Yakshagana at Pandeshwara


Yakshagana is a dance drama popular in the state of Karnataka, India. It is believed to have evolved from pre classical music form and theatrical arts. Yakshagana is popular in the districts of Uttara Kannada, Shivamogga, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Kasaragod district of Kerala. Actors wear costumes and enact the various roles. Traditionally, Yakshaganas would go on all night. It is sometimes simply called as Aataā in both Kannada and Tulu (meaning play). Yaksha-gana literally means the song (gana) of a Yaksha. Yakshas were an exotic tribe mentioned in the Sanskrit literature of ancient India. Info from Wikipedia.


I recently had been to my native place for a couple of days for the inauguration of Ramadevi Chadaga Memorial Hall, built by my Uncle Mr. Chandrashekar Chadaga and My dad Mr. Vadiraja Chadaga. It has been their dream to make this happen in a place where they grew up.

I had the opportunity to see Yakshagana performance at the end of the inaugural event. At first I couldn’t understand what the narrator was saying. But later when I understood it I started enjoying the whole show.


What is very interesting about this is that it is only men who participate in this event. All the women roles are also played by men.

The dance is all about a narrator in the background who sings, then the actors perform the dance and also speak. Here is where Lord Krishna and Radha speak.


Here is a scene where lord Krishna turns and dances while the others watch.


They have the best facial expressions


Overall I enjoyed the whole stay at Pandeshwara (Sasthan Dt). I’m very proud of my Uncle and my Dad to have built a “Rangamandira” to encourage art in small towns. 

8 thoughts on “Yakshagana at Pandeshwara”

  1. Vikram i just read that post on your blog…its very interesting especially that the men do all the performing…also kudos to your dad and uncle to devote to preservation of the arts and culture:)

  2. wow. thanks a million to ur uncle and dad for what they hv done. and yeah, yakshagana is a feast to watch. glad u made it to the show

  3. Your photos are quite good. We all should support traditional art forms. Good work indeed.

  4. Dearv Vikram,
    Well begun is half done.One more yakshagana is being staged in Shivaram Karantha Rangasthala on 28th.Please come with Roopa and capture the great moments.Bring as many techies as possible.Let us launch West Coast Development Corporation and P.E.S.Institute of Engineering for women from Rangastala on 19th Feb 2o10

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