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An effort to revive

The Hindu, October 12, 2016

An effort to revive Harikatha

Harikatha is a form of Hindu religious discourse which traces its patronage from various cultural organisations including ‘Mitra Samskritika Samiti’.

Harikatha originated from Ajjada village of Srikakulam and has become popular in other languages too. Harikatha is an art form composed of storytelling, poetry, music, drama, dance, and philosophy. Any Hindu religious theme can be the subject for it. At its peak, Harikatha was a popular medium of entertainment, which helped transmit cultural, educational and religious values to the masses.


Adibhatla Narayanadas, popularly known as Harikatha pithamaha, continued to be the source of inspiration for many artistes. And, it was proved again with the wonderful response for the recently concluded ‘Harikatha saptaham’ in Srikakulam.

Several artistes like M.V. Simhachala Shastri, Jayanti Shastri, Mogilicharla Nagamani, V. Vijaya Kumari, V. Srivani, Jandhyala Krishnakumari, and B. Nagamani enthralled the audience with their impressive presentation of Hindu mythological stories such as Bhakta Potana, Sri Krishna Rayabaram, Rukmini Kalyanam, Srinivasa Kalyanam, Parvati Kalyanam, Bhishma Vijayam, and Vijya Mudrika.

“The main aim of Harikatha is to instil truth and righteousness in the minds of people and sow the seeds of devotion in them. That is why we have organised ‘Harikatha saptaham’ in Srikakulm. Many youngsters too attended the programme,” says Ippili Shankara Sarma, president of Mitra Samskritika Samiti and chief preist of Arasavilli Sri Suryanarayana Swamy temple.

“Western culture is dominating semi-urbn areas too. In this scenario, people know the importance of Indian culture which is depicted in an easy manner in Harikatha saptaham, says P. Sugunakara Rao, convener of the event.

Programmes like Harikatha saptaham are helping artistes to get honorarium and recognition in society. Some of them are striving to pass on the art to next generation with the support of organisations like Tirumala Tirupati Devastanams and Harikatha Pathasala in Kapileswaram.

“Srikakulam becomes the platform for the revival of the art, a great gift from Adibhatla Narayanadas. We are thankful to Mitra organization for installing his bronze statue at Bapuji Kalamandir,” says B. Ranga Rao Bhagavatar, an artiste from Srikakulam district.

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