Nrityanjali – An Online Film Festival On Indian Classical Dance And Maestros

‘Nrityanjali’, an online film festival on Indian Classical Dance and Maestros is scheduled to be showcased from 23rd to 25th September, 2020.

  • The first part of ‘Nrityanjali’ will showcase 10 films on the life and works of India’s leading classical dancers.
  • It is an initiative of Films Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.

Films/Documentaries to be showcased based on Noted Dancers

  • “Sitara Devi”: A film on doyen of Kathak Dance, hailed as the Queen of Kathak by Rabindranath Tagore.
  • “Yamini Krishnamurthy”: A film on the leading Bharat Natyam exponent who also excels in Odissi and Kuchipudi.
  • “Raja-Radha”: A biographical film on the well-known Kuchipudi dancer-couple Raja and Radha Reddy, who gave new dimension to the traditional Kuchipudi.
  • “Guru Amubi Singh”: A film on the grand patriarch of Manipuri dance -MaisnamAmubi Singh.
  • “A Luminous Jewel –Pt. BirjuMaharaj”: A film that comprehensively depicts the life and art of PanditBirjuMaharaj, one of the greatest exponents of Kathak.
  • “KalamandalamGopi”:It is on the art and life of eminent Kathakali artist, KalamandalamGopi.
  • “Padma”: A biopic on the acclaimed Bharatanatyam dancer Dr. Padma Subramanyam.
  • “Kanak Rele”: A biographical on the classical dance exponent-choreographer, Dr. Kanak Rele, who is internationally known as an exponent of MohiniAttam.
  • “Sonal”: A biopic that documents the glorious career of eminent danseuse SonalMansingh, as a Bharatanatyam and Odissi dancer-choreographer and as one who is equally adept in other dance forms like Kuchipudi and Chhau.
  • “Dreamer - Swapna Sundari”: A biographical film on SwapnaSundari, an exponent of Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam.

Classical Dances of India

  • Indian Classical Dance is an umbrella under which various performing arts whose theory and practice can be traced to the Sanskrit text, Natya-Shastra, the foundational treatise by Bharata Muni.
  • The SangeetNatakAkademi currently confers classical status on eight Indian classical dance styles: Bharatanatyam (Tamil Nadu), Kathak (North, West and Central India), Kathakali (Kerala), Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh), Odissi (Odisha), Manipuri (Manipur), Mohiniyattam (Kerala), and Sattriya (Assam).

“Hampi- Inspired By The Past; Going Into The Future”

  • The Ministry of Tourism organised their latest webinar titled ‘Hampi- Inspired by the past; Going into the future’ on 29th August 2020 under Dekho Apna DeshWebinar series.
  • Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series is an effort to showcase India’s rich diversity under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme.
  • A UNESCO World Heritage site, Hampi’s spectacular setting is dominated by river Tungabhadra, craggy hill ranges and open plains with widespread physical remains. 
  • The sophistication of the varied urban, royal and sacred systems is evident from the more than 1600 surviving remains that include forts, riverside features, royal and sacred complexes, temples, shrines, pillared halls, mandapas, memorial structures, gateways, defence check posts, stables, water structures, etc.

Hampi’s History

  • Its name is derived from Pampa which is the old name of the Tungabhadra River on whose banks the city is built.
  • Hampi was the last capital of the last great Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagar. 
  • In 1336 CE, the Vijayanagara Empire arose from the ruins of the Kampili kingdom. It grew into one of the famed Hindu empires of South India that ruled for over 200 years.
  • The Vijayanagara rulers fostered developments in intellectual pursuits and the arts, maintained a strong military and fought many wars with sultanates to its north and east. They invested in roads, waterworks, agriculture, religious buildings and public infrastructure. 

Multi-Religious and Multi-Ethnic Site

  • The site used to be multi-religious and multi-ethnic; it included Hindu and Jain monuments next to each other. 

Style of Architecture

  • The buildings predominantly followed South Indian Hindu arts and architecture dating to the Aihole-Pattadakal styles, but the Hampi builders also used elements of Indo-Islamic architecture in the Lotus Mahal, the public bath and the elephant stables.


  • Vijayanagara Empire flourished as it controlled cotton and spice trade routes of Southern India.  Medival historians refer to Hampi as an important center of trade. 

Fall of Glory

  • However, the glory of Vijayanagara was short lived.  With the death of Krishnadevaraya, the combined armies of the five muslim kingdoms- Bidar, Golconda, Ahmednagar and Berar destroyed this might empire in 1565.

Noted Sites at Hampi

  • VirupakshaTemple: Important attractions of Hampi, include the 15th Century Virupaksha temple which is one of the oldest monuments of the town.  The main shrine is dedicated to Virupaksha, a form of Lord Shiva. 
  • Hemkunta Hill, south of the Virupaksha temple contains early ruins, Jain temples and a monolithic sculpture of Lord Narasimha, a form of Lord Vishnu.  At the eastern end, there is the large Nandi in stone; on the southern side is the larger than life Ganesha.  Large single stone carvings seem to have been the fashion of the day in Hampi, for there is a large image of Narasimha (6.7m high), the half lion half man incarnation of God, as well as a huge linga.
  • Vittal temple built in the 16th Century, and now a World Heritage monument.  The carvings on this temple give an insight into the architectural splendor achieved by the artisans of VijayanagaraEmpire. The columns of the temple are so balanced that they have a musical quality. 
  • Queen’s bath, Hazara Rama temple, Lotus Palace, Elephant quarters are other attractions.

Mythological Sites

  • Anegundi village is also believed to be part of the mythical city of Kishkinda, home to the mighty Indian monkey God Hanuman. 
  • Anjunadri, Hanuman’s birthplace lies a few kilometers away from Anegundi.
  • Matanga Hill: As Rama and Lakshman continued their search for Sita, along the way they found this Matanga Hill where Sugriva lived with his Minister Jambavan and associate Hanuman.