As I spent most of the Navarathri festival filming the vedas (being chanted as a sacred offering to Mother Earth), I missed almost all of the dance performances happening at the Sripuram temple each night over the ten days.
However, I did get to catch a group of young girls dressed up in their classical dance gear, before they were heading out to perform. They are locals, from Vellore, 14 km up the road from here.
Not sure if the small size of these photos reveal the level of the details / ornate decorations on these little goddesses... their hands and feet have henna tattoos, and they are adorned with jewellery in their hair, on their wrists and around their necks.
There was something very endearing of the combination of the sophisticated dress, their naturalness of being little girls and the process of their awareness growing as they learn this dance tradition.