Published on: June 4, 2023



Why in news? The beginning of monsoon is no longer the end of Yakshagana performances in the Karnataka’s coastal districts. With an abundance of venues opening up over the last decade, Yakshagana theatre is thriving throughout the year.


  • Yakshagana is a traditional theatre, developed in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada, Shimoga and western parts of Chikmagalur districts, in the state of Karnataka and in Kasaragod district in Kerala
  • It combines dance, music, dialogue, costume, make-up, and stage techniques with a unique style and form and traditionally presented from dusk to dawn
  • Believed to have evolved from pre-classical music and theatre during the period of the Bhakti movement
  • Towards the south from Dakshina Kannada to Kasaragod of Tulu Nadu region, the form of Yakshagana is called Thenku thittu and towards the north from Udupi up to Uttara Kannada it is called Badaga thittu.
  • Its stories are drawn from Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavata and other epics from both Hindu and Jain and other ancient Indic traditions.
  • Yakshagana has a separate tradition of music, separate from Karnataka Sangeetha and the Hindustani music of India.

Where the research institute is is located?

  • The Govinda Pai Research Institute, located at MGM College, runs a Yakshagana Kalakendra in Udupi trains youngsters in this ancient dance form.
  • It also does research work on language, rituals, and dance art forms.

What is mela?

  • A ‘mela’ is a team comprising artistes and their helpers, electricians and those who manage the sound system. The number of people in each Yakshagana troupe varies from a minimum of 20 persons to a maximum of 35.