Pandav Nritya being performed by pilgrims in Gangotri.
Pandav Nritya in Uttarakhand is one of the most famous dance forms of the Garhwal dance forms. Pandav Nritya chiefly belongs to the Chamoli district and the districts of the Pauri Garhwal. Legend has it that the origins of Pandav Nritya at Uttarakhand can be traced back to the period when Pandavas were the rulers of Uttarakhand.
Pandva Nritya is nothing but a simple narration of the story of Mahabharata in the form of dance and music. The narration is mostly enacted on the occasion of 'Dussehra' and Diwali.
Pandav Nitrya of Uttarakhand is particularly a specialty of the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, where people have related mythology with the dance form. The Pandav Nritya, as the common people says, is related to the story of Mahabharata. It can be said that Pandav Nritya is an episodic representation of the story of the Mahabharata.
Quite expectedly, the thematic content of the story deals with the various significant episodes taken from the great Indian epic of the 'Mahabharata'. In fact, in the performances we can find a depiction of the prosperity of the Pandavas and their banishment. The Pandav Nritya also deals with the Dice-game between the Kauravas and Pandavas, deception and betrayal done by the Kauravas, the misbehavior with Draupadi, restoration of the kingdom by the Pandavas, etc. Uttarakhand's Pandav Nritya is significant for more than one reason. It is a great mode of entertainment and also a great instruction to the common people on the epics that form such an important part of their lives. Pandav Nritya presents the Mahabharata presents the epic as a virtual picture book and are greatly loved and very well attended.
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