparts this ancient
skill. Some of the masterpieces of Durgi Stone Craft is found at the
The famous Kondapalli toys are made of softwood, known as Tella
Poniki. These toys are also made up of sawdust, tamarind seed
powder, enamel gums and watercolors. After the toy is carved on the
wood, a paste made of tamarind, wood and sawdust is applied for
giving further shapes and attaching limbs etc., to the toy. This art
form belongs to the Kondapalli district of Andhra Pradesh.
The Lacquer craft is widely found in Etikoppaka in Andhra Pradesh.
This place is one of the major centers of this craft. The Lacquer
craft involves the application of lacquer on wood in pleasing shades
to create a distinguishing appeal.
Nirmal Arts - Paintings & Toys
The Nirmal art is generally found in the Nirmal town, Adilabad
district of Andhra Pradesh. Here, many craftsmen known as Nakash
reside. They are involved in Niramal arts, in which scenes from the
Hindu epics, Mahabharata and Ramayana are painted.
At Bobbili in Andhra Pradesh, the oldest musical instrument,
Saraswati Veena is manufactured. This instrument is even mentioned
in almost all ancient texts. It is an integral part of Carnatic
music, famous all over the world for its melody and harmony.
The handlooms of Andhra Pradesh are of excellent quality. It is also
famous for its fine saris all over the world. Every region of the
state has its own style and weave.
The textiles of Chirala are quite famous. The Chirala textile is
made by using a large quantity of oil, which is used in preparing
yarn for weaving. After the fabric is ready, it is wrapped with wax
& clay before being dyed in selected colors .
The Dharmavaram in Andhra Pradesh is famous for silk saris all over
the world. These saris are specially worn on functions. They have
simple, plain borders without much contrast. The borders of these
saris are commonly broad having brocaded gold patterns. The borders
also have butta and the pallus of the saris have exclusive designs.
The Eluru in Andhra Pradesh is famous for its woolen pile carpet
industry. This art from was brought to India by the Persians who
migrated to Andhra Pradesh during the Muhammaddin regime. Later,
they developed the carpet industry here.
Gadwal located in Andhra Pradesh is famous all over the world for
its beautiful saris. The body of the Sari is cotton whereas the
border and pallu are in silk. The cotton and silk fabrics are woven
separately and then attached together.
Ikat Weaving Handlooms
This is a skill that requires a lot of intricacy. It is a style of
weaving, where the yarn is randomly dyed in natural zigzag or
geometric patterns. The Ikat weaving originated in Nalgonda district
of andhra Pradesh. This internationally acclaimed weaving form, is
now practiced mainly in Puttapaka, Pochampalli and Chautuppal
villages of Andhra Pradesh.
The Mangalagiri saris and dress materials are made from Mangalgiri
cotton, which is quite popular here. Mangalagiri, located 12 Kms
from Vijayawada is also an important pilgrimage center in Andhra
Uppada Sarees Handlooms
The Uppada saris are produced in Uppada, a beach town located 20 kms
from Kakinada. It is famous for attractively designed cotton saris.
At Peddapuram, 20 kms from Kakinada one can buy delicately designed
silk saris created by local artisans.