Make your own free website on
  Home | Contact Us 
Havyaka history
Havyaka Mutts
Havyaka Links
Events List
Events List
  What is Yakshagana?    
  Yakshagana is a great folk art performed only in some parts of state Karnataka in india. The yakshagana is especially popular in Shimoga, Chickmaglore and Karaavali districts of Karnataka.

This is the only art in the world which is performed all over the night. Even though the time limited plays have come to existance, still the overnight show is popular among the people.

Yakshagana is a play which involves both dance and dialogues. This is the speciality of the Yakshagana that the dialogues are not written prior to the play. The Bhagavatha who sings the songs for the play is the coordinator of the play. The actors dance for the song and elaborate the meaning of the song later. While delivering the speech they use their own vocabulary and have freedom to give their own dimension to the characters of the play.

Usually the play involves the stories of Gods and other ethnical characters. Most of the plays are the stories of the Indian Puranas like Ramayana and Mahabharatha. It will take three to four hours to makeup the actor with all kinds of powders, lipsticks and moustaches. The actors wear specially designed blinking fabrics of all colour combinations.

The play starts with the worship of God in the green room after which the Bhagavatha and his troup of background music will come to the stage. The two musical insturments Mrudangam and Chande makes the heart of the music in Yakshagana. The players will dance to the rhythem of these two instruments which will be guided by the Thala of the Bhagavatha

The play starts on the stage with the arrival of Kodangi character (A monkey role!) which might have used to lit the oil lamps which were the only sources of light in the night of olden days. Two sthree Veshas (lady characters) will appear at the stage to sonnet the God then. This might be because of the Hindu traddition of starting big events by having women at the front as a sign of prosperity.

Next part is Oddolaga. Any king who comes in the play would shows up himself and displays and describes his power.

The real story starts after all these formalities. Actors dance and act according to the Bhagavatha's song and narrate the lyrics with their own words and ideas. The play starts thus and finishes in the morning.

Yakashagana links
Photo Gallery
  Few Yakashagana links:
Copyright © 2003. All Rights Reserved.