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Vijaya Dasami Dance Performance at Gayatri Temple, Yeshwantpur, Bangalore

Updated on July 31, 2013

Route to Gayatri Temple Yeshwantpur

One of the lesser known places in Bangalore, however, one of the "must visit" places, if you have been in Bangalore for a long time. Hidden from the direct road because of its location, it is easy to miss this or keep going in circles trying to reach it. The easiest ways to reach it is probably to take the route towards Yeshwantpur Railway station - the older one - or towards Platform 1, the one that is just beside the vegetable market. Coming from Yeshwantpur circle side, cross UNDER the flyover and go towards the old railway station (or rather the first platform). Take the first left (or better still, ask any shopkeeper and you will know the shortest route). This route is OK for a two-wheeler. It is a bit of a hassle with a four-wheeler.

The Prayer Dance

Our intial objective was to enjoy the beauty and serenity of the temple (after a relative saw all the great things about it on the TV). The place was crowded, we assumed it was the Vijaya Dashami rush. As soon as we entered, there was an announcement being made of a dance programme about to start. There was a troupe of young girls, all dressed up for their performance in traditional south Indian dance dresses and with excited looks on their faces. The audience in the front rows of plastic chairs, more looked like the parents of the performers, eager to look at the performance of their wards on stage. The leader of the troupe, also dressed up for the performance, invited the audience, thanked them for being there to watch their show and announced the first performance to be that of a prayer.

The Prayer Dance

Performance 1 - A feast

The dance was well choreographed. One difference I found from the very traditional dances that I was used to years back was - the introduction of the wave concept. In the traditional dances, when I was a student too, the focus was mainly on synchronization with the rest of the troupe - all the moves had to be in sync with the rest of the team. Here, this was slightly modified in that there were elements of wave, where one performer finishes her move and the next one catches on with the same move, till the entire team has completed it. However, this was carefully not overdone and synchronization was the primary target for most of the dance. The dancers showed some traits of beginners, however, overall, the performance was just GREAT. By this time, I was searching for a chair to sit and enjoy the performance in peace. And the temple support staff were already arranging for more chairs. I was standing in the last row at the beginning of the performance. I suddenly realized that there were people behind me now in at least three rows, all eager to get a place to sit.

Performance 2 - Bharatnatyam

Bharatnatyam Snap 1
Bharatnatyam Snap 1 | Source
Bharatnatyam Snap 2
Bharatnatyam Snap 2 | Source

Performance 2 - Bharatanatyam

I quickly grabbed a chair and got my family too settled. The second performance was a Bharatanatyam, with a focus on Sri Krishna Leela. And this too was excellent. By the end of the dance, the crowds had swelled again.

The photographers hired for the event were initially trying to get the best shots for themselves. However, someone seemed to talk sense into them and they finally settled into non-intrusive positions later. That ensured that netizens and all those who could not view the beautiful performance have a view of the same through my eyes.

Performance 2 - Bharatanatyam

Performance 3 - Kuchipudi Solo

Performance 3 - Kuchipudi Solo Snap 1
Performance 3 - Kuchipudi Solo Snap 1 | Source
Performance 3 - Kuchipudi Solo Snap 2
Performance 3 - Kuchipudi Solo Snap 2 | Source
Performance 3 - Kuchipudi Solo Snap 3
Performance 3 - Kuchipudi Solo Snap 3 | Source

Performance 3 - Kuchipudi Solo

The third was a Kuchipudi Solo by the leader of the troupe. I was trying to record this, however, my cell phone camera decided it had too much and started acting on me. I could capture only a minute of the live performance. I saw that the cell phone was distracting me from enjoying the dance and so let it have its way. Not only was the Solo Kuchipudi performance captivating, the grace and the expressions of the danseuse were excellent and appropriate.

I was eagerly waiting for the next dance to start when I remembered I had sufficient work at home. So we quickly and reluctantly made our way out of the crowd. We decided to have a quick Darshan and head back home.

Performance 3 - Kuchipudi Solo

The Temple - in Brief

A brief description of the temple. At the entrance, there is the idol of Pancha Mukhi Maha Ganapathi. On the left is the dance stage and hall. The presiding goddess of this temple is "Panchamukhi Gayatri", the five-faced Gayatri. This temple is bang opposite the dance stage. The stage is positioned in such a way that the dancers and performance can be seen directly by the presiding Goddess.

The Exit is towards the back, through a small door - not a very comfortable arrangement. Once you exit out, there is a Great Snake with a number of Shiva Lingas under it. Did not have the energy to ask for the signifance or the story behind this - decided to leave it for another visit. We headed to the exit and rushed back home.

While I have every intention to visit the temple once more (Goddess willing!), I would also like to know the name of the troupe that performed on the Vijaya Dasami day. They made the trip memorable.


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      Arias 2 years ago

      It's nice to know the history of teplme jewelry. A t first, it was solely used to adorn the idols, then later on worn by the kings and eventually became part of Indian jewelry tradition. Thanks for this post!