Sangeet Natak Academy

Sangeet Natak AcademySangeet Natak Academy or Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA), Delhi is also known as National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama. 

The academy is an autonomous body of Ministry of Culture, Government of India. Schemes and programmes executed by Sangeet Natak Academy are totally funded by the government.

History of Sangeet Natak Academy

Sangeet Natak Academy was founded on 31st May, 1952. The museum was inaugurated by the first President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad on 28th January, 1953. The first Chairman of the academy was Dr. P.V. Rajamannar.


Sangeet Natak Academy
Rabindra Bhawan, Ferozshah Road,
New Delhi-1

Phone: 011 2338 7246
Open: Daily (Saturday and Sunday closed)
Timings: 9.30 A.M. to 6.00 P.M.
Entry Fee: Free
E-mail: [email protected]

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Facilities at SNA

Various facilities provided for students, research scholars and artists in Sangeet Natak Academy, Delhi, are enumerated below:

Museum of Sangeet Natak Academy

Masks, headgears, puppets etc. have been showcased in the museum which are very useful for documentation work and collecting research material. Around 2000 such objects have been displayed in the museum. For instance, Chhau masks from Jharkhand, Krishnattam masks from Kerala and zari masks from Uttar Pradesh among others can be found in the museum.

Puppets in Sangeet natak academyThe puppets you can see here are string puppets or kathputli , glove puppets or benir putul of West Bengal, shadow puppets (of Andhra Pradesh) also known as tolu bomalatta and string puppets or kalasutri  bahulya of Maharashtra.

Gallery of Musical Instruments

It is known as ''Asavari''. The gallery was inaugurated by violinist Yehudi Menuhin on 13th February, 1964. There are around 600 folk and tribal instruments out of which 200 have been displayed for visitors.

Wind (aerophonic), string (cardophonic), ghatam, tabla, mridangam (idiophonic) and percussion (membranophonic) instruments along with rare kachwa sitar of North India and gettu vadvam of Tamil Nadu are protected and preserved here.

In case you want information, audio/video, tapes, photographs and films for your research project or just to satisfy your artistic curiosity, you can contact:

Shri. Jayant Raj Choudhury (Museum Supervisor)
Phone: (011)23387246, 47, 48, 23382495, 23385709, 23382706, 23387443, 23382598

Audio-Video Archive

The archive comprises of audio/video tapes, photographs and films. Photostat and internet facilities are available. Around 9700 gramophone records, CD's, reference material etc. are accessible. Here, you can accomplish literature search, documentation and bibliography work for your research projects.


Library consists of books on music, dance and drama. Around 22,000 books in English, Hindi and other Indian and Foreign languages are kept here. You can also find periodicals, newspapers along with information on personalities related to performing arts. You can become a member of this library by paying security deposit of Rs 100/- and filling up a form available in the library.

Library Timings:
9.30 A.M. to 5.30 P.M. (Saturday, Sunday closed)
For on-line catalogue of Academy's Library

In this library, you can locate books on assorted subjects such as theatre, music, dance, drama, folklore, tribal studies, Indian Culture, Indian History, Indian art, epics, religion and mythology. There are newspaper clippings, encyclopaedia, bibliographies and dictionaries on music and dance. Data files on Awardees and Fellows of the academy are also at hand.

Not only this, Sangeet Natak Academy, Delhi produces several in-house publications. The 'Documentation Unit' collects and records work of eminent artists in the field of music, dance and drama. Such audio and video collections prove useful in research work done by students and artists.

Awards and Fellowships

Sangeet Natak Academy award was instituted in 1952 and is conferred on practicing artists. It carries a prize money of Rs.50,000, angavastram (a shawl) and a tamrapatra (a brass plague). The award is bestowed in categories of music, dance, theatre, traditional arts, puppetry and contribution of individuals in performing arts.

The Sangeet Natak Academy fellowship, ''Ratna Sadsya'' is presented to individuals for their contribution in the field of music, dance and theatre.

Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar was instituted in 2006 in memory of shahnai maestro and is awarded to upcoming artists in the field of music, dance and drama.

Initiatives by SNA

Sangeet Natak Academy has conferred classical status on dance forms, namely, Bharatnatyam (Tamil Nadu), Kathak (Northern India), Manipuri (Manipur), Kathakali (Kerala: performed by men), Odissi (Odisha), Mohiniattam (Kerala: performed by women), Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh) and Sattriya (Assam). A number of exhibitions of musical instruments, masks, puppets from the academy's collection have been organized in India as well as foreign countries.

The first film seminar was organized by Sangeet Natak Academy in 1955 in Delhi and was inaugurated by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

Where there are no facilities for training in various areas of performing arts such as costume making, musical compositions, choral singing, stage craft, experimental choreography, lighting etc., Sangeet Natak Academy has started a new scheme of short term certificate courses. This will aid in job oriented training opportunities for students.

Artists aid fund created by Sangeet Natak Academy is meant to provide assistance and emergency aid to artists requiring medical treatment and well being. This will be given to artists of national eminence. The earlier scheme of Mediclaim was discontinued in 2007.

Sangeet Natak Academy offers grants-in-aid to institutions engaged in the promotion of performing arts --- music, dance and theatre. It promotes production of new plays and ballets. It gives active support for preservation of traditional, classical, tribal, folk performing art forms.

Constituent Units of SNA

Institutions established by Sangeet Natak Academy include Sattriya Kendra (Centre), Kathak Kendra (Centre) or National Institute of Kathak Dance, New Delhi established in 1964, Jawaharlal Nehru Manipuri Dance Academy (Imphal) also called Manipur Dance Academy and Ravindra Rangshala.

Centre for Kutiyattam (Thiruvananthapuram) was established to revive ancient Sanskrit theatre of Kerala. It was established in May, 2007.

Artists and institutions are provided with funds and training in this art form and regular performances are organized by Sangeet Natak Academy, Delhi to revive this traditional art. UNESCO declared Kutiyattam as ''a masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity'' in 2001.

Chhau Centre in Baripada and another proposed to be established in Jamshedpur is part of the effort of Sanget Natak Academy to preserve this dance form. Sponsored performances and financial support from Sangeet Natak Academy to artists and students of Seraikela Chhau (in Rairangpur) and Mayurbhanj Chhau (in Baripada) in Orissa and Seraikela in Jharkhand has encouraged artists to learn this dance form. Another Chhau Centre would be set up in Steel city Jamshedpur (Jharkhand).

Important Phone Numbers

Shekhar Sen (Chairperson)
Phone: 011-23387246 (extn. 101)
E-mail: [email protected]
Aruna Sairam (Vice Chairman)
Phone: 011-23387246
E-mail: [email protected]
Temsunaro Jamir
Phone: 011-23381833
E-mail: [email protected]
E-mail: [email protected]

Sangeet Natak Academy Awards conferred in Year 2012

Vocal (Hindustani Classical): Rajashekhar Mansur, Ajay Pohankar
Creative and experimental music: Ilaiyaraaja
Vocal (Karnatic Music): O. S. Thyagarajan

Mridangam: K. V. Prasad
Tabla: Sabir Khan
Violin: O. S. Thyagarajan
Been/Rudra Veena/Vichitra Veena: Bahauddin Dagar

Other major traditions of music:
Bhai Balbir Singh Ragi (Gurbani)

Kuchipudi: Vedantam Ramalinga Sastry
Bharatnatyam: Priyadarsini Govind
Kathakali: Vazhengada Vijayan
Creative Dance/choreography: Aditi Mangaldas
Kathak: Vijay Shankar
Music for Dance: Jwala Prasad
Kuttiyattam: Painkulam Damodara Chakyar
Chhau: Jai Narayan Samal
Odissi: Sharmila Biswas

Music for Theatre: Murari Roychoudhury
Theatre: Parvesh Seth, Purisai Kannappa Sambandan, Nirmal Rishi
Direction: Tripurari Sharma, Waman Kendre
Playwriting: Arjun Deo Charan

Major Traditions of Theatre:
Ghulam Rasool Bhagat (Bhand Pather)
ulochana Chavan (Lavani - Maharashtra),Goru Channabasappa (Folk Music - Karnataka), Heera Das Negi (Mask Making - Himachal Pradesh), Kinaram Nath Oja (Suknani Ojapali - Assam), Prem Singh Dehati (Folk Theatre - Haryana), S Mattannur Sankaran Kutty Govind Ram Nirmalkar (Nacha - Chhattisgarh),

Puppetry /Mime/ Allied arts of traditional forms:
Prafulla Karmakar (Traditional Puppetry - West Bengal)

Overall contribution/scholarship: Nandini Ramani, Arun Kakade

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