Harikatha

What is Harikatha?

  • Harikatha is an art form composed of storytelling, music, drama, dance, poetry, and philosophy in South India especially in villages of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  • It had originated from Ajjada village of Srikakulam in Coastal Andhra. 
  • Its aim is to imbue truth and righteousness in the minds of people and sow the seeds of devotion in them.
  • It also aims to educate people about knowledge of atman (self) through stories and show them the path of liberation.
  • Harikatha at its peak was a popular medium of entertainment, which had helped to transmit cultural, educational and religious values to the masses.
 
Style of Harikatha
  • Harikatha involves the narration of a story, intermingled with various songs relating to the story.
  • The subject for the Harikatha story may be any Hindu religious theme.
  • Usually the narration of story involves numerous sub-plots and anecdotes, which are used to emphasise various aspects of the main story.
  • The main story teller is usually assisted by one or more co-singers, who elaborate the songs and Mridangam accompanist.
  • The storyteller uses a pair of cymbals to keep beat.
 
Why in news?
Harikatha was in news for its revival due to patronage from various cultural organisation.