Andhra Pradesh

Rama and Lakshmana going to the Jungle

This shadow puppet of Rama and his brother Lakshmana is a Togalu Gombeyatta puppet, a shadow puppet tradition of Karnataka, India. It translates to the dance of leather puppets, with ‘Togalu’ meaning leather, ‘Gombe’ meaning a doll or a puppet and ‘atta’ meaning dance.  Southern Indian shadow play is known to be the oldest in the… Read more »


This is a shadow puppet of Bangarakka, a comic character from Tholu Bommalaata, shadow puppet tradition of Andhra Pradesh in India.  Here, tholu means leather, bommalu means puppets and aata means dance. Bangarakka, a female comic, and her husband Ketigadu are popular jesters best known for their witty and humorous dialogues during the performance of… Read more »

Devaraya I, Vijayanagara, Gold Pagoda

This is a gold pagoda type coin issued by Vinayaditya, the third Hoysala king of the Vijayanagara Empire. The reverse has an inscription “Sri Pratapa Devaraya” and the obverse has the icon of Uma-Maheshwara in embrace. The figure of Parvati is seated in padmasana with hands folded in the anjali mudra, while Shiva is four-armed… Read more »

Tholu Bommalata: Hanuman and Lankini

Tholu Bommalata tradition of shadow puppetry dates back to 12th century Andhra Pradesh; in Telugu, tholu is hide or leather and bommalata means ‘dance of the dolls’. Gleaming through the screen in night-long performances, these puppets are used to narrate stories from epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. Tholu Bommalata performances often weave bits of popular… Read more »