World’s Longest Dance Performance : Kāttīk Dance

November 6, 2016 , by Sunita Rajbhandari, Leave your thoughts
World’s Longest Dance Performance : Kāttīk Dance » My Dreams Mag
As someone who started as a dancer in her childhood and went on to become an actor/director of Nepalbhasha movies, cultural performances keep pulling me back to my roots. In particular, Kāttīk Pyākhå is one among many treasures from the Newar culture, which actually puts entire Nepal in the golbal map of cultural excellence.

Having completed my award-winning M.A. thesis based on this very performance, here, I would like to take my readers through the details of this great historic performance in a few words but many pictures. On this page, I will be posting a photo from each day of this dance as and when it happens!

DREAMS Heritage Series
World’s Longest Dance Performance : Kāttik Dance

Krishna Gan on 1st day of Kartik Nach.

A photo posted by Sunita Junu (@sunitajunu) on

King of Patan, Siddhi Narasimha Malla (1620-1661) started Kāttīk Pyākhå based on tantric dances depicting the acts of Lord Vishnu and the Krishna Lilā in 1641 AD. His descendant Srinivasa Malla (1661-1685) then added 7 more days by introducing a more light-hearted comic episode ofBā:tha: Pyākhå. Further, his descendant Yog Narendra Malla (1685–1705) added 15 days of Ushāharan Lila and Mādhawānal Lilā, making it a total of 27 days or the full month of Kāttik.

Ba:tha: Pyakhan includes Kaula Khicha on 2nd day of Kartik Nach.

A photo posted by Sunita Junu (@sunitajunu) on

The first time I ever watched Kāttīk Pyākhå live was on 2nd November 2011. This got me so excited that it compelled me to write something on it. From that very day, I have been researching and taking pictures of it every year. As an artist, it is always great to perform as well as to watch someone performing. Watching Kāttīk Pyākhå is yet something that can change your perspective on performance art altogether. As you start watching, it’s history wins over you in no time and it’s grandeur grows within you as an audience until you surrender to the performers entirely.

3rd day of Kartik Nach BANASUR GAN is performing

A photo posted by Sunita Junu (@sunitajunu) on

Like any other traditional dance performance, Kāttīk Pyākhå is also based on Nātyashāstra, the classical dance form in the east. It makes use of mudra (hand and finger gestures) and body postures that are basic to the classical format of dancing. Moreover, for a performance artist like myself, it easily leaves a deep impact in terms of learning and motivation.

Ushaharan includes Love sequence of Usha and Anirudra on 4th day of kātī pyākhå (Kartik Nach )

A photo posted by Sunita Junu (@sunitajunu) on

In the last 5 years, I have seen many changes in Kāttīk Pyākhan. Local youth have taken over the management aspects and formed various new committees. The dance itself has evolved technically and many new traditional jewelleries and attire have been procured. The team itself has moved out of Patan and performed in Bandipur (2070 BS) and various other social and cultural events too.

Fishing dance includes in Devi pyākhå on the 5th day of Kārtik Nāch.

A photo posted by Sunita Junu (@sunitajunu) on


Yuddhakalā includes in Ushāharan Lilā on the 6th day of Kārtik Nāch.

A photo posted by Sunita Junu (@sunitajunu) on

Visit this page for Daily updates with pictures of Day 7 onwards from Kattik Dance!

Words and Photos by Sunita Rajbhandari ‘Junu’.

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Categorised in: Arts, Heritage Series

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