Day 1 – Q 2. Storytelling through visual means has been a dominant art form in India. Elucidate.

  • IASbaba
  • November 28, 2022
  • 0
Art & Culture, GS 1, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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2. Storytelling through visual means has been a dominant art form in India. Elucidate.

दृश्य माध्यमों से कथावाचन भारत में एक प्रमुख कला रूप रहा है। स्पष्ट करें।


In this question candidates need to write about how storytelling through visual means has been a dominant art form in India. Give some examples of it.


Storytelling is the social and cultural activity of sharing stories, sometimes with improvisation, theatrics or embellishment. Every culture has its own stories or narratives, which are shared as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation or instilling moral values.



  • It is a mix of two Persian words “Dastan” meaning story and “Goi” meaning telling. A popular source of entertainment in Central Asian countries and Iran, this form of storytelling received patronage in the Deccan region in south India in 16th century.


  • This form of storytelling emerged from the Bhakti movement in South India between the 7th and 10th century. Performed in a dance-drama style, it blends together classical and folk dance with dialogue.
  • He is the key in the entire performance as he is responsible for holding the story together.


  • This is a form of Hindu religious discourse in which the storyteller explores a religious theme, usually based on the life of a saint or a story from an Indian epic. It comprises of storytelling, music, drama, dance, poetry, and philosophy.


  • We find many examples of Ramayana and Mahabharata depicted in the form of continuous paintings, for example in Pattachitra of Odisha. Similarly, Jataka stories of Buddha are also found in paintings of Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra.

Rock-cut Architecture:

  • The Ajanta cave paintings predominantly narrate the Jataka tales or Buddhist legends describing the previous births of the Buddha.
  • Arjuna’s Penance a beautiful narrative sculpted onto a single rockface narrating a story from the epic poem, Mahabharata, optimizing the rock fissures and cracks.

Kavad Art:

  • Kavad is a portable wooden shrine with visual narratives of Gods, Goddesses, local heroes, saints, and patrons on its panels hinged together.


  • The tradition of narrating stories with the help of puppets has been a great source of entertainment and knowledge. For example Yakshagana Gombeyata, Tholu Bommalata etc.


Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of communication. At its core, storytelling is the art of sharing information and engaging people. Its significance increased in art form because it stimulates people’s minds and evokes emotion.

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