Art Forms of Andhra Pradesh

Art Forms of Andhra Pradesh

  • The art refers to the theory and physical expression of creativity found in human societies and cultures from Ancient Time in India. Major constituents of the arts include
  1. Literature – including poetry, novels and short stories, and epic poetry;
  2. Performing arts – among them music, dance, and theatre; and
  3. Visual arts – including drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, sculpting, and architecture – the art of designing and constructing buildings

Performing Art of Andhra Pradesh

  • In India, various facets of performing arts are all pervading bringing colour and joy to abundant festivals and ceremonies, and reaffirming the faith of the people in their heritage.
  • These facets have been responsible for supporting the long continuities of ancient traditions.
  • They are the link between the past and the present.
  • It thus exemplifies the complex, organic interaction of all aspects of life implicit in all tribal and folk art forms; art is not seen as something apart from life, a mere decoration or entertainment, but as an intrinsic part of it.
  • Andhra Pradesh is rich in traditional folk art forms, which have provided popular entertainment for the common folk, imparting instruction, while providing entertainment, alongside classical forms of dance and drama for a considerable period in history.
  • The folk performing arts had filled an important lacuna in the otherwise mundane lives of the people.
  • Performing art include Dance, Drama and Music


Dance form of Andhra Pradesh


Traditional Classical Dance Forms

Andhra Natyam


  • The traditional dance form Andhra Natyam is as old as the people of Andhra Pradesh and dates back to 2000 years before present.
  • Originally it was a temple dance performed by devadasis as a form of devotion. In the days of yore, wherever there was a temple, there was some form dance associated with that region.
  • Andhra Natyam dance forms were categorized into three kinds – Agama Nartanam, Carnatakam and Darbari Aatam. Each group had a coterie of dancers and those who resided in the temple premises did not go to the court of kings of zamindars to dance.
  • The dance form of Andhra Natyam was initially known by diverse names – Kacheri Aatam, Kelika, Daasi Aatam, Chinna Melam, Nattuva Melam,Carnatakam and so on.
  • It was Anna Bathula Bule Venkata Ratnamma and the dancing ladies (devangikas) who decided to give the entire dance forms one common name after the people of the region. Hence, it came to be called Andhra Natyam.




  • Andhra Pradesh is associated with another divine dance form, as it was, Kuchipudi. It is famous for its grace, elegance and charm.
  • It was Abul Tana Shah, the grand nephew of Sultan Mohammed Quli Qutub shah of the Qutub shahi dynasty, who bestowed the name of “Kuchipudi” upon this renowned dance form of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Kuchipudi has always been an inherent and inseparable part of the Andhra tradition. Even before Tana Shah had recognized this dance form, Kuchipudi was popular.
  • The ancient temples and Buddhist monasteries excavated at Nagarjunakonda, Amaravati and Ghantasala also enlighten us about this traditional dance form. Kuchipudi is a perfect balance between three aspects – Nritta, Nritya and Natya, each being of equal importance in dance.
  • The Nritha is a rhythmic sequence that concludes a song or a verse the nritya or sabadams in which the rhythmic passages are followed by interpretations alternately Natya is a complete dance drama with a story-line and various characters.


Perini Siva Tandavam


  • The specialized dancing forms of Siva Tandavam (Perini Siva Tandavam) and Sivalilas, Jaya Senapati (1213 -1262), himself a nartaka, after a critical study of the classical traditions of natya, wrote his magnum opus, Nritya Ratnavali, detailing the dance styles in the Andhra country.


Folk Dances of Andhra Pradesh

  • There are two major types of folk dance forms –
  1. One that is pure rhythmic forms (the rhythm being provided by an instrument) without any accompanying song; Ex:- Butta Bommalu, Gargalu and Veera Natyam, Dappula Nrityam
  2. The other that couples dance with story narration in which the dance content is more important than the narration of a story. Ex- Kolatam, Chakka Bhajana and Tappetagullu


Various Folk Dances



  • Butta BommaluDance–  This is a fashionable dance form in Tanaku of west Godavari Districtof Andhra Pradesh. Each dancer used to wear dissimilar masks over the head and shoulders.


  • BathakammaDance– Bathakammas are mainly performed by female participants in a region, Telengana of Andhra Pradesh during the time of Bathakamma Festival of State.


  • Bonalu Dance:- This dance is performed by female folk balancing pots on their heads. This is performed in the Telengana region.


  • Veeranatyam – The Dance of the Brave Veeranatyam means the dance of Lord Shiva which was done when Lord Shiva got exasperated with the humiliation and death of Sati. Veeranatyam dance form is also called the dance of destruction. This particular dance is even now accomplished by the people who belong to Veeramusti community, that claim to be the offspring of Veerbhadra.


Music Form of Andhra Pradesh


Carnatic Music

  • Carnatic music is restricted to Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In Carnatic music there is a very highly developed theoretical system. It is based upon a complex system of Ragam (Raga) and Thalam (Tala).
  • Most compositions in Carnatic music have three parts to their body.
    1. The first two lines of the song are called Pallavi. They occur over and over, especially after each stanza.
    2. Usually the Pallavi is followed by two more lines or sometimes just one more. This portion is called Anu Pallavi. This is sung at the beginning for sure, but sometimes even during the end of the song, but not essentially after each stanza.
    3. The stanzas of a song are called ‘Charanam’.


  • Purandardas (1480-1564) is considered to be the father of Carnatic music. To him goes the acknowledgment of codification of the method of Carnatic music. He is also credited with creation of several thousand songs. Another great name associated with Carnatic music is that of Venkat Mukhi Swami. He is regarded as the grand theorist of Carnatic music. He also developed “Melankara”, the system for classifying south Indian ragas.
  • It was in the 18th century that Carnatic music acquired its present form. This was the period that saw the “trinity” of Carnatic music; Thyagaraja, Shama Shastri and Muthuswami Dikshitar compile their famous compositions.


Folk Songs of Andhra Pradesh

  • Andhra Pradesh is rich in traditional folk art forms, which have provided popular entertainment for the common folk, imparting instruction, while providing entertainment, alongside classical forms of dance and drama for a considerable period in history.
  • Folk songs also deal with pathetic, mournful, philosophical and jovial contents
  • The folk performing arts had filled an important lacuna in the otherwise mundane lives of the people.
  • There are songs sung by various labourers while working, songs by ladies while reaping the corn, harvesting and even pounding the rice. Then there, are a large variety of songs sung during marriages; almost for every ritual in marriage is celebrated through song.

Ex- Labour songs, Women Songs, Love Songs, Childern Songs, Tribal Songs, Marriage Songs, Philosophical Songs


Theatre Form

  • Bharata’s Natya Shastra was the earliest and most elaborate treatise on dramaturgy written anywhere in the world. India has a greatest and richest tradition in theatre going back to at least 5000 years.
  • The origin of Indian theatre is closely related to ancient rituals and seasonal festivities of the country.
  • In Natya Shastra, Bharata Muni consolidated and codified various traditions in dance, mime, drama and many other things. No book of ancient times in the world contains such an exhaustive study on dramaturgy as Natya Shastra.
  • It is addressed to the playwright, the director, and the actor because to Bharata Muni these three were undividable in the creation of a drama.
  • Hindu theorists from the earliest days conceived of plays in terms of two types of production:
    1. Lokadharmi (realistic), which involved the imitation of human behaviour on the stage and the natural presentation of objects
    2. Natyadharmi (conventional), which is the appearance of a play through the use of stylized gestures and symbolism and was considered more artistic than realistic
  • Theatre in India has encompassed all the other forms of literature and fine arts into its physical presentation: literature, mime, music, dance, movement, painting, sculpture and architecture – all mixed into one and being called ‘Natya’ or Theatre in English.


Theatre Art Forms of Andhra Pradesh


Burrakatha/ Harikatha

  • A storytelling technique used in villages of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu of India.
  • The troupe consists of one main performer and two co-performers.
  • It is a narrative entertainment that consists of prayers, solo drama, dance, songs, poems and jokes.
  • The topic will be either a Hindu mythological story or a contemporary social problem of the region.
  • Harikatha, also known as Katha Kalakshepa, is a variant which narrates tales of Lord Krishna, other Gods and saints.


Handicraft and Art Forms of Andhra Pradesh



  • Indian words for handicrafts are normally hastkala, hastshilp, dastkari, karigari, all meaning handiwork, but they also refer to objects made with craftsmanship, i.e., specialised skills of the hands which are also artistic.
  • The aesthetic content is an intrinsic part of such objects and means the object of utility has a value that goes beyond mere usage and is also pleasing to the eye.
  • Crafts are closely related to concept of form, pattern, design, usage, and these lead to its total aesthetic quality.

Handicrafts of Andra Pradesh

  • Andra Pradesh is also one of important center for development of Handicraft and related products.
  • Many Handicrafts works like Veena Manufacturing ,Durgi Stone Craft ,Budithi Brassware Banjara Needle Crafts ,Etikoppaka Toyes , Ponduru Khadi ,Bidri Craft, Dokra Metal Crafts, Nirmal Arts ,Bronze Castings, Kondapalli Toys, Lacquer Ware not only famous in the state but also out side the state
  • Handicraft work provide economic work as well as serve as self employment aspect.
  • The Handicrafts are, responsible for the revenue earning and the overall economy of the state as it provide self employment opportunities to poor and tribal people of Andhra Pradesh.

Handicrafts of Andra Pradesh that recognised Geographical Indication (GI) Tags:

  1. Bobbili Veena
  2. Shadow Puppets Of Andhra Pradesh
  3. Budithi Bell And Brass Craft
  4. Machilipatnam Kalamkari
  5. Kondapalli Bommalu
  6. Srikalahasthi Kalamkari


Literature and Art Forms of Andhra Pradesh


  • The “Telugu Literature” is one of the oldest Dravidian Literatures” of India, which has a rich preserve of stories, dramas, epics and poems.
  • The literature of Andhra Pradesh reflects the rich cultural and traditional history of the Dravidian state of India.
  • The state is blessed with many significant luminaries in the field of literature who have contributed immensely to the Telugu language.
  • The Telugu literature is a vast store house of literary products by eminent personalities from the field of literature.
  • The people of Andhra Pradesh nurture a deep and intense emotion for their language which has found expression through the various literary products.
  • The Literary gems of the Telugu literature have represented the “Dravidian” culture and tradition to the world.
  • Many important literary figures of the state have been awarded with accolades from various quarters for their contribution towards the development of an important Indian language.
  • The Telugu Literature reveals the traditional society of our country.


  1. Work of Nannaya, Thikkana, Erraprgada (Kavitrayam trinity) in Mahabharata
  2. Palkuri Somanatha, Srinatha, Potana Telugu literature work
  3. Allasani Peddana’s Manucharitra,
  4. Poetess Molla’s Ramayana,
  5. Pingali Suranna’s Kalapoornodaya,
  6. Ramaraja Bhushana’s Vasu Charitra


Visual Art form mean Painting of Andhra Pradesh


Lepakshi Painting


  • It is part of Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh.
  • It was the Beautiful paintings of Vijayanagar period.
  • It Provides glimpses of contemporary dress like tall headwear (Kulavi), colored and embroidered sarees of both men and women in the paintings.
  • Earth tones and complete absence of blue color in Lepakshi painting.
  • Costumes are outlined in blac


Deccani School of Miniature Painting


  • Deccani painting denotes broadly the miniature painting from the 16th Century to the 19th Century at Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, Golkonda and Hyderabad, the former states that formed the region known as Deccan part of India.
  • The rich colour scheme, the palm trees, animals and men and women all belong, to the

Deccani tradition, ritual and culture.

  • Early Deccani painting absorbed influences of the northern tradition of the pre-Mughal painting which was flourishing in Malwa, and of the southern tradition of the Vijayanagar murals as evident in the treatment of female types and costumes.
  • Influence of the Persian painting is also observed in the handling of the horizon gold sky and landscape.


Cherial Paintings


  • Presenting wonderful work of art, Cherial folk paintings express the narrative format through the rich color schemes.
  • Based on the themes of great epics, these paintings use customary techniques.
  • The Cherial paintings are made on cloth that may run to meters in its length.
  • Kako padagollu is a main community which uses Cherial paintings as one of the visual means to recite stories from Mahabharata and Ramayana.
  • At present the artists even make scroll paintings or Cherial paintings in smaller sizes on paper, plywood, cardboard and cloth.


Nirmal Paintings, Nirmal

  • Nirmal is a small town located at 89 kms from Adilabad in Adilabad district.
  • The artists themselves using cardboard and Luppam make the canvas.
  • The canvas is first painted black, which forms the background for all the paintings.
  • Enamel and other plastic colours are used for these paintings, which lends them a glow.


Savara Paintings, Srikakulam

  • Srikakulam is 100 kms, from Visakhapatnam. ‘Savaras’ are ancient tribes living in the areas enjoined by the four states of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
  • On a wall-coloured red with red soil mixed paper in water, white paint prepared from rice powder and water are used Black colour is prepared with coconut ash mixed castor oil.
  • Triangular-shaped structures, which are very common in rock art, can be seen in Savara paintings.


Painting on Kalamkari Fabric (Kalamkari Painting)

  • The Kalamkari fabric contains the paintings of mythological figures and events with vegetable colours. Kalamkari sarees, kurti (tops), salwar-kameez, have become the order of the day and have become the popular costumes of Andhra Pradesh.
  • This particular art form is widespread in Machilipatnam of Andhra Pradesh. Urbanity in its refined form rules in the epicenter of superiority, Hyderabad.



Architecture of Andhra Pradesh


  • Andhra Pradesh has a long and plaid history and has been a center of progress, culture and tradition belonging to three distinct sects of people; Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists.


Islamic Architecture

  • The princely state of Hyderabad covered much of the surrounding areas of the city and was ruled by Islamic rulers such as Qutb Shahi rulers, the Bahmanis and the Moghuls.
  • The influence of all these rulers is clearly seen in the architecture of monuments that they left behind.
  • The Qutb Shahi rulers gave the city its symbol that is The Charminar.
  • The architecture of Golconda Fort and several mosques, royal tombs and palaces are evidence of the outside influence combined with the local craftsmanship that has added to the architectural beauty of monuments of the region.


Charminar and Qutb Shahi Architecture

  • Charminar in Hyderabad city is considered to be the symbol of the city, culture and its heritage. It is situated in the center of the walled city and it is actually a mosque. The imposing structure of Charminar has four minarets in the four corners of the building of Charminar. All the four minarets are four storeys high and have a carved ring to mark each storey of Charminar. The entry is an impressive fifty seven meters and the carved lattice work has the imprint of the Qutb Shahi period.
  • There are many tombs of Qutub Shahi rulers, most of them outside the walls of the old city of Hyderabad. All the tombs of these emperors mirror the architectural style of the period prevalent in the Deccan region of India.
  • The most extraordinary among them is the tomb of of Muhamed Kuri Qutub Shahi who is credited of having built the city of Hyderabad. The tomb is embroidered with delicate and beautiful patterns sculpted immaculately the most prevalent being the royal-flower.


Hindu Architecture

  • The ancient Hindu temples built during various periods of history are treasures that have lasted for over 2000 years and have been built in prehistoric period of Ancient time.
  • Andhra Pradesh finds a mention in the mythological Hindu epic; Mahabharata which is said to be 5000 years old.
  • The Mauryas, Chalukyas, Satavahanas, Pallavas, Cholas have all ruled Andhra area and the ancient Hindu temples built during different times imitate the architectural styles conforming to that period together with local Dravidian influences.
  • Temple of Tirupati which attracts millions of people from all over the world. It is said that the temple is also mentioned in the Vedas and several puranas. The Kings of all the Hindu dynasties that ruled Andhra paid homage to the temple and contributed to its growth, development and splendor.
  • The Varaha Narasimha Temple built in the East Ganga dynasty and has a keen resemblance to the styles of temples of Puri and Konark that were built in the same period. An imaginative mix of South Indian and East Indian architectures, the temple has a gopura at the entrance built in south Indian style. A small shrine of a horse and chariot wheels on the north-eastern side reminds one of the Konark temple of India. The pinnacle or shikhar atop the temple shows the step design of South Indian temple.
  • The Ramappa temple in the village of Palampet– The carvings on the walls and eaves are spectacular. The pillars on which the eaves are supported are imprinted with humans playing musical instruments, angels, animals, birds etc. with minute details that are exquisitely rendered.
  • The Shiva temple of Alampur is built like most Shiva temples, with a main shrine and a mandapa or hall where devotees can sit or pay their respects to God. The shrine has a pinnacle or shikhar which resembles the north Indian style of Temple.
  • Venkataramanna temple shows a matured south Indian style with sculpture and decorations that are both artistic and competent. The pillars of the central hall called mandapam give an incredible false impression of exaggerated space.


Buddhist Architecture

  • Andhra Pradesh has some immense Buddhist monuments that are between 2000 and 3000 years old.Art Forms of Andhra Pradesh
  • Buddhist shrines are seen in many places of Andhra Pradesh such as the Chezarla village, Amravati, Nagarjunakonda etc.
  • Kapoteshwara temple is now a Hindu temple but was transformed from a Buddhist temple.
  • The existence of the Chaitya shrine with the Chaitya window is confirmation of its Buddhist origin.
  • The Amaravati Stupa is a excellent example of the Buddhist architecture of India over 2000 years ago.
  • The Amravati Stupa has huge platforms raised to a height of ninety five feet projecting in four directions.
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