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The Kakatiya sculptors evinced keen interest in carving out attractive figures of feminine beauty.  The tall, tapering figures with full breasts and fleshy thighs, oval faces, half naked bodies and the folk look are the feminine models belonging to the regional ethnic group, which always inspired the Andhra sculptor. Drapery is sparse. Upper torso is covered with few ornaments, while the lower part is draped from the waist to the middle of the thighs. Rest of the body is bare, exposing the beautiful rhythm in the curvilinear slender torso. This scanty drapery brings forth the magnificent rhythm in the dancing poses of the Madanikas. Worth noting is that this drapery is akin to the mini skirt and topless dresses of the 21st century. Artists are considered Darsanikas, who can visualize things to come. Truly, the 13th century Kakatiya sculptor was a darsanika who visualized dress fashions of 21st century! He has draped his damsels with topless miniskirts and high heeled shoes.
(‘Kakatiyan art’ by D. Vidyanath, Nartanam, Oct– Dec 2016)

A dancing girl who became a legend was Anarkali (pomegranate bud), a title bestowed by Emperor Akbar on Nadira Begum or Sharaf-un-Nisa for her extraordinary beauty. One day, it is said, the Emperor saw from her reflection in a mirror that she was exchanging glances with Prince Salim. There were rumours at the court about Salim’s infatuation with Anarkali. This infuriated Akbar who considered the lowly nautch girl unworthy of a prince’s love. Legend has it that he ordered death for Anarkali, who was entombed alive in an upright position between two walls of bricks.  Anarkali, gasping for breath as the last brick was being laid, called out the name of her royal lover and then passed into eternal sleep. Salim on ascending the throne as Jahangir built a mausoleum in Lahore over the grave of his beloved which carries an inscription of a couplet composed by him.
(‘Famous dancing girls from the pages of Indian history’ by Pran Nevile, The Asian Age, July 25, 2018)

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