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Otta Nadagam

இந்தப் பக்கத்தை தமிழில் வாசிக்க: ஒட்ட நாடகம்

‎ Otta Nadagam is a play mainly performed by the Ottar caste people. This play features ancient traditional stories. Otta Nadagam is also known as Ottakoothu.

Method of Conduct

Ottakoothu is conducted during Mariamman temple festivals in Salem, Erode and Dharmapuri districts. Street plays like Aravan Kalappali Nadagam, Arichandra Nadagam and Madupidi Sandai Nadagam are performed during Mariamman temple festivals. Along with other street plays Otta Nadagam will also be performed.

Otta Nadagam was set against the rule of Mughal emperors of 17th and 18th centuries AD and the social problems that ensued. All parts of the play are performed as music. Since dialogue sequence is less featured in play, Otta Nadagam can also be termed as musical drama. Song types like Virutham, Daru, Thalattu (Lullaby), Oppari, Kuram are mostly featured in this play.

The play is performed by well-trained music artists. Singing in a chorus is considered the uniqueness of this play. The songs are sung by the actors themselves.

Initially, the story was performed as a form of Koothu (folk art). Later it was performed as a drama form in the name of Chitravalli Nadagam. Koothu form was performed in places where there is no urban impact and performed as a play in urban areas. Also, only certain sequences or parts of the story are performed in an urban area. In rural areas complete story is featured and performed as a play.

Print Publication

Otta Nadagam has been published as a book entitled ‘Noothana periya otta naataar nadaga alangaram’.

Castes Performing

Otta Nadagam is conducted by a caste called Ottar. Ottar caste is also known as Boyer. It is believed that these people migrated to Tami Nadu from Odisha. These people do hard physical work such as breaking stones and digging wells.

Occurring Places

Otta Nadagam is conducted at Mariamman temple festivals in Salem, Erode and Dharmapuri districts.

Occurring Months

Mariamman temple festivals are held during the months of Panguni and Chithirai (March mid to May mid), so Otta Nadagam will be conducted during these months.


Thamizhaga naataar nigalthukalaigal kalanjiyam – A. K. Perumal