Dancing Pandavas

Director: Sudhir Gupta
Duration: 72 minutes

The first of its kind documentary film about Western Himalayan folk traditions of dance, possession, ritual worship, theatre, games and architecture relating to the characters and stories of the famous Indian epic “Mahabharata”. Shot over six winter months across the Himalayan states of Garhwal and Himachal.

Till the eldest of the five Pandav brothers Yuddhishtra was 16 years old, it is believed that the Pandav brothers lived in the Brahmrishi region of the Himalayas at the altitude of 10,000 ft. Thereafter they travelled down to the plains to reclaim their kingdom from their warring cousins, the Kauravs. They returned to Himachal during the 13th year of their exile when they were including. During this time they made Shiva temples overnight in various places. Some of these temples were completed in a night, while many remained incomplete as they left in a hush with day break. Hence people of Himachal have stories of the astounding temple making activity of the Pandavas, as well as about the love affair of one of the brothers Bhim and Hidimba. IN Himachal there is the tradition of the Thoda war-game played till date between the Shathi and pasha, the so-called followers of Pandavs and Kauravas.

This film weaves the folk-stories and traditions of Garhwal and Himachal spread over a 1000 kms into one and records and retells for the first time ever the story of the Himalayan folk traditions. The film has been produced under the project ‘Living Traditions of Mahabharata and Ramkatha’ of the Janapada Sampada Division of the IGNCA.

Copyright IGNCA

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