Temples were raised to house the Gods and became the focal point for the
community. They also became centres of learning and contributed to the
advancement of such arts as sculpture, painting, music and dance. Mostly
built by Kings, who were also the patrons of arts, encouraging a continuity
and enriching rituals of worship, the earliest basis of the classical
It was from the temple that the Devadasi cult (Temple Dancers who performed
for the Lord) began. Once a practice countrywide-the Kulvantalu in Andhra
Pradesh, the Maibi in Manipur, the Devadasi in Tamil Nadu and the Mahari
in Orissa, all trace their roots to the temple. The countless sculptures
of dance poses in the temples, hint at the potency of dance as a path
to spiritual exaltation and lays out a complete lexicon of dance techniques.
For instance, it is said that the greater part of the vocabulary of Odissi
is preserved in stone.
A rich heritage to be brought alive by the artist.