India is known for its culture and it is exemplified in various forms. There are different kinds of visual arts, performing arts architecture and literature that come to the forefront when portraying the culture of India. India, in all its cultural identity is also diverse. The culture of North India is not the same as centre and it’s definitely not the same as the South or the North East Point given all of these, it makes India a perfect Canvas of cultures that is bound to delete any person who visits India from abroad.
The cultural identity of India can largely be attributed to the kings who ruled India and patronised arts and recorded the artists Ampli so that they could grow like any other profession and like what it is today. One among those who patronised art where the chalukyas. The chalukyas ruled the South Central part of India towards the west and where considered almost parallel to Pallavas. One of the most recognised Chalukya king is pulikeshi.
There is no better way to give a divine connotation to an art as much as having it in a temple. This is why most of the traditional dance festivals in India happen in temple premises or in some other place that has a connotation or connection with the temples. The pattadakal Dance Festival held in Karnataka is quite an example of this connection. Dancers from all over the world perform with the pattadakal temples in the background. Let us digress a bit to talk about the temples. These temples were constructed somewhere in the 7th and 8th century and the temple structures are so magnificent that they are considered to be a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was built by the Chalukya kings and some of the temples are a fusion of both Jain and Hindu culture. There are other temples in vicinity like the sangameshwara temple which was constructed by King vijayaditya. Although the temple might have been from a different dynasty, the vijayaditya temple has maintained in its essence, the Chalukya architecture. The Other Temple like the group Aksha Temple and the papanatha temple where built around this time and they also feature the Chalukya architecture. The bachcha Temple has a lot of deities in the temple and was built to commemorate the victory of king Vikramaditya over the Pallavas and was built by Queen. Lokamadevi. And interesting thing to note about the group Raksha temple is that there are hanging pillars in the temple and people who passed their sarees or clothing under the pillars and to see the other side of the pillar send out a saree without any problem is considered to be good luck.
The Pattadakal Dance Festival features a lot of classical South Indian dances including the Bharatanatyam, the Kuchipudi, Kathakali mohiniyattam, the Kathak to name a few. Any closure of dance festivals should never miss the pattadakal Dance Festival because it showcases some of the best dancers who will be able to reproduce the essence of the classical art in its purest and most authentic form. There is no better way to recognise and realise the awesomeness of India, and especially South India when it comes to that education, commitment and determination to carve a niche for themselves in the field of performing arts.
How to reach pattadakal
Given the theme of this Dance Festival, people from all over the world arrive at pattadakal to witness this point the nearest railhead is Badami which in itself is an amazing tourist spot and has cave temples that are very much like the Ajanta Ellora, as said by the amazing Kannada actor Rajkumar in his signature song. The nearest airport is the Dabolim airport in Goa with a good connectivity of flights. People who are so dedicated to earth and who can afford to take Chartered flights can also touch down at the Belgaum Airport. A lot of buses operate from major cities of Karnataka including Bijapur, Bangalore and Mysore.
The greatness of India is to be experienced in all forms and all ways. The pattadakal Dance Festival is one such signature of India that tells the world loud that we are awesome in everything, including dance and even if the dancers look similar, they are different in their own right!
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