Odissi Dance

Odissi is popular dance form of odisha, it is one of the eight classical dance forms of India. This dance form is very popular among the peoples over the globe.


According to history the first evidence in form of picture of Odissi dance is found in the Manchapuri cave in Udayagiri which was carved during the time of emperor Kharavela.

In this picture emperor Kharavela was watching a dance recital where a damsel was performing a dance in front of the court along with the company of female instrumentalists, emperor Kharavela enjoyed at view with his two queens. Thus, Odissi can be traced back to its origin as secular dance form.

Odissi Dance got attached with the temple culture of Odisha. The rituals of Jagannath Temple in Puri it was regularly performed in Shaivite, Vaishnavite and Sakta temples in Odisha.


Like other types of dance form Odissi dance also have some rules and regulations or ticks, those are called Mudras. Or we can say that Mudras are hand gestures which are used to express the meaning of a given act of Odissi dance. In any kind of dance we convey emotions, inner feelings or an incident by hand gestures.

Mudras in Odissi dance are divided into three parts, those are:

  • Asamyukta Hasta – Single hand Mudras – 28 Prakar (gestures)
  • Samyukta Hasta – Joint hand Mudras – 24 Prakar (gestures)
  • Nrutya Hasta – “Pure Dance” Mudras (Select few out of the above categories)


In Guinness World Records has acknowledged the Odissi dance. 555 Odissi dancers performed at an event hosted on 23 December 2011, in the Kalinga stadium, Bhubaneswar, Orissa for Guinness World Record. In this event dancers performed the Mangalacharan, Battu, Pallavi, Abhinay and Mokshya dance items from the Odissi repertoire.