Pooja dance ( pooja ಕುಣಿತ ) is a one of the folk dance form of Karantaka in which the goddess shakthi is worshiped. Largely found in Bengaluru,Mandya,Tumakuru, Chamarajanagara this form of folk dance is most common in all folk events such as fairs and festivals.
The idol of goddess is decorated with bamboo and flowers which looks like a board of flower . It is quite heavy and it has a flat base to keep on head. The dance is accompanied by a team of playing leather percussion called “halage” . The dancer who usually wears a short and a white t-shirt balances this colorful goddess idol for the complete event . The goddess idol can be transferred to another dancer but cannot be put on floor until the event is complete .
The dancer will have to be very athletic to carry the weight on the head and dance entire day sometime. There are different styles and varieties of the dance which requires highly skilled dancers. Not all varieties are in practice today and this dance is loosing its originality fast.
Some of the photos I shot during Shree Ramachandreshwara Fair which happens in Ramohalli , Bengaluru.