Major Folk Dance of Andhra Pradesh with Key Points

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In Andhra Pradesh, many folk dances use many colors, costumes, and various settings. The state is famous for its rich culture, and one of the highlights is the diverse range of folk dances.

In this article, we’ll explore some important folk dances of Andhra Pradesh. Additionally, we’ll discuss key points about some of the most significant folk dances of Andhra Pradesh.

Important Folk Dance of Andhra Pradesh

The table below presents a list of significant folk dances from Andhra Pradesh. 👇

Folk Dances Of Andhra Pradesh
BhamakalapamAndhra NatyamDappu
Vilasini NatyamVeera NatyamDhimsa
GobbiChiratala BhajanaKolattam
Tappeta GundluLambadiButta Bommalata
UrumuluChhadiGhanta Mardala
Ottam Thedal
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Key Points about Folk Dance of Andhra Pradesh


  • Bhama in Bhamakalpam refers to Satyabhama, known as Krishna’s beautiful yet jealous wife, and “kalapam” signifies a complaint or argument.
  • Bhamakalpam is a form of theatre, similar to Gollakalpam, and also a type of drama with its roots in the devotional practices of Kuchipudi performers.
  • Siddhendra Yogi, in the 17th century, was the creator of Bhamakalpam, designed specifically for devotional expression within the Kuchipudi tradition.
  • Various troupes actively perform this theatrical art in Andhra Pradesh and stand out for showcasing the graceful and feminine movements in dance known as “lasya.”
  • In contrast to other traditional forms like Kathakali and Yakshagana, which emphasize masculine “tandava” movements, Bhamakalpam provides a beautiful portrayal of feminine dance expressions.

Andhra Natyam

  • Andhra Natyam is a classical dance form that originated in the courts of Andhra Ikshvakus.
  • With a rich history spanning 2000 years, this traditional dance form faced a decline during the Mughal and British eras.
  • Fortunately, Andhra Natyam was successfully revived in the 20th century, preserving and revitalizing this ancient art form.


  • The drum used in the Dappu dance, resembling a tambourine crafted from goatskin, is played with sticks, producing a rhythmic beat.
  • Typically, 16 to 20 dancers wear ankle bells, contributing to the lively rhythm created by the drum, defining this traditional art form.
  • Originating from Telangana, particularly Nizamabad District, Dappu dance is integral to local customs, often leading processions for occasions such as jatakas, festivals, or marriages.
  • The performers, adorned with vibrant makeup and costumes, dance to the musical accompaniment of cymbals, tabla, and a harmonium, enhancing the celebratory atmosphere.
  • Dappu dance showcases the percussive powers of dance, with mythological themes commonly enacted, and the primary audience being rural communities.
  • Recognized as one of the janapada Kalalau, this art form is a vibrant and cultural celebration of rhythmic expression in Telangana.

Vilasini Natyam

  • Vilasini Natyam is a dance tradition associated with devadasis in Andhra Pradesh.
  • This dance form encountered the threat of near-extinction following the anti-devadasi act.
  • Thankfully, a few dedicated remaining dancers played a crucial role in reviving Vilasini Natyam and ensuring its survival.
  • Despite its revival, Vilasini Natyam still awaits official recognition as an Indian Classical Dance form.
  • The perseverance of these dancers has played a significant role in preserving and revitalizing this cultural and traditional dance heritage.


  • Veeranatyam, also known as Veerangam and Veerabhadra Nrityam, is an ancient dance form in Andhra Pradesh with significant religious importance.
  • Derived from the term ‘Veera,’ meaning brave, Veeranatyam is aptly named as the dance of the brave.
  • The dance’s origin is found in Hindu Mythology, depicting Lord Shiva’s extreme anger and destructive dance, known as Veeranatyam or Pralayam, following the humiliation of his consort Sati Devi.
  • The Veerabhadriya community, claiming descent from Veerabhadra, performs this dance with instruments such as Tambura, Soolam, Dolu, Tasha, and Veeranam, primarily at Draksharamam in East Godavari District.
  • Men in various regions including Hyderabad, East and West Godavari, Kurnool, Anantapur, Warangal, and Khammam perform Veeranatyam.
  • The dance consists of three stages: “Veerabhadra Pallem” involves carrying a plate with a camphor fire, “Dhwaja Sthamba” is represented by holding a consecrated pole with bells, and the “Narasam” stage includes dancers using spears and tridents on their ankles, hands, and tongue.
  • Dancers, dressed in colorful knee-length dhotis, perform to the rhythmic beats of instruments like Dolu, Tasha, Veena, Thambura, and Soolam.
  • Veeranatyam, initially a ritual in Shiva temples, is now primarily performed by the followers of Veerabhadra, known as the Veeramusti community in Andhra Pradesh.
  • The dance portrays a fierce and emotional expression, requiring long steps and dexterous hand movements, with Draksharama in East Godavari district being a notable venue for this vibrant dance form.
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  • Dhimsa dance is a traditional dance performed by the Valmiki, Bogata, Khond, and Kotia tribes in the picturesque Araku Valley of Vishakhapatnam district.
  • This dance, celebrated by both young and old, men and women, takes place during the months of Chaitra (March and April) at weddings and other festive occasions.
  • The dance promotes camaraderie between villages, with dancers from one village visiting another during festivals, known as “Sankidi Kelbar,” fostering friendship and fraternity.
  • Dhimsa dance is deeply rooted in tribal traditions, featuring women adorned in typical tribal attire and ornaments, dancing in groups to the rhythmic tunes of Mori, Kiridi, Tudumu, Dappu, and Jodukommulu.
  • Ahimsa has eight distinct categories of dances, each with its unique characteristics. For instance, Boda Dimsa is a worship dance dedicated to the village goddess, involving men and women forming two rows and dancing in a serpent-like circle.
  • Gundert dims or Usku Dimsa features a male dancer inviting females to join him in a dance, while God Beta Dimsa involves dancers bending forward and rising in a swaying motion.
  • Poster-Tola Dimsa symbolizes leaf-picking, with dancers marching forward and backward in two rows. Bhag Dimsa depicts the art of escaping a tiger’s attack, and Natikari Dimsa is a solo dance performed by Valmikis on Diwali.
  • Kunda Dimsa involves dancers pushing each other rhythmically with their shoulders, and Baya Dimsa is performed by a tribal magician when possessed by the village goddess.
  • These dances showcase community unity without discrimination, representing the cultural heritage of these tribes. Despite changes over time, the hill tribes have retained their traditions, and while not fitting classical forms, their dances align with rhythmic patterns like “Aditala” or “Rupakatala.”


  • Kolatam, also known as the stick dance, stands out as one of the most popular dance narratives in Andhra Pradesh, alternatively referred to as Kolannalu or Kolkolannalu.
  • Typically performed in rural settings during village festivals, Kolatam is a captivating blend of rhythmic movements, songs, and music, offering a vibrant spectacle.
  • Different names in various regions, such as Dandia ras in Gujarat and Garbha in Rajasthan recognize similar dance forms.
  • The Kolatam group typically consists of 8 to 40 dancers who perform in pairs. The striking of sticks provides the primary rhythm.
  • During the Kolatam performance, the dancers, organized in two circles, interact uniquely. The inner circle receives the stick strikes, while the outer circle delivers them, creating an engaging and rhythmic display.
  • This dance form, rich in diversity, serves as a source of entertainment for both the participants and the spectators alike.
  • In the Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh, Kolatam is also referred to as Kolanna, showcasing its regional variations. Additionally, other dances like Gobbi, Madhuri, Chari, and Kumi contribute to the region’s cultural tapestry.


  • The Lambadi dance, closely associated with daily tasks like harvesting, planting, and sowing, is a cultural expression performed by the Banjaras, a semi-nomadic tribe prevalent throughout Andhra Pradesh.
  • Known for its vibrant and lively nature, the Lambadi dance reflects the joyous aspects of the Banjara community’s daily life.
  • Dancers adorn themselves in costumes embroidered with glass beads and mirrors, along with ornate jewelry, ivory bangles, and brass anklets, creating a visually stunning and culturally rich presentation.
  • The dance is a colorful exposition of celebration and is often the highlight of many festive occasions in the region.
  • With a natural rhythm infused into the performance, the Lambadi dance serves as both an artistic expression and a reflection of the Banjara tribe’s traditional way of life.

Tappeta Gullu

  • Popular in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram Districts, this devotional dance is a powerful invocation to the Rain God, characterized by its vigor, rhythm, and tempo.
  • Beyond its devotional context, the dance is a prominent feature during festivals, where 15 to 20 dynamic artists actively participate.
  • During the performance, these vibrant artists wear drums around their necks, producing mesmerizing beats that echo the cultural significance of the dance.
  • The dance is not only about rhythm but also incorporates heart-stopping acrobatics, adding an element of physical prowess and skill to the captivating performance.
  • This traditional dance serves as a cultural celebration, blending devotional fervor, rhythmic beats, and acrobatic displays, making it a distinctive and engaging part of the cultural landscape in these districts.

Butta bommalu

  • Butta Bommalu, a distinctive folk dance form, has gained popularity in Tanuku of West Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The name “Butta Bommalu” translates to “basket toys,” these toys are crafted from wood husk, dry grass, and cow dung, showcasing the creativity and resourcefulness of the local artisans.
  • In this folk dance, each dancer adorns a unique mask over their head and shoulders, expanding the expressive range of the performers and adding a visual element to their movements.
  • The dance is accompanied by a non-verbal rhythm, contributing to the vibrant and colorful nature of the performance.
  • Butta Bommalu not only serves as a form of entertainment but also stands as a testament to the region’s cultural richness and artistic traditions.


Learning about “Major Folk Dance in India” is essential to understanding India’s art and culture. It’s also crucial for competitive exams, especially when they ask about different dance forms and the states they belong to.

These exams often go into detail about the features of these dances. In this post, we focused on the Folk Dances of Andhra Pradesh. Next, we’ll go through the folk dances of each state one by one. Knowing these details is important for those aiming to do well in exams that test their knowledge of India’s diverse cultural traditions.

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