Navarohan: An Ancient Indian Dance Form


Navarohan is an ancient Indian dance form that holds a significant place in the cultural heritage of India. This classical dance form originated from the state of Kerala and has been passed down through generations, rich in tradition, symbolism, and storytelling. Navarohan dances are characterized by intricate footwork, graceful movements, expressive facial expressions, and colorful costumes, all of which come together to create a mesmerizing performance that captivates audiences.

History of Navarohan

The history of Navarohan can be traced back to ancient times when it was performed in temples and royal courts as a form of worship and entertainment. Over the years, the dance form evolved and was refined by master artists and gurus who dedicated their lives to preserving its authenticity and beauty. Navarohan draws inspiration from Hindu mythology, folklore, and historical events, making it a unique art form that reflects the rich cultural tapestry of India.

Key Elements of Navarohan

  1. Mudras: Navarohan dancers use intricate hand gestures known as mudras to convey emotions, tell stories, and pay homage to deities. Each mudra has a specific meaning and significance, adding depth and nuance to the performance.

  2. Abhinaya: Abhinaya refers to the art of expression in Navarohan, where dancers use their facial expressions, body language, and eye movements to communicate with the audience. This aspect of the dance form requires skill, precision, and emotional depth.

  3. Costumes and Jewelry: Navarohan dancers wear vibrant costumes made of silk or cotton, adorned with traditional embellishments and jewelry. The elaborate attire enhances the visual appeal of the performance and adds to the overall grandeur of the dance.

  4. Music and Instruments: Navarohan is often accompanied by traditional Indian music played on instruments such as the tabla, flute, veena, and mridangam. The rhythmic beats and melodious tunes provide a backdrop for the dancers to showcase their skills and synchronize their movements.

Training and Techniques

Learning Navarohan requires years of dedicated practice, discipline, and perseverance. Aspiring dancers start training at a young age under the guidance of experienced gurus who impart knowledge of the dance form’s techniques, postures, and expressions. Students also learn about the history, mythology, and cultural significance of Navarohan to develop a holistic understanding of the art form.

Benefits of Practicing Navarohan

  1. Physical Fitness: Navarohan is a physically demanding dance form that improves flexibility, strength, stamina, and agility. Regular practice helps dancers stay fit and healthy, both mentally and physically.

  2. Emotional Expression: Navarohan provides a creative outlet for dancers to express their emotions, feelings, and inner thoughts through movement and gestures. This cathartic experience can be therapeutic and healing for practitioners.

  3. Cultural Preservation: By learning and performing Navarohan, dancers play a vital role in preserving and promoting India’s cultural heritage for future generations. They contribute to the continuity and legacy of this ancient art form.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is the significance of Navarohan in Indian culture?
    Navarohan holds immense cultural and religious significance in India as a classical dance form that celebrates mythology, tradition, and spirituality. It is revered for its artistic beauty and expressive storytelling.

  2. How is Navarohan different from other Indian dance forms like Bharatanatyam and Kathak?
    While Navarohan shares similarities with other Indian classical dance forms in terms of technique and symbolism, it has its unique style, repertoire, and choreography that set it apart. Each dance form has its distinct characteristics and regional influences.

  3. Can anyone learn Navarohan, or is it reserved for certain communities or castes?
    Navarohan is a form of art that is open to anyone who has a passion for dance and a willingness to learn. It is not restricted to specific communities or castes and welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds to embrace and practice the art form.

  4. What are some popular themes portrayed in Navarohan performances?
    Navarohan performances often depict stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata, mythical narratives of gods and goddesses, nature-inspired themes, and historical events. Dancers infuse these themes with creativity and symbolism to create a visually captivating performance.

  5. How can one appreciate and support Navarohan as an audience member?
    As an audience member, you can show your appreciation and support for Navarohan by attending live performances, applauding the dancers, and spreading awareness about the art form. Supporting local dance schools, festivals, and cultural events can also contribute to the growth and preservation of Navarohan.


Navarohan is not just a dance form but a reflection of India’s rich cultural heritage, artistic excellence, and spiritual depth. Through its intricate movements, expressive storytelling, and timeless grace, Navarohan continues to enchant audiences and inspire generations of dancers to embrace its beauty. As we celebrate and honor this ancient Indian art form, we pay tribute to the legacy of those who have dedicated their lives to preserving and nurturing the cultural traditions that make Navarohan a truly mesmerizing experience.