Monday, November 23, 2020

Mohiniyattam - The classical dance from Keralam

 Mohiniyattam is a classical dance form of Kerala in South India. The origin and popularity of this dance form is closely tagged to the great Tamil dance master Vadivelu, one of the Thanjavur quartets. One among the eight Indian classical dance forms, Mohiniyattam is a graceful traditional dance to watch and is a solo recital by women dancer. The term Mohiniyattam comes from the words mohini meaning a woman who enchants onlookers and aattam meaning graceful body movements. Thus, the word literally means - dance of the enchantress.

This dance form has a legend attached to it as per the Hindu mythology. It says that, after the ocean of milk was churned jointly by the gods and the demons to extract the elixir of life, the demons took the divine brew by force. Following the incident, Lord Vishnu came to the rescue of the gods. He allured the demons by taking the form of a woman with outstanding beauty called Mohini and stole the elixir of life from them and handed it to the gods. The enticing acts of Mohini are reflected in Mohiniyattam. At a time when the Devadasi tradition was prevalent in major parts of south India, Mohiniyattam used to be performed by Devadasis (temple dancers) in temples, during the rule of the Chera kings from 9 to 12 C.E.

Another famous story of vishu avatar Mohini is with a demon named Bhasmasura. Bhasmasura was a devotee of Lord Shiva. He performed immense penance to obtain a boon from Shiva. As a result of his penance, lord Shiva became pleased and told him to ask for a boon. He asked for immortality, but Shiva said that he did not have the power to grant him immortality. Bhasmasura then changed the mode of the boon he wanted. One whose head is touched by Bhasmasura with his forefinger, should immediately burn up and turn into ashes or bhasma. This was his demand. Siva granted him the same boon.

Bhasmasura was immensely happy and with overwhelming joy, he decided to test the boon on Mahadev himself. Before long, he attempted to touch the head of Shiva with his forefinger. He wanted to burn Siva and turn into ashes and then possess Goddess Parvati. Siva fled, but he was chased by Bhasmasura. Wherever Mahadeva went, there Bhasmasura also followed. At last, Siva managed to reach the abode of Vishnu and sought a solution to the predicament, for which he himself was responsible.

On hearing Shiva's problem, Mahavishnu agreed to help him. Vishnu took the form of Mohini and appeared in front of the demon. Mohini was so exceedingly beautiful that Bhasmasur was immediately attracted by her. Bhasmasura requested Mohini to marry him. Mohini replied that she was very much fond of dancing, and would marry him, only if he could match her moves in dance. He agreed and hence they started dancing. The event went on for days, as Bhasmasura matched her move for move. While dancing, she struck a pose where her hand, especially the forefinger was placed on top of her own head. As he imitated her, he touched his own head with his forefinger and was immediately burnt up and turned into ashes, in accordance with the boon he had gained.

Coming back to Mohiniyattam,this dance form also has elements of other performing art forms of Kerala viz. Koothu and Kutiyattam in it. Besides, Mohiniyattam also came under the sway of two other south Indian dance forms -Bharatanatyam and Kathakali. Mohiniyattam in its early days went through ups and downs, which eventually got steadied during the period of King Swathi Thirunal of the erstwhile Travancore kingdom.

Apart from King Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma, this dance form received timely interventions which helped in getting its share of attention and popularity from the great Malayalam poet Vallathol Narayana Menon, also the founder of Kerala Kalamandalam and the noted Mohiniyattam teacher, Kalamandalam Kalyanikutty Amma.

The dance form Mohiniyattam has love and devotion to God as its major themes, with usually Lord Vishnu or his incarnation Lord Krishna as the lead character. Mohiniyattam comprises about 40 different basic movements called adavukal and its performance style is marked by the swaying of hips and the gentle movements with straight body posture from side-to-side. This dance like many other classical dance forms of India follows the sign language (mudra) as described in the ancient treatise on Hastha Lakshanadeepika to convey the story. These mudras are expressed through fingers and palms of the hands.

The musical accompaniment of Mohiniyattam dance consists what is known as chollu. The lyrics are in Manipravalam, which is a combination of Sanskrit and Malayalam.

Simple, yet classy costume is one of the aspects that give Mohiniyattam a unique identity among classical dance forms of India. The attire for this dance form consists of white sari, bordered with broad golden brocade (called kasavu in Malayalam).

Monday, July 29, 2019

The Classic Beat Of India

Bharatanatyam- The Classic Beat Of India
Do you feel proud of your culture? Does it make you feel enthusiastic after watching a glimpse of your state’s classical dance on republic day’s Live?
Well you must be, as there is more than one reason to feel proud of the rich and diversified culture we Indians have and it goes without saying that dance in particular and classical dances in general have played their fair share of contribution towards uniting Indians and to maintain an emotional and intangible feeling of connect among themselves.
Bharatnatyam is an Indian classical dance which has its origin in the Indian state, Tamil Nadu.
According to the hindu tradition the name ‘Bharatanatyam’ is an amalgamation of two words ‘bharata’ and ‘natyam’, where ‘natyam’ in Sanskrit, means dance and ‘bharta’ is a mnemonic comprising ‘Bha’, ‘Ra’ and ‘Ta’ which respectively means ‘bhava’ that is emotions and feelings, ‘Raga’ that is melody and ‘tala’ that is rhythm. Thus, traditionally the words refer to a dance form where bhava, raga and tala have a great role to play.
Lets Deep Dive Into It
  • Bharatanatyam Costume:- 
Bharatanatayam costume is one of the most beautiful and colorful costumes. It had its own grace in olden days at both king’s courts and in the temple during the festive days. There are several varieties of its costumes according to the theme of the dance and comfort for the dance movements. The style of the costumes was the same. Nowadays the eminent dancers changed the wearing of the costumes of the dancers
  • Bharatanatyam Costume and Its Varieties:-
Broadly, the costumes of the Bharatnatyam can be classified into two types i.e. Pyjama style and skirt style. These two styles of dresses are artistic and help the dancer to perform the gestures according to the ‘tala sounds’. The costumes of Bharatnatyam are prepared by stitching embroidery with different religious motifs and designs. The pleats of the sari stitched with zari work of beautiful designs and motifs.
  • Bharatanatyam costume for Women:-
The Bharatnatyam resembles Indian traditional sari for women and it is the combination of many varieties of cloth pieces. While the dancer performs various movements, the fan attracted very much to watch the audience. The color of the costumes is very bright and attractive. The choli can be very tight.
  • Bharatanatyam costume for men:-
The traditional costume for men is simple. The dress covers the lower part of the body and upper part cover with a simple jewel. The dhoti stitched with rich embroidery and silk threads use to stitch to beautify the design on dhoti. The male dancer uses very less jewelry than women. Make up is the same for both of them.
  • Bharatanatyam Jewelry:-
Bharatnatyam dancers wear a unique set of a jewelry. The set of jewelry is called Temple jewelry i.e. bangles, earrings, necklaces and wristlets. The bun decorated with flowers. The forehead is donned with tika.The ‘Thalaisaman’ i.e. headpiece worn just above the flowers in the hair. The beautiful earrings hanged to the ears, a longer chain hung to the neck.
How it can make a difference in your life
The Bharatnatyam is indeed a beautiful form of self expression.
Are you not into Bharatnatyam as yet?
Well you can’t help yourself as it improves flexibility, stamina, concentration, endurance and what not?
So, what are you waiting for?
Learn it because it is never too late to learn anything worthwhile.
Conclusion:- India is always at the forefront of culturally diversified nations and Bharatnatyam, i.e the classical dance of Tamil Nadu is the flagbearer of it. Basically it can be classified into two types pyjama style and skirt style. Women and men have different costumes where women donned in traditional sari and men in dhoti. Learn it and keep Indian culture in the heart.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Jewelry as a wedding gift

Wеddіng bеllѕ rіngіng and іt'ѕ tіmе tо сеlеbrаtе! A wеddіng is the biggest event іn the life оf аnуbоdу аnd everybody wаntѕ tо mаkе thе wеddіng аѕ mеmоrаblе аѕ possible. Pеорlе take аll kіndѕ оf pains tо еnѕurе thаt thеіr big day wіll bе оnе to rеmеmbеr аnd cherish fоr еvеr - picking оut thе venue, setting a date, ѕеlесtіng thе wаrdrоbе, invitee lіѕt, dоwn tо the vеrу fооd menu аnd dесоrаtіоn details, реорlе hold all thіѕ vеrу close tо thеіr hearts аnd want everything tо gо реrfесtlу. That's whу wеddіng planners are so much іn dеmаnd. Nоw, if уоu аrе an іnvіtее tо a wеddіng, уоu have to appreciate thе effort that gоеѕ іntо соnduсtіng a wеddіng ѕuссеѕѕfullу - рhуѕісаl еffоrt, mеntаl effort аnd nоt tо mеntіоn thе fіnаnсе. And all іnvіtееѕ ѕhоw uр wіth a gіft for a соuрlе. And you might be іndесіѕіvе, not bеіng able to zеrо іn on a suitable gift.

Picking a wedding return gіft саn bе a trісkу buѕіnеѕѕ, thеrе is ѕо many criteria thаt your gіft hаѕ tо ѕаtіѕfу іn оrdеr tо ԛuаlіfу as аррrорrіаtе, lеt аlоnе outstanding. It hаѕ tо bе 'something good' but that іѕ oversimplifying іt. Your wedding gift has tо bе аррrорrіаtе, соmраtіblе wіth thе соuрlе'ѕ tаѕtе аnd lifestyle аnd сulturаl background (fоr еxаmрlе, уоu саn't gift a bottle of еxреnѕіvе wіnе аt a Mоѕlеm wеddіng) аnd іt ѕhоuld bе lоng-lаѕtіng аnd uѕеful. And уеѕ, thеrе іѕ a certain ѕеt budgеt уоu hаvе tо fоllоw. Yоur gіft can't bе tоо cheap, nor саn it be іnаррrорrіаtеlу fаnсу аnd expensive. So whаt dо you do? Hеrе'ѕ an іdеа. Plау ѕаfе, gо fоr temple jеwеlrу.
Jеwеlrу as a wedding gіft is always a safe bеt. If уоu gіft appliances оr thе like, thеrе is аlwауѕ chance of a rереаt рrеѕеnt. Nоt ѕо wіth jеwеlrу. Evеrуbоdу аррrесіаtеѕ a lіttlе extra jеwеlrу. And уоu саn рісk аnd сhооѕе ассоrdіng to thе рrісе уоu have іn mіnd, thеrе іѕ something fоr аll budgеtѕ іf уоu'rе lооkіng for jеwеlrу. A rіng obviously іѕ оut оf thе ԛuеѕtіоn, уоu can't gift thаt аt a wеddіng unlеѕѕ іt'ѕ уоur own! You саn рісk ѕоmеthіng tаѕtеful and ѕіmрlе, lіkе mауbе a ѕmаll, delicate gold chain, аn elegant ѕіlvеr brасеlеt, with a hеаrt shaped lосkеt оr a set of еаrrіngѕ, оr hоw аbоut a brоосh fоr the grооm? Most jewelers wіll hаvе special wеddіng gіft jewelry and will help уоu fіnd thе right gіft for the rіght рrісе.

Jеwеlrу for wеddіng gіftѕ is a ѕіmрlе аnd eloquent choice thаt іѕ ѕurе to іmрrеѕѕ the bride and grооm! Get one today at 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Varalakshmi Vratam

About Goddess Varalakshmi

Varalakshmi Puja day is one of the significant days to worship the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Varalakshmi, who is the consort of Lord Vishnu, is one of the forms of Goddess Mahalakshmi. Varalakshmi was incarnated from the milky ocean, popularly known as Kshir Sagar. She is described as having the complexion of milky ocean and adorns similar color clothes.

It is believed that the Varalakshmi form of the goddess bestows boons and fulfills all desires of her devotees. Hence this form of the goddess is known as Vara + Lakshmi i.e. Goddess Lakshmi who bestows boons.

About Varalakshmi Vratam
The Varalakshmi fasting is observed on the last Friday during Shravana Shukla Paksha and falls just few days ahead of Rakhi and Shravana Purnima.

Varalakshmi Vrat is suggested not only for women but also for men. However, in Andhra, Telangana and Maharashtra regions, Varalakshmi fasting in mainly performed by married women only. The Varalakshmi fasting is performed with the desire of worldly pleasures and it includes children, spouse, luxury and all sorts of earthly pleasures.

Varalakshmi Vratam is very popular fasting and Pooja day in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. In these states, Varalakshmi Puja is performed mostly by married women for the well-being of husband and the other family members. It is believed that worshipping Goddess Vara-Lakshmi on this day is equivalent to worshipping Ashtalakshmi i.e. the eight Goddesses of Wealth (Sri), Earth (Bhu), Learning (Saraswati), Love (Priti), Fame (Kirti), Peace (Shanti), Pleasure (Tushti) and Strength (Pushti).

However, in North Indian states Varalakshmi Puja is not as popular as those of South Indian states. Varalakshmi Vratam is one of the most appropriate days to propitiate and to seek blessings of the Goddess Lakshmi.

Varalakshmi Puja Muhurat
As per Electional Astrology, the most appropriate time to worship Goddess Lakshmi is during fixed Lagna. It is believed that if Lakshmi Puja is done during fixed Lagna would bestow long-lasting prosperity.

Hence we have given four Puja timing in a day when fixed Lagna prevails. Any suitable time can be chosen for Varalakshmi Puja. However, evening time which overlaps with Pradosh is considered the most appropriate to worship Goddess Lakshmi.

Varalakshmi Puja Vidhi
The Puja steps in Varalakshmi Puja Vidhi are similar to Maha Lakshmi Puja during Diwali. However it includes Puja steps and Mantra for Dorak and Vayana. The sacred thread which is tied during Varalakshmi Puja is known as Dorak and sweets and pooja gifts offered to Varalakshmi is known as Vayana.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dance practice sarees

Dance practice sarees are special sarees made only to wear during dance practice. Indian classical dancers wear practice saree while practicing Kuchipudi or Bharatanatyam or Mohiniyattam. Usually, for younger generation a tights (bottom) and a loose top is preferred. But generally in India, wearing the pant and top is considered non-traditional or western. So the practice sarees came in handy. Regular sarees are so long and tall, which takes a long time to wear and very inconvenient to do the vigorous practice and physical activity. These practice sarees are short and less tall, making them very comfortable for dance practice. The dance practice sarees are made of cotton usually.

On top of every thing, the beauty of a dancer in traditional practice saree in incomparable with any other attire other than her actual Bharatanatyam dance or Kuchipudi dance dress.

Please see below some of our dance practice sarees

Kuchipudi practice saree

dance saree
 Kalakshetra  saree

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Classical Dances in India

Classical Dances in India

Author: indiatourtravel
India is a land of diverse cultures and traditions. Each region of the country has a alone culture, which is as well prominently visible in its various art forms. Almost all the regions of the country have their particular folk music and dance, which proves to be a tremendous way of formula of their community and its traditions. Though these folk dances are not as complex as the classical dance forms, they are identical beautiful, because of the essence of rawness in them. Be it the Bihu of Assam, Dol-Cholom of Manipur, Hikal of Himachal Pradesh or Chhau of Bihar, each of the Indian folk dance forms comes throughout as a expression of the deep sited beliefs and traditions of a detail culture.
 The folk dances of any community are executed on almost every special occasion and festival, to convey elation and joy.
These dances are also considered to be auspicious by many of the tribal communities in the country. Many folk dances are committed to the presiding deity of the specific community. The almost interesting part of a folk dance is the attire called for for its execution. Every folk dance has its possess specific costume and jewelry, which differs from dance to dance. They are, in general, identical bright and colorful, with traditional jewelries that give a folk touch to the performance. These dances are not only the single art of a particular community, but also an asset of India's cultural inheritance. In our associated division, we have discussed the unlike folk dances of India. Read on to know more than. The dances of Rajasthan are so inviting and employing that they are bound to induce you to tap a foot or two on with the dancers.
Rajasthani dances are basically folk dances tracing their source to rustic customs and traditions. What is more interesting is that keeping alive the numerous dance forms are not the professional dancers but the average rural men and women of Rajasthan. The dancers exercising these dance forms are, till date, religiously following the age old traditions and that's where, the beauty of these dances lies. Apart from the simple expressions and venturous movements that add beauty to the dances, there are the vibrant and colorful costumes adorned by the dancers. For the dancers of Rajasthan, the Thar Desert is the centre stage which enhances the beauty of the dances at the backdrop of the setting sun. Some of the folk dances of Rajasthan are exemplified herein. Rajasthan boasts of its rich culture and tradition. Rajasthan has preserved its traditional art and culture, which ensure its singularity. Human emotions are best expressed through dance and music. The folk dance and music is an integral part of folk life in Rajasthan, which can be seen during fairs and festivals. The folk dances of Rajasthan offer mesmerizing sight.
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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Bharatanatyam Dance

Bharatanatyam finds its origins interlocked with classical Indian dance that mimics one of the basic five elements of life. Which when performed is a hypnotizing dance that resembles a flame, to honor Lord Shiva-supreme lord of dance. Traditional jewelry worn during the Bharatanatyam dance is known as temple jewellery, which was originally made from gold with rubies, emeralds and pearls. Used by the Devadasi girls as they danced in the temples to honor Lord Shiva original dance. Artisans created theses authentic masterpieces for centuries in the southern part of India. Even today people revere and covet temple jewelry for its unique beauty and craftsmanship.  Bharatanatyam temple jewelry, combine with the silk multi-functional costume, which becomes enhanced with bells that allow each foot gesture to have a voice. Which seduces and captivates the audience in a mystic trance, As the performer goes through the motions of the dance the costume flows with them. Stimulating the audiences eyes with broad colors, while using body language and hand gestures to portray the ritual dance.  Originally, temple jewelery beautified the gods and goddesses in the temples during the 9th century. Later, women of the South India adopted a liking for the jewelery, which terpsichorean use in their routine to pay respect to their heritage. There are 10 jewelery pieces that make up the set to do a Bharatanatyam fire dance: Choker,Long Chain, Mattal, Nath, Bullakku, Ottiyanam, Jimikki, Bangels, Rakkodi, Chandran/Sooryan and Nethichutty. A beginner can get by with a head set, necklace, and belts.  Every piece of the Bharatanatyam performer is essential to the routine even the performers hair dressed with a Charndra(moon shaped) and Surya(sun shaped) ornaments. The Saree skirt style or Pyjama style which have gold Zari embroidery designs on the skirt. Open when the dancer performs a special posture known as a arai mandi (half-sitting) and muzhu mandi (full sitting). Ever aspect of the beautiful performance ties together giving the audience a breathtaking display meant for a king or god.