Indian Folk Dances

Like all other aspects of life, the dance forms of India are also varied and different. There are numerous classical dance forms in India and innumerable folk dances. Each dance form can be traced to different parts of the country. Each form represents the culture and ethos of a particular region or a group of people

Lets have a look at some of the folk dance forms of India



It is a popular folk dance across Tamilnadu, though its birthplace is said to be Thanjavur.  This dance is performed by balancing a pot on the head.  This dance has two divisions.  – Atta karagam and Shakti Karagam



It is a circular dance performed by women around an earthenware pot called a garbo filled with water.  This dance is performed during Navratri, Sharad Purnima, Vasant Panchami and other festivals.  It derives its name after a lamp called garba deep, which means the lamp inside the earthen pot.



It is the simplest form of dance.  The dancers gather in a circle and clap their hands as they dance.  As an extension to this is the Kolattam



It is the most widespread folk dance of Assam.  The dance is part of the one month festival that comes in mid-April at the time when harvesting is done.  The common formation is a circle or parallel rows.



This dance of West Bengal has orginated from the Purulia district and it is a mask dance performed only by the male dances.  Most of the dances revolve around the act of defeating an enemy or opponent in a battle or in a game between good and evil.  The theme of these heroic dances are drawn from ‘Mahisasur Badh’, ‘Mahirabon Badh’ and ‘Abhimany Badh’- mainly based on the two great epics – the Ramayana and the Mahabharata

Ghode Modni


This dance form is performed in Goa during their annual carnival in the European fashion.  This dance is a dummy horse presentation.  The dancers attired gorgeously and armed with swords, recapitulate, through step and movement, the valour and deeds of the Goan warriors of old.



This is a dance in anticipation and celebration of a good harvest and has its roots in Punjab.  An hallmark in this dance form is the incorporation of a host of stunts, bordering on artistic agility and physical ingenuity.  The songs used for the dance is usually a medley of rich folk songs backed by traditional instruments like the dhol (drum), harmonica, tambourine and musical clapper.



This dance form hails from the coastal strip of Karnataka and is atleast 400 years old.  The heart of this form is gana or song, rising from a distinct class of Kannada literature.  The Bhagavata or the conductor of the opera first sings a verse and the character interpret it through expressional dance.



It is a playful dance by the young boys and girls of Kashmir.  In pairs the youngsters interlock their arms and hold each other’s hands, and by joining their feet together, they bend their bodies and heads backwards.  The uniqueness of this form is that no musical instrument is played while performing the Hikkat






uvAcha Quiz – 8

Which among the following is a folk dance of India


  1. Garba
  2. Manipuri
  3. Kuchipudi


Which folk dance of Northern India is based on the scenes from the life of Krishna

  1. Kuchipudi
  2. Rasleela
  3. Chhau
  4. Bihu


Dandia is a popular dance of

  1. Punjab
  2. Maharashtra
  3. Gujarat
  4. Karnataka


In which dance form are the themes called from the Ramayana and Mahabharata

  1. Odissi
  2. Kuchipudi
  3. Kathak
  4. Bharatanatyam


Which of the following folk dance is popular during the harvest season in Punjab

  1. Bhangra
  2. Kathak
  3. Odissi
  4. Garba


Answers for uvAcha quiz – 7

(a)    Jatakas  (b)  Paintings  (c)  Buddha  (d)  Handmade paper  (e)  Oil colours

Know Your Thoughts


Thoughts lead to Actions

Actions lead to Habits

Habits lead to Character

Character lead to Success

To be successful, we need to manage our thoughts.

Knowing the thoughts is the first step in managing thoughts.

Let this first step be the SKILL for this month… This first step has several sub-steps… 🙂

  • Sit in a silent place or a place with least disturbance.
  • Set an alarm for five minutes (if needed).
  • Close the eyes and start observing the flow of your natural breath.
  • Now take the attention to your thoughts.
  • No interference, No judging… Just Observe Your Thoughts. Be a witness.
  • At the end of five minutes – Jot down all the thoughts that came to your mind in those five minutes.
  • You may not remember all the thoughts and that’s fine. Over time you will be able to better.

Over time you will be able to develop this as a natural skill… know your thoughts as you perform an action.

Fortune at the Top of the Pyramid

Economics is about optimising utilization of limited resources available to generate maximum returns. We are aware of the Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Numerous approaches and theories have emerged to tap into this fortune.

What about the fortune at the top of the pyramid?

Yes!… It is a myth that Top of the Pyramid is small. There indeed exists a huge fortune at the Top of the Pyramid. It is the least tapped fortune and available only to humanity. This fortune is subtle and hence not obvious to all.

The next big leap in global economic growth is determined not by optimal utilisation of natural resources, but by optimal utilisation of human potential. Natural resources are already over-exploited. The most effective and economic utilisation of human potential is to tap into this subtle, untapped creative potential of human mind.

A very minute percentage of people tap into this wisdom and they emerge as true leaders influencing humanity and the world for generations even after their physical demise from this world.  How do we tap into this abundance?

Evolution of Human Brain

Courtesy : Images downloaded from various sites on the internet

If we look at the structure of the human brain, the base – reptilian brain and the paleo mammalian brain attributes to a small fraction but is responsible for majority of the life processes, limbic and sensory functions. This is related to the highest point of brain development and evolution in reptiles. In aves and mammals the next part called as cortex is also developed. At the highest point of evolution comes Man.  In man neo-cortex is also highly developed.

Maslow's Hierarchical needs

Maslow’s Hierarchical Needs

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and human evolution places physiological needs at the bottom followed by safety, love and self-esteem, with self-actualization placed at the top of the pyramid.  Morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, etc are the attributes related to self-actualization.  These attributes need use of neo-cortex.

As shown in the Maslow’s hierarchical triangle – majority function at the basal levels of physiological and safety, for which one needs to use only the reptilian brain. Some evolve towards use of the cortical brain which corresponds to the attributes like love, acceptance and self-esteem. Rare are the few who tap into the potential of the neo-cortex which is the largest part of the brain. Experiments or studies mention that great achievers like Edison, Ramanujan, etc., utilized hardly 10% of the brain. Now it is for us to assess the immense potential lying untapped in average man.

Ancient Indians, sages and seers have developed techniques and tools to tap into the potential of the neo-cortex and gave to the world the basis for all the technological, political and economic advantages the world is enjoying today. Thus India has contributed to the world by producing giants in all fields – astronomy, astrology, science, mathematics, medicine, architectural, poetry, artistry, economics, administration, warfare, education, etc.

Let us take a deeper look into this by understanding the Chakra Pyramid…

The Chakra Pyramid

The Chakra Pyramid

Yogic psychology describes six major chakras contributing to different attributes of human activities. The base chakras – mooladhara and swadhishtana can be related to functioning of safety and survival and make use of reptilian brain.  Anahata and Manipura taps into the cortical potential.  Vishuddhi and Ajna chakras tap into the potential of neo-cortex.

The chakra pyramid depicts the extent to which one functions at different chakra levels. Here again, majority function at the level of base chakras. The potential of chakras at the top of the pyramid are least utilised. The beauty is these chakras do not function independently. Opening up of any one chakra has spillover effect on other chakras and help one to develop and evolve to tap into the maximum inherent potential within.

The Swadhishtana and Mooladhara chakras contribute to the hunger, fear, sex – the basic existential instinctive urges common to all living organisms.  The Anahata is related to love and power helping one to gain acceptance – the sense of belonging and development of positive self-esteem. Vishuddhi and Ajna chakras make one creative, spontaneous and intelligent contributing to self-actualization.

Now let us take a comparative look at the three pyramids…

Majority function at the level of base chakras, try to fulfill their physiological and safety needs which demands functioning at the level of reptilian brain. Few evolve to the level of Manipura and Anahata chakras fulfilling the needs of self-esteem, power and love utlising the cortical brain. Rare are the few who tap into the potential of Visuddhi and Ajna chakras, strive for self-actualisation tapping into the immense potential at the top of the human brain pyramid – the neo-cortex leaving a huge fortune untapped at the top of the pyramid.

The immediate question that arises in one’s mind… “How to tap into this fortune at the top of the pyramid?”

How to Tap into the Fortune at the Top of the Pyramid?


One can tap into the Fortune at the Top of the Pyramid by developing the intellect – the ability of right discrimination, being conscious of and handling one’s thought process, making right communication, being intuitive and creative, heightened level of awareness are some of the manifestations of awakened Visuddhi and Ajna Chakras. These chakras pavé the way for evolution of intellect – the differentiating factor and unique gift of humanity.

Development of the intellectual potential is determined by the level of evolution in these chakras.

The Sri Yantra described in Indian scriptures has upright triangles and inverted triangles. While the upright triangles depict the gross, the inverted triangles depict the subtle. As the gross fades and tapers at the top, the subtle power manifests stronger.  By depicting both the triangles – upright and inverted in the Sri Yantra, we are advised to keep up the balance between the gross and subtle elements in us and evolve in a holistic manner.

Sri Yantra

Sri Yantra

True intellectual development and evolution is thus determined by,

the extent to which one evolves in the subtle aspects of creativity, intuition and spontaneity…

The beginning is always at the gross level. The gross intellect supported by inquiry, reasoning and logic should pavé way to the subtle intellect which is developed based on Shraddha (faith). This makes one creative, intuitive and help think outside the box.

The gross intellect is divisive, differentiating, methodical, structured and distinctive by nature and help develop rational thinking. This divisive nature of the gross needs to be balanced by the abstract, convergent and inclusive nature of the subtle intellect.

Breaking the routine, evolution of new ways; through integrated, out-of-the-box approach is an attribute of creativity and innovation. Flying an airplane, conversing over long distances through telephone, data transfer at high speeds, etc., are some examples where man’s life-style has evolved by breaking the pre-existing limiting beliefs in a systematic way.

harmony between the head and the heart…

The general debate about balancing the head and heart is related to the gross intellect of the head and the heart. The heart by nature is all-inclusive and a symbol of love, peace and compassion.

The gross intellect being divisive and distinctive by nature is always in conflict with the inclusive aspect of the heart. By evolving the all-inclusive nature of subtle intellect harmony is established between the head and heart.

balance one achieves in external and internal environments…

external involvement with the world should be balanced with the internal environment. One need to take time to spend with oneself. A few moments of silence and self-introspection everyday helps. Daily journal, meditation and antarmouna practices enhances one’s internal clarity, creativity and spontaneity which manifests as efficient functioning in day-to-day problem solving, decision-making, stress handling, etc.,.

evolving beyond science into the domain of spirituality…

Note the terminology. It is not devoid of science, but beyond science. Rational and inquiry nature of science helps one to understand the hitherto inexplicable ways of nature. Spirituality in one sense may be defined as those aspects of nature not cognizable by senses and hence not available for scientific verification. Scope of scientific knowledge expands by inquiring and experimenting with pre-stated universal and spiritual laws.

An interesting TED talk on the subject…

Science depends on experiments and proofs. Proofs are limited by sensory limitations. To expand the horizons of science, one need to expand the horizons of sensory limitations. One need to develop subtle awareness to dwell deep and evolve beyond sensory inputs. Greatest scientific discoveries have thus happened. Quantum physics, telepathy, psychological science, etc., are some aspects of science which dwell in this space.

Ankur Katha 2013 – Book Release – Story in Images

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Ankur – In The News – April 2014

Jiva Vigyan – An opportunity for school principals – says HIS EXCELLENCY

His Excellency, Governor of Tamil Nadu lauds “Jiva Vigyan” as a platform for principals to collaborate in the field of life-skills education

“Ankur’s initiative through ‘Jiva Vigyan’ seems to be an obvious choice for schools to partner and work out strategies that help the youth to get equipped with life skills to become successful in the 21st century. Principals and school management should make use of this platform to collaborate, exchange ideas, learn new methodologies, concepts and reach out the same to the children and nurture Indian citizens as Global citizens. This is what our country had always stood for.”

Ankur Katha 2014 – Write a Story this Summer

Hi Friends,

Ankur is back this summer with your summer pal…



Ankur Katha 2014 was inaugurated by His Excellency on 19th April 2014.

CLICK to know more about the story writing opportunity this summer… exclusively for school children…


CYF 2013 – Grand Finale

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