Dollu Kunitha is one of the prominent folk dances of Karnataka. Despite being an entertaining art form, Dollu Kunitha dance is steeped in religious connotations. This folk dance is centered on the deity of Beereshwara or Beeralingeswara, chiefly worshipped by the Kuruba Gowdas of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
As the name suggests, Dollu Kunitha is essentially a drum dance with
singings accompanied by the resounding melody of Dollu or drums. The
robust nature of this dance produces an extravagant spectacle, with
performers enacting their respective roles with seamless ease. Thus Dolu
Kunitha dance requires the performers to be well-built men, high on
strength and stamina.
This folk dance is a synthesis of entertainment and spirituality and
figures prominently during the worship of Beereshwara. One can see the
instrument of Dollu being hung from the ceiling of most temples of
Beereshwara. Whenever puja is offered to invoke the deity of
Beereshwara, the rituals are complemented with the beating of Dollu.
Over the years the folk dance of Dollu Kunitha has been a major
attraction of village festivals or religious ceremonies in the villages
of North Karnataka.