These images were taken on the first evening of Navarathri : over 200 women from ages of 8 to 70 danced at the entrance of Sripuram.
I was so moved to see this performance of so many women dancing together in unison. And there was such a strong sense that these women belonged to this 'stick' dance (dandiya), it is a part of their culture and has been for generations. And here it was being performed in total authenticity, not for tourists, but in celebration of the Goddess Narayani and her 9 days of battle with the demon/ darker forces of the universe (in which she wins on the 10th day).
Each evening there were musical and dance performances. I asked why and was told "after the Goddess Narayani has battled all day with the demon, she is tired in the evening and likes to relax by listening to beautiful music and dancing."
The first step for the beginning of a dance : bringing eachother's stick together. Note the henna tattooed hands on the left.