Perini Natyam

Perini Natyam is an ancient dance form that originated and thrived in the southern state of Telangana during the Kakatiya dynasty. It is a tribute to Lord Siva, the Hindu god of destruction. Soldiers traditionally performed the dance form before going to war. Hence, it is known as the ‘Dance of Warriors’.

What is Perini Natyam?

It is also called Perini Sivathandavam. It is most common in the state of Telangana. The dance form originated during the rule of the Kakatiya dynasty. The dynasty ruled the current Telangana land between the 12th and 14th centuries.  Rudra Deva is the founder of the Kakatiya dynasty. Lord Rudra is the fierce and destructive form of Lord Shiva. The dance is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The evidence of the dance form can be found near Garbha Gudi of Ramappa Temple located in Warangal.

How is Perini Natyam performed?

Usually, the Perini Natyam is performed by males. Hindus believe that the dance form invokes Lord Shiva in the male. According to Hinduism, every male is Lord Shiva and every female is Shakti. While the male performs Perini Natyam, the destructive form of Lord Shiva gets invoked in them. For this reason, they perform this dance before going to war. The destructive power gained from the lord helps to destroy the evil (the enemy) and win the battle.

What is the current state of Perini Natyam in India?

Perini Natyam almost disappeared after the fall of the Kakatiya dynasty. Padmasri Dr Nataraja Ramakrishna is famed for reviving this dance form. Perini Natyam revival helps preserve and promote Telangana’s cultural heritage. It requires considerable dedication and skill to master this dance form.

Why is Perini Natyam in the news?

This dance form found mentioned in the recent Maan Ki Baat episode. The PM mentioned Raj Kumar Nayak, also known as “Perini Rajkumar”, who organized the 101-day Perini Odissi in Telangana.




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