Southern Trail: Art And Culture Holiday Ideas

Southern Trail: Art And Culture Holiday Ideas
Brihadisvara temple in Thanjavur Photo Credit: Shutterstock

From temple architecture to pre-war dances

OT Staff
March 29 , 2023
02 Min Read

Learn More About A Spirited Pre-War Dance In Telengana

Trip, twirl and prostrate? More like sway, glare and intimidate. The Perini Sivatandavam is a spirited pre-war dance that’s been brought back from India’s Middle Kingdoms; vigorous yet elegant, the act had barely survived the fall of the Kakatiya kings, until classical guru Nataraja Ramakrishna revived it 700 years later. While the temple dance isn’t limited to any gender, it’s recognisable for the hyper-masculine energy that courses through its performers. To the untrained eye, Perini resembles the haka, made iconic by the Maoris of New Zealand. But on closer inspection, the tandavam seemingly shifts between two forms of Shiva. Dancers straddle the poise of Nataraja, the Cosmic Dancer, until finally invoking the violent energy of Rudra, the Terrible. Mridangams provide chaotic company.


Check Out Theatre Traditions In Karnataka

Fiery and flamboyant, Karnataka wields some of India’s most arresting theatre traditions. Folk forms like Yakshagana aren’t just famous for their extravagant costumes and unique flow, but also for churning the literary imagination of giants like the late Girish Karnad. This rangbhoomi effortlessly toes the line between the contemporary and the historic; push aside banana leaves for a view of small-scale but authentic nataka productions in villages, or take a seat in city auditoriums for a taste of modern Kannadiga snark. Harikathe, where women showcase invigorating performances, is an act you cannot miss. Those who weren’t coerced into mythology as children, and desire more power in verbal retellings, could take a leaf out of this tradition’s book.

Explore Thanjavur Art In Tamil Nadu

A state deep-rooted in its rich cultural history, Tamil Nadu is home to an expansive, ever-growing art industry. Scout for Thanjavur paintings or Palaghai Padam, an ornate artwork created on a bed of cloth combined with wood. Going back to the 16th century, these paintings depict Hindu gods and saints amid a plush background of curtains. For a more traditional souvenir, search for artworks with well-rounded bodies and almond eyes. Texture and dimensions are enhanced by embellishing the sketch using semi-precious stones, delicate gold leaves and pieces of glass.

Go On A Temple Trail In Andhra Pradesh

With over 3,000 temples across the state, Andhra Pradesh is one of the most sought after religious destinations in the country. Topping the list of the holiest of temples is Venkateswara Swamy or Tirupati. Built on the banks of river Krishna, the Srisailam Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple is dedicated to Shiva and is home to one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva in India. Built during the Chalukyan reign in 625 CE, the Bhadrakali temple in Warangal is one of the oldest in the country. The idol is 2.7 metres tall and has eight hands, each carrying a weapon, with an alluring crown sitting on his head. The 16th-century Veerabhadra temple in Lepakshi is an architectural wonder. Be it the 15-feet tall Nandi or the hanging pillar or the 12-foot hooded serpent Naga, the temple is enriched with both cultural and engineering marvels. The 125-feet tall Dhyana Buddha statue is a testimony to the proud Buddhist culture of Amaravati. Protected by the ASI, it also holds a museum in the complex.


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