“In the dark of the night, loud beats of the drum and cries of the war horn fills and sweltering air, while glowing kings and demons fight across the flickering light”. (gaatha_home, 2010, para 1)

Has anyone visited dilli haat? I did a while ago and stumbled upon this beautiful craft called Thollu Bommalata. I saw many artefacts there like lampshades, wall hangings, etc. but when I went home and did my data collection, I was surprised to find out that Tholu bommalata is originally the art of making leather puppets and all the artefacts at the shop were improvisations done to the original craft.

Tholu Bommalata is the shadow puppet theatre tradition from the state of Andhra Pradesh. It is going on from centuries and is one of the most famous forms of shadow theatre. (Andhra Pradesh tourism,  2012)

Shadow theatre is a form of theatre where flat figures usually made of leather are lightly pressed on a translucent screen with a strong source of light from behind.

Tholu Bommalata literally means dance of the leather puppets ( tholu- leather bommalata-puppet dance)

I hope you enjoyed this blog and learnt something new about this beautiful craft. So stay tuned to know more about Tholu Bommalata.


Gatha  (feb 10 2010) leather puppets of Andhra Pradesh. Retrieved from http://gaatha.com/leather-puppets-of-andhra-pradesh/

Andhra Pradesh tourism (17 sep 2012) tholu bommalata. Retrieved from http://aptdc.gov.in/blog/tholu-bommalata/


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