Abhinaya Darpana



Abhinaya Darpana is the book upon which Bharatanatyam is based.

The author is Nandikeshwara.

Indra requests Nandikeshwara to teach him Bharatanatyam.

Abhinaya Darpana is the result of this.


Contents of Abhinaya Darpana


  • Prayer to Shiva.
  • The greatness of natya.
  • Characteristics of the audience and its head.
  • Positions of the dancer and instrument players on the stage.
  • Characteristics of the dancer, female and male.
  • Natya lakshana and natya krama.
  • Movement of each body part in angikabhinaya.
  • Mukhaja, sharira, and cheshtakrita abhinaya.
  • Nine types of head movements.
  • Eight types of eye movements.
  • Four types of neck movements.
  • Twenty-eight single-hand gestures.
  • Twenty-four double-hand gestures.
  • Thirteen nrittahastas.
  • Movements of feet.
  • Gaits.


Highlights of Abhinaya Darpana


  • Defines Nritta, Nritya, and Natya.
  • Detailing of angikabhinaya.
  • Detailing of hasta lakshanas.




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Read more comments

Who killed Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu?

Hiranyaksha was killed by Varaha and Hiranyakashipu was killed by Narasimha. Both are avataras of Lord Vishnu.

Agnishvatta (अग्निष्वात्ताः)

There are seven kinds of Pitrus - Agnishvatta, Vairaja, Garhapatya, Somapa, Ekashringa, Chaturveda, and Kala. Someone who performs all the rituals mentioned in the Smritis such as aupasana, sthaleepka but does not perform the Shrauta Yajnas would attain the Loka of Agnishvatta Pitrus.


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