The Gobbi dance is a folk art form originating from the coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh. The south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has a rich cultural heritage in the form of various folk arts like dances, music and handicrafts. The Gobbi dance is performed during the Sankranti festival that is celebrated for the Sun’s apparent movement to another part (zodiac sign) of the sky. The dance is performed by the young girls in the locality.

The word Gobbi may have several origins, according to some it merely comes from the ‘gobbillu’ or small spheres of cow dung that are made to represent the Hindu deity Krishna. While on the other hand some researchers claim that the word comes from ‘Gopi’ which is used to describe the several young girls who adored and loved Krishna in his legend. Either way, it is accepted that the Gobbi dance form is a derivative of the Garba dance of Gujarat, which is performed during the festival of Navaratri. This dance is only for the young girls, married women and male members of the society are not allowed to dance and this dance is only performed in the evenings. Another feature of the dance is the drawing of the ‘rangoli’, it is an elaborate drawing that is created in front of a house using various colored stone-powder.

Dance Form

The preparation of the Gobbi dance begins in the morning when the sea side Hindu communities, clean their courtyards and what them with water. After that large balls are made out of cow dung and placed in the centre of a beautiful and elaborate rangoli. This ball or gobbillu is to represent the god Krishna. After this is done, young girls gather in the evenings in a group and perform the worshipping rituals with the rest of the elders as audience. Following which they form a circle around the gobillu and dance around in circular movement, all the while singing.

Musical Instruments

The performance of Gobbi dance does not require any kind of musical instruments. The only music is that of the devotional folk songs sung by the young girls dancing around the gobbillu.


The Gobbi dances are a significant part of the way of life of the Hindu fishermen from Andhra Pradesh. It is a way of expressing their devotion to Krishna as many Hindus are devoted to the principal god Vishnu, of whom Krishna is a form.


There are no specific or standard variations of the Gobbi dance.

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