Janapada Loka, Karnataka - is an institution that is dedicated to preserving and propagating the rural folk culture of Karnataka.
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- Jaanapada Loka

» Places Around Bangalore » Jaanapada Loka

Janapada Loka or "Folk world" is an institution that is dedicated to preserving and propagating the rural folk culture of Karnataka. It is a part of the Karnataka Janapada Parishat and is situated in Ramanagara district on the Bangalore-Mysore highway.

It is set up on a 15-acre (61,000 m2) campus, where rural milieus from Karnataka have been recreated. It also houses a wide array of rural artifacts depicting the essence of folk literature, music, dance, festivals, sculpture and lifestyle. It is the brainchild of the folklore enthusiast, the late H. L. Nage Gowda.

Janapada Loka provides an opportunity for rural artisans,musicians and craftspeople to showcase their art and provides a platform for marketing these works of art. Books, DVDs and CDs relating folk arts are also sold. The main attraction of Janapada Loka is the folks arts museum,which plays host to artefacts belonging to the folk culture, along with different instruments of music, agriculture and farming.

On the Janapada Loka campus, there are multiple sculptures related to the folk culture of rural Karnataka, which display the artists keen eye for detail.
It provides an opportunity to see the folk traditions of Karnataka in a single place, while promoting and preserving the folk culture.

Shri Nagegowda was the architect of `Janapada Loka' which is one of the wonders in the 20th century history of Karnataka. Janapada Loka founded near Ramanagara in Bangalore-Mysore highway on a sprawling 15 acres of land is the fruit of his hard work and organizing ability and was started on 12th March 1994. During the last eighteen years it has grown into a very significant cultural centre in the country.

Janapada Loka, Karnataka, Folk and Culture Museum
Janapada Loka, Karnataka
- Click the image to see the enlarged photo.

The imposing main entrance is the chief attraction of Janapada Loka . A majestic door adorned with Harige and horns. Tall Nandidwajas on eitherside of the pathway enhance the beauty of the entrance. The design of the door is a perfect blend of Shaiva and Vaishnava cult.

Janapada Loka, Karnataka
Dancers at Janapadaloka - Click the image to see the enlarged photo.

A grinding stone with a woman grinding is a befitting icon to the place, Lokamata Mandira a museum of items from the daily life of village people, chitra kuteera which reflects the achievement and struggle of the founder etc, Doddamane, a big house for the artists built in traditional rural style with pillars and an open courtyard in the centre, Loka Mahal a two storeyed building where more than 5000 Janapada articles are collected and preserved scientifically, A place for the memorial stones, where the stones tell their own story, Ayagarara Mala, Lokapriya Maha Ganapathi temple where Lord Ganesha is ever ready to bless the visitors, a colossal open air theatre in Greek style with a capacity to seat 600 persons, boat club and playground for children are other attractions of Janapada loka .

Artists who have great skill in handicrafts stay here and are engaged in making artefacts. Training programme in folk artforms like dollu kunitha, kamsale, goravara kunitha is an ongoing event. Bangalore University has recognised Janpadaloka as a research centre.This Janapada University started in 1999 conducts Janapada Diploma and Janapada Certificate courses. Janapada interest development camp, Janapada research workshop, and seminars are held regularly in the campus. A fully equipped library has been established. Annual festivals like Lokothsava in February-March,Sankranthi festival , Kite festival in july, Dassera festival in october, are celebrated without fail. In essence, Janpadaloka is a treasure house of folk museums and folk related activities and attracts scholars, students, and researchers. Janpadaloka is one of the best folk cultural centers in the world and is a hub of folk cultural activities.

Annual Festivals

Janapada Loka celebrates many folk cultural events throughout the year.

Lokotsava - The most anticipated of all the festivals. Folk artists from all over Karnataka participate in this two-day event. It happens during Feb-March every year.
Dassera - Held in the month of October, to coincide with the annual Dassera festival in the state.
Kite Festival - Held in the month of July.

Places to visit in Janapada Loka


A massive main door 'Mahadwara', which measures twenty feet adorned with horns, trumpets and Harige, Nandidwajas made of brass standing on either side of the entrance path towering to a height of twenty six feet extend a warm welcome to the visitors.

The life of the village folks full of hard work is not without beauty and elegance. This museum displays articles of daily use employed by the rural people in their
daily life which includes huge storage bins for storing grains, pots and utensils used in cooking, aricles made of wood and iron used in animal husbandry, agricultural
implements. In general, the orderly display with proper informative labels give a clear picture of the rural life to the spectators. In front of Lokamata Mandira. is a life-size statue
of the founder Shri. Nadoja H.L.Nagegowda, the creator of the beautiful folk cosmos "janapadaloka"

Chitra kuteera

Number of attractive black and white and colour pictures exhibited in Chitra kuteera bring alive the festivals,fairs, arts and customs of our karnataka before our eyes. Many photographs taken while Sri. Nagegoda was engaged in establishing janapadaloka,while recording folk music, video recording and collecting folk artifacts and personal articles, manuscripts, awards received by him are also exhibited here. Photographs of tribal people, masks of Tenkutittu Yakshagfana form,and folk theatre attracts the attention of the visitors.


A large collection of stones arranged in Shilpamala are not just ordinary stones of the present day but memorial stones dating back to a period more than four hundred years These are all inscripted stones which were installed in honour brave people for their achievements. These are identified as Veeragallu- in honour of a war hero, Sathikalllu- in honour of a faithful wife and Gokallu- in honour of a beloved cow. Besides these there are many idols of worship which had been abandoned and lying in ruins in different parts of karnataka.These have been collected and preserved and displayed here with serenity. Behind the shilpamala is a temple of Ganesha - built in a typical village style.The whole atmosphere makes the visitors feel one with the nature.

Loka Mahal

This is a spacious two storeyed building. In the ground floor there are life size dolls dressed as Mudalapaya Yakshagana artists, coorgi couple, Dasayya and Goravayya – village characters, pied piper, Halakki vokaaligas- who perform dances of nomadic tribe and harvest dances. The other rarities that find a place here are various arms and weapons, the articles used in wedding ceremony, weights and measures of yester years, ritual items used while performing pooja and lastly a few items from the kitchen. The ground floor which is named as Boothada Gallery meaning Ghosts gallery we find life size idols of ghosts made of wood and stone. The first floor has a well collected exhibition of various folk instruments. Special dolls made for folk theater -Togalu gombegalu or leather puppets, string puppets, rod puppets apparels of Badagu tittu and TenkutYakshagana artists, Ganjeefa art pieces(playing cards), children's playthings, Soma and Harige and other masks exhibited here capture the interest of the visitors.


This is an exhibition of tools of rural vocations like pottery and smithy, sugarcane juice extractor made of wood, oil extractor, Kottana- rice pounding equipment, tools used in agriculture, nets and boats used in fishery and other things. The other exhibits are weapons used in hunting, a bullock cart, special cart –sarotu, a chariot and a palanquin decorated with beads. To complete the scene a beautiful village house is built in Aayagararamala.

Janapada Loka, Karnataka
Old Kannada Script at Janapadaloka - Click the image to see the enlarged photo.

Open air theatre

An impressive and big open air theatre built in Greek style with a capacity to hold 800 persons at a time. The theatre comes alive with programmes of folk artforms on every sunday.. Adjacent to it is a well equipped green room. The theatre has received applause from none other than Late B.V Karantha, the best director of theatre arts that India has produced.

Loka Sarovara

There is a beautiful artificial lake - Loka sarovara inside the enchanting surroundings of Janapada Loka covering an area of approximately one acre. The children can have the pleasure of going around this pure water lake in the peddle boats arranged for the purpose.

Video scope theatre

A videoscope theatre which is behind the open air theatre is well equipped and provides all the facilities like big screen and comfortable seats to view videos of folk artforms,culture and documentaries.

Saraswathi Mandira

Saraswathi mandira built on the bank of the lokasarovara houses a well-equipped library on the ground floor with fecilities for in-house reading and is open to the public on all working days.The first floor serves as class room for the students studying in the certificate and diploma course of the parishath. It is also used for meetings and seminars. Adjascent to the as saraswathi mandira are two well-furnished rooms useful for scholors to stay at a nominal rate.

Alasuru Chariot

Alasuru chariot was a part of Someshwara Temple, Bangalore which is of significant historical importance. But the chariot was slightly damaged due to a fire accident and was considered inauspicious for puja. The chariot thus discarded is brought here in its full form and preserved after conservation and displayed for its beautiful and delicate carvings.

Dodda Mane

A house having twelve pillars and a open central court yard.. Around the central courtyards are rooms and large halls which serve as dormetaries for visiting folk artists.It is also hired by public and organizations for conducting marriages, seminars, workshops. Adjascent to the main house is a community kitchen to fecilitate large scale cooking. Nearby is the toilet fecility for both men and women. Schools, colleges and institutions can comfortably arrange short term or long term resident workshops, seminars, summer camps, as it has the necessary infrastructure.The house has a big hall and a beautifully maintained lawn. It has the facilities to accommodate Janapada artists. Adjacent to Doddamane is a kitchen, bath rooms and toilets. Schools, colleges and institutions can comfortably arrange short term or long term workshops, camps and seminars here since Doddamane has all the necessary infrastructure.

Janapada Loka, Karnataka
Potter at Janapadaloka - Click the image to see the enlarged photo.

Jaanapada Mantapa and Kinnari & Kamsale

Janapada mantapa is a spacious hall with stage which can be used for multipurposes, like lectures, seminars, functions etc . Adjascent to this are two smaller buildings facing each other which also can be used for functions. There is a open-air stage in between these two buildings with a beautiful backdrop of green landscaping, ideal for folk perfromances and such cultural programmes.

Children's Park

A children's park with play equipments suited for the age- group of 2 to 10 years with seating fecility for adults in the serene sarroundings of nature, keeps the children occupied.

Loka Ruchi Upahara Mandira

Kamat Group of Hotels, Bangalore is running a hotel inside the campus.. The upahara mandira has earned a name for serving local and ethnic food with lot of care and cleanliness. The upahara mandira takes pride in serving local delicacies such as Ragi mudde , Jolada Rotti, Soppina Saru, Shavige and Kayihalu in traditional style in a serene lush green sarroundimgs.

The facilities available in Janapada Loka

1. 'Dodda Mane' is available for workshops-camps, artists stay , guests and for weddings and festivities
2. It has separate modern toilets for men and women
3. 'Janapada mantapa', a spacious multipurpose hall for meetings seminars, and cultural functions.
4. ' Kinnari' and 'Kamsale' are two smaller halls available for small cultural functions.
5. Loka Ruchi Canteen known for its tasty food and cleanliness serves food on a plantain leaf is right here.
4. STD facility is available.
5. A well equipped and furnished conference hall and an open air theatre for entertainment are available for all kinds of functions that corporate companies may wish to arrange.
6. Folk cultural shows are arranged on every sunday of the month.
7. All buses which ply on Mysore-Bangalore Highway except Non-stop buses stop at Janapada Loka.

Special Notice

Package tours will be arranged for IT, BT and other corporate companies, schools and colleges. The package tour includes ,visit to Janapada Loka conducted tour of the museums, folk curtural performances, pottery and channapatna toy making demonstration, vedeo shows of folk artforms, documetaries, boating etc..Those desirous of availing this offer should contact Karnataka Janapada Parishat fifteen days prior to the date of the tour.

The Parishath

Sri. H.L. Nagegowda retired after serving for forty long years. On his retirement, a felicitation function was arranged by his well wishers on 11 Feb 1979, at Bangalore under the able guidance of Sri. G.Narayana. A purse of Rupees one lakh fifteen thousand was presented to him on this occasion. Nagegowda did not spend this money for his ownself, but established Karnataka Janapada Parishat on 21st March 1979, with a sole aim of preserving, developing,

  1. Compiling, preservation, improvisation, and promotion of all types of Janapada literature like folk idioms, colloquial phrases, songs, proverbs, stories, Bayalata events which are alive to date in the rural culture and community. More importantly publication of Janapada Journal, dictionary and encyclopedia
  2. Establishing museums to display not only costumes of village folk, devices and tools and other things used by them but also of several other articles that depict the rural life alive to date
  3. To award prizes for students who scores highest marks in Folk studies as an elective at the postgraduate level which in turn helps in developing interest among the modern people about Folk values. To hold lecture demonstrations at schools and colleges, to publish popular booklets
  4. Audio recording of different captivating tunes of Folk music and establish a library of the audiocassettes and discs. Extending scholarships to research work concerning contribution of folk music to classical music. To produce audiotapes and discs to popularize folk music
  5. To hold exhibitions of folk art at different places to introduce the beauty and elegance of Folk art. Extend assistance to organize exhibitions. Provide opportunities to Folk artists and troupes to participate in national and international exchange programes. To encourage artists to create music and dance ballets based on Folk literature for community education and entertainment
  6. To generate still photographs and documentary films covering topics like village personalities and articles, car festivals and fairs, weddings and thread ceremonies, festivals rites and rituals
  7. To hold seminars, folk melas, competitions and exhibitions
  8. To felicitate talented persons who have contributed significantly to Folk art and literature at the annual day celebrations of the trust. Arranging monthly pension, honorarium, and maintenance allowance from the government to the needy Folk artists, fieldworkers
  9. Training the Folk artistes in folk music, dance, Yakshagana-Bayalata to enable them to perform in radio and TV and provide opportunities to participate in these media
  10. Opening art schools to teach Janapada
  11. Establish 'Janapada Siribhuvana which serves as administrative office in Bangalore and also a place to host folk cultural activities by building the required infrastructure
Janapada Loka, Karnataka
Janapada Loka, Karnataka
Janapada Loka, Karnataka
Janapada Loka, Karnataka
Janapada Loka, Karnataka
Janapada Loka, Karnataka
- Click the image to see the enlarged photo.


Karnataka Janapada Parishat whose firm foundation was laid on 21st March 1979 with the chief aim of promoting, preserving, propagating and documenting Janapada tradition of karnataka has succesfully completed 33 years and created many milestones.

  1. Recording of Janapada music sung in various styles and tunes by authentic Janapada musicians which run for hundreds of hours
  2. Establishing a museum comprising Janapada instruments, special dolls made of clothes and other artistic materials, puppets, playthings, household articles, traditional jewellery and apparels, arms and weapons, artistic earthenware, life size statues depicting the styles of Yakshagana artists, masks, photographs, paintings and other Janapad articles
  3. Video filming of the life of village folks, rural festivals and customs, dances, Yakshagana, puppet shows, 'sannata' and 'Krishna parijatha' dramas, sports. special articles and musical instruments
  4. Preparation of hundred of color transparancies on the above mentioned subjects.
  5. Publishing of journal "Janapada Jagattu' dedicated to study, research, discussion, review and analysis of Karnataka Janapada
  6. A library which helps for the study and resaerch of Janapada
  7. Holding seminars and Janapada Kalamelas
  8. Encouraging folkartists by way of felicitations and presentation of purse
  9. Building Sobane Chikkamma studio fully equipped with necessary instruments for audio recording, video filming , preparation of slides and screening of films
  10. Production and sale of audio casettes or discs of folk music rendered by new artists but instrumental music composed suitable to the the lyrics, voice, style and tunes of original singers
  11. Starting of Janapada research center and Janapada University with the collaboration of Bangalore University
  12. Telecast of 108 episodes of Sirigandha serial
  13. Publishing Janapada literary works
  14. Training courses in Janapada dance forms
  15. Training courses in Janapada music
  16. Training courses in Mudalapaya Yakshagana art
  17. Presenting awards to more than 300 folk artists
  18. Celebration of kite festival, Dasara festival, Lokotsava on permanent basis
  19. Pinnacle of all these achievements is the creation of Janapada Loka in a sprawling 15 acre land near Ramanagar on Mysore-Bangalore highway which is the embodiment of folk culture
  20. Designing and construction of Janapada Siribhuvana and Nanjaraj Siriranga open air theatre at Bangalore

    This way, Parishat is engaged in various activities and prospering with lots of achievements to its credit.

This form of art requires both skill and effort on the part of the artist and most difficult art to perform, yet is very exiting in its nature. The people of mahadeswara gudda believe that this kunitha found its origin in Devara Gudda as Mahadeswara performed this " Beesu Kamsale" the next day, being pleased by the victory gained by karayya and billayya in the tests ordered by him in Kathi Pavadada halla

Kamsale is special type of musical instrument made of brass disc with long jute thread tied to it and decorated with colourfull gonde's bunches. As it can be swayed on any side of the body in any angle holding the tip of the thread while dancing, it came to be known as " Beesu Kamsale" Kunitha.

This Kunitha abiding Shiva tradition is performed by devara gudda's with their foreheads smeared with the sacred ash, necks with rudrakshi beads, wearing white dhothis raised above their knees and saffron kase shirts.

' Tattu battalu" and ' Tar battalu` are the two forms of this dance . It consists of minimum three artists and a maximum of eight artists. These artists dance swaying the kamsale holding the tips of the decorated long threads in the their right hand and the other kamsale cup in their left hand. They can produce the sound or nada by swaying the instruments in any angle round their bodies. The significance of this kunitha is seen in their skill of swaying the brass kamsale with great concentration, without the sharp edges striking any part of their bodies, which otherwise will be fatal.

They dance to the notes, holding the thread of the instrument loosely and swaying them above their heads, their backs, beneath their feet, and also in the postures of sitting , laying standing and rolling. We can observe the ability of these artists in their performance even when the beats are at their maximum, for they don't loose track of the counts.

Its indeed astonishing to see that these artists exhibit their skills, while they change their postures like bending, dancing, hopping etc, even while swaying the Kamsale, its wonderfull to observe these artists moving with lightning speed without disturbing the order and notes of the beats, with the instruments producing the sounds of high pitch. Now a days these artists engage in this art with their eyes blind folded ' Though this art is exciting yet dangerous if one is not careful'

This art gets more brilliance as the Devara Guddas have adopted plot indicating the " War of Piriya Pattana" into this dance. Apart from the regions of Mandya, Mysore, rural parts of Bangalore and Chamrajanagar this wonderful and exciting performance art is not practiced elsewhere.

Dollu kunitha popularly known as "Gandu Kale" or manly art is spread over the rural districts of Karnataka namely Bijapur, Belagam, Tumkur, Chikkamangalur and rural regions of Bangalore. Formerly, this form of Kunitha was performed only by kurubas. But later it was adopted by Deevaru, Uppaararu, Nayakaru and other sects of people. The dollu or the Drum instrument is made of light wood with the skin attached tightly on both its sides using leather strips and metal rings.

The artists performing this kunita tie these huge drums to their waists and use two small thick round sticks to play on them. Generally the beats are counted in 'Guni' or counts. The first beat of the count is called the first step. Generally one stroke on the right side of the drum with the stick held in the right and one stroke on the left side of the drum with the bare hand is called a ' Guni'. These counts gradually increase with the beating of the dollu.

The artists of this dance cover the upper parts of their bodies with ' Kari Kambali" and dhothi tied tightly around their waists extend upto their knees. In case of deevaru and nayaka's belonging to shimoga district, they cover the upper parts of their body with leaves instead of kari Kambali, or with costumes resembling the tiger's skin.

This kunitha makes the audience spellbounded with its unique style. The artists perform many types of acrobatics like hopping forward, sitting on their knees, doing somersaults while beating the drums.

While playing on the drums they ' Hop' with the wooden legs with their heights ranging from one to two feet tied to their legs. or dance to the beats of the dollu holding jars filled with water in their mouths without spilling the water, or dance to the tunes of the huge drums tied to both the sides of their waists, with children sitting on them or playing on the drums with their co-artists sitting on their shoulders.

In this way these artists perform various forms of Kunitha to make it more attractive. Apart from this there are other forms of kunita like kudure kunita, Kolu Kunita, Saru kunita , Hucchellu badita , Kai barike, Ondi hejje- Yeradu hejje kunita , Jodu sali and Jaggina Kai.

In this form of dance along with these huge leather instruments we find even other artists who play on Kanchina Talas and brass Jagates. In dollu tradition. We also have another type called Dollu Mela or 'Oddi Valaga'. This dollu mela accompanied by Dollu songs, mainly praise God Beerappa. Though the dollu songs possess good literature and lyrics, are monotonous.

Though this form of kunita is known as "Beerappana Dollu" from generations, and as a tradition practiced to please the goddess has broken its religious boundaries and has opened itself even to local festivals. Today no private or public function can be thought off without this dance. This shows the ability and efficiency of our Dollu Artists.

The Goravas who belong to the superior professional tradition of Karnataka , exhibit the animal behavior in humans through their traditional but attractive art form.

The Goravas are devotees of Mailaara linga. In the southern part of Karnataka the goravas are calles by different names viz, Gorava, Goggayya, Gadabaddayya and in the northeren parts they are called as Gvaarappa , vagga and vaaghya. Their costume includes a hat made out of the hairs of bear, a long black rug as a robe, a necklace made of cowrie worn across the chest, a bag dangling down the shoulder , a trishul (trident) Nagabetta, a hand held hour clock shaped drum in the right hand (Damaruga), a flute in the left hand. they smear vibhooti and crimson powder over the forehead.

When Goravas numbering about ten to twelve, attired in their customary

costumes and make up stand in a row in a vevel field or on a stage at an elevated level, the very sight of these artistes can excite the onlooker. The senior gorava plays the flute and makes a vibrating sound with his damaruga, while the other goravas join them slowly in tune with the beats of the damaruga, they start dancing . In between they stretch forward their hats and wear them back. Slowly as the music increases, they turn back and forth, whirl around, go round in circles. In between these movements, they remove the bear hats and place them in the center and move round the hats.

No other instrument other than the flute and damaruga are used in a goravara Kunita. The unique beats of the damaruga along with the music of the flute combine to give a special harmony, to which the artistes dance in different postures. When the dance reaches its peak, it appears as though their dance is trying to compete with the ferocity of their costumes and a shiver runs down the spines of the watching audience.

Janapada Loka, Karnataka
Janapada Loka, Karnataka
Janapada Loka, Karnataka
Janapada Loka, Karnataka

Janapada Loka, Karnataka
Dollu Dancers performing at Janapadaloka - Click the image to see the enlarged photo.

The Kamsale artists, who are found in Chamarajanagar, Mysore, Mandya and Bangalore rural districts, are distinguished singers evolved in the background of worshipping god. These singers glorify the power and grandeur of their god and build stories through their songs and are very loyal to their tradition. Generally these singers come from a lineage of their own or through the Master-disciple tradition and would have been initiated in the name of god and accepted singing as their main occupation throughout their lives.

The kamsale artists are the devotees of Mahadeswara residing at Male Mahadeshwara hills in chamarajanagar district. They get their name from the unique instrument they use in their performance, which is called a Kamsale. Kamsale is a cymbal instrument made from bronze. Their are two components in the instrument. One is a palm sized bowl shaped piece with a hole in the center ,through which a thread passes. The other is lid shaped flat cymbol. One side of the cymbal is doom shaped through which a thread passes. This thread is decorated various small beads etc. The thread is held between two fingers and will be about a fathom length. The bowl shaped piece is held in the left palm and the the other (lid) in the right palm. When they are struck against each other , it produces a distinguished sound . The Kamsaale is also called by different names viz , Kaisale Kausale, Kaitala, Batlu etc.

The costume includes a white dhoti, white or saffron robe , a necklace of Rudrakshi beads round the neck, a red cloth round the waist. They apply vibhooti over the forehead, holding the Kamsaale in the hands. A white bag is hung over the shoulder. These artists get initiation from the guru and serve as devotees of Mahadeshwara. They visit their God without fail during Diwali, Ugadi and Shivarathri.

The Kamsale artists perform chorus singing. Generally three to eight artists participate in a Kamsale chorus. The team includes background and foreground performers. The folk epic 'Male Mahadeshwara ' is a favorite religious poetry, which can be sung for days together. The great epic comprises seven divisions. Each night one division is sung. Each division is a chapter and is referred as a Taalugathe, Kinge Sravana' s line, Junjegowda's line Shankamma's line , Ikkeri Devamma's line, Bevinahatti Kali's line, Saragoorappa' line- these are the seven line or chapters . All these combined is referred as a story. Before they begin the story, they pray to Lord Ganapati and Goddess Saraswati. The foreground singer holds the bowl shaped cymbal in the left hand with the inner side facing upwards and strikes it down on the cymbol on left. The performance progresses with melody and rhythm.

The Kamsale artists who belong to a very highly religious professional tradition of Karnataka have a rich treasure of folklore literature. The epics narrated by these Kamsale artists have been collected by various Kannada literateurs like G.S. Paramashivaiah, P.K.Rajashekar, chakkere Shivashankar, H.C Boralingaiah and others. There is a thrilling dance called ' Bessu Kamsale' which is practiced by the kamsale artists

Probably there are no villages that do not have kolata. Every nook and corner of Karnataka has kolata. People perform kolata during harvest season, during full moon nights, and to relax after a hard day's work, for entertainment.

If Nandidhwaja is art form of shaiva cult, the Pata dance is a art form of Vaishnava cult. The Pata dance, which is found in Mandya, Mysore, Tumkur, Bangalore rural districts, resembles the stage dance. Pataas are nothing but bamboo poles covered with colourful cloths which are about fifteen to twenty feet. Bunches are tied to the ends of the javali which is covered with silk meshes. Pataa dancers wear kache dhothi , long shirt, turban and a colour cloth tied round the waist, nama on the forehead, beaded necklace, and hold a white towel in the left hand and start dancing the pataas. Like the aritists, carrying the pataas in their right hand dance in different forms and postures. There are no hard and fast rules regarding the number of dancers. The artists stand opposite to each other, and while dancing in circles and moving them back and forth, the movement of the silken cloth that is woven to meshes create an enchanting view. The Pataa dance is carried out during fairs and festivals of village deities, and Bhagavanthike melas.

The pata dancers hold the pataa in the right hand, which is kept in a nevara, and with the left hand, they hold a cloth and swing it this way and that way, and dance according to the tunes and rhythms of the background instruments. They exhibit, one step, two step , three step, Circle step, row step and other formations, and also they perform hejje kunitha, gejje kunitha, gopura kunitha and hoovina kunitha.

In gopura Kunitha, the artists carrying Pataas, dance their Pataas in a circular form and converge at the centre, and keep their steps firmly once at the back and once at the stage. In Hoovina Kunitha, the artists stand facing each other and join each others pataas in the shape of a scissors. The pataas decorated with silk bunch and flowers reminds us of a just blooming flower.

When we observe the excitement, energy, agility and the rhythm of the pataa dance, we can invariably come to the conclusion that this dance from was born as a representation of celebration of victory.

Puravanthike is a religious dance belonging to the shaiva cult which is vogue in Dharwad, Hubli, Gadag, Ranebennur and Haverei districts, The devotional tradition of dramatizing or glorifying the importance of the valour of veerabhadra, has developed in the form of puravantike.

Kangilu Kunita is a worship dance performed by the Mundala tribe living in Udupi and mangalore taluks of Dakshina Kannada district during the full moon day of March . The dance is performed to fondly worship their tribe deity Kadageshwari . Kang in tulu means arecanut tree. The dance has gained the name because the dancers wear costumes made out of arecanut fibre and sheets.

Before Kangilu dance , the artists offer worship to their deity Kadageshwari or Mariyamma and then wear the costumes. Normally five to fourteen persons perform the dance wearing lungi and shirt . They wear nets made out of areceanut leaf stripes around their waist and neck. They do not wear any paint for the face. They also wear turban. In certain places, they also wear arecanut strip net around their head.

The artists stand in a circle and dance according to the tunes of taase or dolu. Four singers stand in corner keeping bells in their hand and beat them according to the rhythm. There will also be ahorse character in between the artists. In some places, instead of the horse. the Koraga's character wearing a small clothe piece around the waist and a black paint for the body, a flower garland and a bell for the feet and muttalle for the head, is seen. He dances in an awkward manner at the centre of the dancers, and entertains the spectators through his strange performance. The dancers do not sing, but instead they make the sound 'coo'. As the rhythm of dolu and taase increase the pace of the dance too increases. The Kangilu dance is performed by men in Mangalore taluk and women in udupi taluk. The dance depicts the belief of the people that the dance eradicates the disease that has be fallen on the cattle and people in the village, as also diseases caused to crops.

Bolukat is warrior dance that is vogue in Kodavas. The dance reflects the brave tradition, valour and courage, and emotional diversities of the Kodavas. Currently, Bolukat is alive only in Coorg district as a mode if entertainment. In Kodava language Boluk means light or lamp.

It seems that Lord Shiva danced in about 32 form's in valour after defeating Bhasmasura. The Kodava men dance around lamp in about 17 different and diversified modes.

Though there is no hard and fast rule regarding the number of dancers for this dance, usually fifteen to twenty dancers will participate, They wear their traditional dress consisting of white pajama, black long gown, a white turban over their heads, a silk cloth for the waist and fix a knife to it, hold a chowry (chamara) in the left hand, a drawn sword 'vadikathi' in the right hand and stand in a circle around a lamp. The singers stand around a brass lamp that is kept on a high platform and sing beating the drums. The leaders of the troupe will start dancing along with the song. Then all of them follow him swaying the chowry and dance. Drums, pare, dudi and large kettledrums are used for the background music of the dance. They keep changing the speed of the dance by exclaiming Ho, Ha He etc. A few styles of the dance get transfixed in the minds of the spectators and enthralls them. They dance with such dexterity that the swords in their hands do not touch others.

Dance performed according to the rhythm produced by folk instrument called dappu kunita. The Dappu instrument , which is made out of hide, is a little bigger than dummadi in shape. Goat's skin is tied to one of the instrument which is made out of Kumbali wood. All the artists will hold this instrument in their hands, beat them and dance according to the rhythm.

This art form is mainly found in the Kodava Mapille tribes who are found in Kondangeri, Emmeyuru regions of Coorg district. The Kodava mapille tribe are people who were originally kodavas, but converted it Islam during the rule of Tippu Sultan, but retained the traditions and customs of Kodavas. Mapilles performs this dance near temples or Masjids during festivals celebrated according their customs. We can also find them performing in other places in public demand. A minimum of 6 persons to 30 persons comprising mostly of aged people participate in the dance. They hold dappu in their hands wearing casual dress such as cap, shirt and breeches. They beat the dappu, sing song in praise of their God and dance putting special steps. They bring the dappu from over their heads smash them with their elbows and beat them with their palms and dance in a circular motion, sometimes fast and some times show this dance in a circular motion, sometimes fast and sometimes slow. This dance is also called as' Dappuravati' or ' Dappuata'.

This dance is performed in the harvest season that is conducted after the Huttari festival in Kodagu. About ten to fifteen artists dressed in traditional dresses, and holding drawn swords in both the hands, dance in different steps according to the rhythm. Harvest dance is also an ancient battle dance like Pariyakali. There are six types of steps in this dance, which is performed according to the rhythm of the kettledrum and they continued to perform this dance as a custom. This dance form is mostly found in Shanivara santé, Chimbalur regions.

This art is mainly practiced by women belonging to coorg and has 'Samudra Mathana' as its basis. The kodavas believe that in this kunitha Lord Vishnu who wishes to prevent demons from drinking 'Amruta" originated during samudra mathana guised himself as mohini deceived the demons with her gracefulness, attractive gait and with her infatuating beauty. But in reality this dance is the act of worship rendered to their family goddess of kuladevata ie Kaveri, than the story mentioned above. Only during the festive occasions the kodava women perform this dance adorned both with dance and music,

Janapada Loka, Karnataka
Janapada Loka, Karnataka
- Click the image to see the enlarged photo.

The women wearing traditional dress, with their heads decorated with red cloths, wearing full sleeved blouses, saries with borders turned backwards, tresses adorned with garland of gems, hand decorated with bangles and forehead with kumkum they stand in circle holding the kanchina talas dance around a burning lamp kept in the center. This kunita will have mostly girls and there is no specified number.

During this dance some of the girls separate themselves from the group and sing songs of prayer on mother Kaveri. For each song sung by them the beats, postures and the dancing movements of the girls going round the lamp goes on changing. The tala or the beats are played by themselves, some times in a group of two who reciprocate the beats facing each other. They provide beats turning left, right, or facing each other, or on some occasions tala is produced while they stand or sit.

The movement of the girls who involve in this dance will be slow and steady in their various postures, even while the songs are repeated by the girls who stand separately. The performance of the show becomes more and more attractive with the intensity of the beats and the movements of dancers reaching the maximum. Thus the dance performed by the kodava girls will bring festivity to the eyes of an onlooker.

Janapada Loka, Karnataka
Gowligars Agriculture, Buffalo rearing (Dairying) are the chief occupation of this stock.

Ummathat with its melodious music and dance has in it seven types of Kunitha performed round the lamp. The song not only consists the praising of mother kaveri but also reflect the Kodava people and their hospitality and also the beautiful environment of coorg.

Folk Music


GeeGee Mela

Chowdike Mela


Kinnari Jogigalu

Karapara Mela



Janapada Loka
Bangalore-Mysore Rd
Doddamannugudde Forest
Karnataka 562159

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