It evolved during India’s ancient history and until this day, folk theatre is an entertainment!

A stage filled with vibrant colours, make-up on the face for expressions, action sequences, dialogues and dance sequences, all in front of a live audience is the beauty of traditional folk theatre in India! Back in time, it began as a means of entertainment. It was a depiction of Indian gods or the rulers of our country. Keeping up with the traditions, these folk forms have sustained through the centuries!

Here are some of the most prominently known traditional folk theatres in India that are still breathtaking!

Koodiyattam is the oldest and the only performance from the Sanskrit theatre. It originates from Kerala!


Yakshagana, popular in Karnataka has a history of over 400 years now. With some eye-catchy costumes and energetic performance, this Karnataka theatre is based on mythological epics and stories


Swang is a popular theatre form from in Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Swang has two important styles – one that belongs to Rohtak in Bangru language and Haathras in Brajbhasha


Bhand Pather from Kashmir is a combination of dance, wit, music, parody and much more! Interestingly, the performers or bhands dance to the specific instruments like the mukam, swarnai, dhol and nagara.

Credits: YouTube Screenshot

Since the time Maharashtra rulers had started this folk theatre, Tamasha has evolved over the years. Unlike many other folk forms, in this theatre, the women are the lead


Jatra is popular in Orissa and Bihar. Though it originated from Bengal during the 15th century, it focuses on love stories and socio-political awareness through dance!


Dashavatar is a form of stage performance showing the 10 different incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Popular in Konkan coast in Maharashtra and in Northern Goa, they use instruments like Harmonium,  Tabla and Zanj!

Credits: thebetterIndia