Hagalu Veshagararu



Veeshagaararu are a group of itinerant actors of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The are adepts in the art of miming. They disguise themselves as different characters or roles and present their performances in cities and villages. In Andhra Pradesh these actors are known as pagati veeshagaararu. They can impersonate mythological, divine, or social characters and can present events of even daily life. Some of them have the skill of producing even a full-length play like a professional performing troupe.

The hagalu veeshgaararu or “day-actors” don’t need any regular stage. They don’t need a green-room. They put on their make-up and costumes in their camp and start on their daily expedition. They go from door to door in the village or town where they have pitched their camp and offer to perform their show. They enact amusing scenes, sing “Sarvajna Vachana’s” basavanna vachana’s. they don’t need curtains,  nor the back stage       equipment. Of course they carry their musical instruments with them a harmonium, a “Tabla-Daggaa” and a pair of cymbals. An assistant will carry a bag to collect the grains which are  given as reward. veeshagaararu belong mostly to the “Viirashiva” faith. Occasionally they are also of the Muslim faith. sometimes they are addressed as belonging “Muslim” community or “jyaatigaar” caste. They are known among the people by different names hagalu veeshgaararu (day actors); sudugaadu siddha (saadhu of the cemetery); bahuruupi (one who appears in different roles). As their name suggest, they perform only during day time. Only men  folk take part in the performance. Female roles are taken up by men. The veeshagaararu mainly entertain their audience, though incidentally by depicting mythological and epic stories in the form of dialogue and songs they disseminate normal ideas and wisdom.