Inherited from South Indian state of Karnataka, the folk art form Yakshagana is a prominent one in Pondicherry. This literally means “Song of Demi Gods”. Yakshagana is referred by many other names and few of them are Ata, Bayalata, Kelike and Dasavatara.
Yakshagana is an enactment of mythological and religious tales from the Great Hindu Epics of Ramayana or Mahabharata in a theatre style dance form.
The venue for Yaksha Gana performance is usually made of mud, looking like a Theatre with special lightings. Dancers appear on stage with rich coloured costumes and make up which includes a headgear, armlets, belts and chest covers, called, pagade, Buja keerthi, Dabu and Kavacha, all made of very light weight wood decorated with golden foils and mirror works to reflect the lightings when the performance is on. Highlight is that Yakshagana involves puppetry where puppets are presented with similar costumes, ornaments and makeup like the live actors.
With heavy, vibrantly colourful and gorgeous costumes and ornaments, the artistes enact scenes starting at night and the show continues till dawn. The onlookers enjoy the show and relate the tales of the Indian epics enacted beautifully.
Don’t miss the opportunity of witnessing an enthralling performance by Yakshagana Artistes during your tour to Pondicherry.