Harikatha or Katha kalakshepa is an Indian storytelling art form. The raconteur enlivens an otherwise simple tale with song, philosophy, scripture, and humor, creating a world of story around the audience.

Our stories explore ancient Indian traditions, trespass into ancient Greece, bring Carnatic ragams to life, and dip into folklore. 

Click on a YouTube video to watch a performance, or a recording to listen to a story. You can also follow Urban Harikatha on Facebook and watch short clips there.

Urban Harikatha team: Aditi Sriram & Shiv Subramaniam

The Footsteps of Loyalty

This story is half words, half song. It takes place half in India, half in Lanka. Its characters are half human, half animal. And its themes are half ancient, half contemporary. This story unites all the halves in the world, to make one whole: the Ramayana.

The Spirals of Shiva

Lord Shiva's temper is as flaming as his cosmic dance. His hair is as knotted as the snakes around his neck, and his sense of humor as toxic as the poison stored in his throat. His third eye sees the world's deepest secrets.

Goddess Devi

It takes nine days and nights to celebrate goddess Shakti and the universe's feminine divinity. She is demon-slayer and life-giver, who protects the universe on her tiger.

Rules of the Underworld

If storytelling brings adventures to life, what kind of story brings adventures to Death? 

Hear from the Underworld's Hades and Yama directly, as they remember their wards Orpheus and Eurydice; and Savitri and Satyavan.


The Story of the Sideways Bun

In 8th century South India, as the year draws to a close, a girl named Andal falls in love with Lord Vishnu and swears she will only marry him.

It is the month of Margazhi

The moon is full and the day auspicious.

Come to bathe you precious girls, richly adorned

Dear to the cowherd’s village,

Land of abounding prosperity. 

(From Andal's Thiruppavai)