About Katha Parampara
The entirety of knowledge of most ancient civilizations have been passed down generation to generation and in Bharathiya tradition we call it Parampara. There have been several ways of passing on this knowledge and one very common practice was through legends and stories, “Katha.”
Storytelling is as old as civilization itself. The need to tell and listen to stories is essential to human existence for we are narrative beings. Story-telling sessions bring people together and can bridge differences. They go beyond linguistic barriers and obliterate age divides. Stories engage, entertain and stimulate im agination and creativity. Stories are an effective means of communication and learning too. Stories from our Parampara bring forward not just legends but an entire heritage and culture carrying forward tradition, values and knowledge, and giving us a connect to our ancestry.
The tradition of storytelling in India dates back to the Vedic age and further developed during the Pauranic period. There were professional storytellers-Kathakaars, who wandered from place to place narrating fabulous stories from other kingdoms and the epics too.
They served in temples and palaces later to continue the tradition of oral storytelling. As the wheel of time turned story-telling that was an oral tradition with verbal communication and music grew to include paintings, theatre and dance. Thus diverse and distinctive storytelling traditions evolved in different parts of India.
We are surrounded by stories. We only need to be observant, listen with intent, and feel the rhythm of life around us to understand our Parampara. Every Indian symbol has a story to tell, and when we look around and observe, the rangoli patterns in front of homes, the mango leaves strung across doors, the head-dresses that people wear, the fabric of their clothes; everything has a story to tell.
And every story carries with it a bit of our culture, tradition, history, and living values. When we are aware and observant, sensitive and alert, we begin to learn all about our Parampara. And that is a reward by itself!