The dance village of Nrityagram is based on a 10 acre terrain adjacent to Hessarghatta. It is 30 kilometres away from Bangalore and is situated in the Bangalore Rural District. It was established by Protima Gauri. She was a model, dancer and starlet. Protima Gauri's pleasure and dedication towards the dance art form can still be felt by stopping over at the dance village. In The village classical dance forms such as Bharatnatyam, Odissi and Kuchipudi are enlightened by teachers from all across India. Martial arts are also practiced and taught. The buildings in the village are constructed with mud, to give the village a design of an Indian Village.
Mangalore to Nrityagram is about 356 kilometres. The NH 48 and Bangalore - Mangalore Highway can be used to travel to Bangalore from Mangalore. Nrityagram is almost 34 kilometres away from Bangalore International Airport. Taxi's charge is barely Rs.500 from Bangalore to Nrityagram. Nrityagram is connected well by State Road Transport Corporation buses to all primary cities inside the state. Frequent services from Bangalore to Nrityagram are regulated by the buses of KSRTC.
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Nrityagram literally means dance village. The village was set up with the intention of having a whole village dedicated to the training of various classical dance forms of India. It is regarded as the first modern form of Gurkul where even today the Guru-Shishya tradition is followed. The village is located 30 km away from Bangalore. To reach Nrityagram from Bangalore one can hire a cab from Savaari cab services which offers cheap and comfortable services. It was founded by Odissi dancer Protima Gauri in 1990. Odissi, Mohiniattam, Kathak,Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Manipuri is taught here, eight hours a day, six days a week for seven years. Its founder, Protima Gauri's own words, "It is a community of dancers in a forsaken place amidst nature. A place where nothing exists, except dance. A place where you breathe, eat, sleep, dream, talk, imagine - dance. A place where all the five senses can be refined to perfection. A place where dancers drop negative qualities such as jealousy, small-mindedness, greed and malice to embrace their colleagues as sisters and support each other in their journey towards becoming dancers of merit.".
Protima left Mumbai in 1989 to start the dance village, the land was given on lease by state government and by 1990 the institution had taken root, inaugurated on May 11, 1990, by the then Prime Minister, V.P. Singh. The building started coming up soon after, designed by Gerard Da Cunha, following the vernacular architecture of the region. The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble made its New York debut in 1996 and received rave reviews.
A thoughtfully evolved temple was built in 1998, welcomes people to the Nrityagram, near Hesaraghatta Lake, it depicts the image of Kelucharan Mohapatra, guru of founder Protima Bedi in a dancing pose. The caption given for the picture states:
Temple at Nrityagram. Fashioned from the raw mud of Nrityagram and fired after it was built, the temple is dedicated to space. It is decorated with panels depicting the elements, dance motifs, mudras and designs from costumes and ghungroos. Inside is a granite rock scooped out to hold water and a flame that stays lit.
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