Ancient 64 Kalas


It is often mentioned in the classical texts about the Chausath Kalas i.e 64 Kalas (chausath – 64, kalas – arts) which existed in ancient India in Vedic times. The word Kala is been used in wide sense. Dance, drama, literature,fine arts etc are included in this list.64 Kalas or 64 Arts of ancient India were learnt by woman to make them smart, intelligent, refined and well rounded.
Here is a brief introduction to the 64 kalas.

  1. Geet vidya – art of singing
  2. Vadya vidya – art of playing on musical instruments
  3. Nritya vidya – art of dancing
  4. Natya vidya – art of theatricals
  5. Alekhya vidya – art of painting
  6. Viseshakacchedya vidya – art of painting the face and body with color
  7. Tandula-kusuma-bali-vikara – art of preparing offerings from rice and flowers
  8. Pushpastarana – art of making a covering of flowers for a bed
  9. Dasana-vasananga-raga – art of applying preparations for cleansing the teeth, cloths and painting the body
  10. Mani-bhumika-karma – art of making the groundwork of jewels
  11. Sayya-racana – art of covering the bed
  12. Udaka-vadya – art of playing on music in water
  13. Udaka-ghata – art of splashing with water
  14. Citra-yoga – art of practically applying an admixture of colors
  15. Malya-grathana-vikalpa – art of designing a preparation of wreaths
  16. Sekharapida-yojana – art of practically setting the coronet on the head
  17. Nepathya-yoga – art of practically dressing in the tiring room
  18. Karnapatra-bhanga – art of decorating the tragus of the ear
  19. Sugandha-yukti – art of practical application of aromatics
  20. Bhushana-yojana – art of applying or setting ornaments
  21. Aindra-jala – art of juggling
  22. Kaucumara – kind of art
  23. Hasta-laghava – art of sleight of hand
  24. Citra-sakapupa-bhakshya-vikara-kriya – art of preparing varieties of delicious food
  25. Panaka-rasa-ragasava-yojana – art of practically preparing palatable drinks and and tinging draughts with red color
  26. Suci-vaya-karma – art of needleworks and weaving
  27. Sutra-krida – art of playing with thread
  28. Vina-damuraka-vadya – art of playing on lute and small drum
  29. Prahelika – art of making and solving riddles
  30. Durvacaka-yoga – art of practicing language difficult to be answered by others
  31. Pustaka-vacana – art of reciting books
  32. Natikakhyayika-darsana – art of enacting short plays and anecdotes
  33. Kavya-samasya-purana – art of solving enigmatic verses
  34. Pattika-vetra-bana-vikalpa – art of designing preparation of shield, cane and arrows
  35. Tarku-karma – art of spinning by spindle
  36. Takshana – art of carpentry
  37. Vastu-vidya – art of engineering
  38. Dhatu-vada – art of metallurgy
  39. Raupya-ratna-pariksha – art of testing silver and jewels
  40. Mani-raga jnana – art of tinging jewels
  41. Akara jnana – art of mineralogy
  42. Vrikshayur-veda-yoga – art of practicing medicine or medical treatment, by herbs
  43. Mesha-kukkuta-lavaka-yuddha-vidhi – art of knowing the mode of fighting of lambs, cocks and birds
  44. Suka-sarika-prapalana (pralapana) – art of maintaining or knowing conversation between male and female cockatoos
  45. Utsadana – art of healing or cleaning a person with perfumes
  46. Kesa-marjana-kausala – art of combing hair
  47. Akshara-mushtika-kathana – art of talking with letters and fingers
  48. Mlecchita-kutarka-vikalpa – art of fabricating barbarous or foreign sophistry
  49. Desa-bhasha-jnana – art of knowing provincial dialects
  50. Nirmiti-jnana – art of knowing prediction by heavenly voice
  51. Yantra-matrika – art of mechanics
  52. Dharana-matrika – art of the use of amulets
  53. Samvacya – art of conversation
  54. Manasi kavya-kriya – art of composing verse mentally
  55. Kriya-vikalpa – art of designing a literary work or a medical remedy
  56. Chalitaka-yoga – art of practicing as a builder of shrines called after him
  57. Abhidhana-kosha-cchando-jnana – art of the use of lexicography and meters
  58. Vastra-gopana – art of concealment of cloths
  59. Dyuta-visesha – art of knowing specific gambling
  60. Akarsha-krida – art of playing with dice or magnet
  61. Balaka-kridanaka – art of using children’s toys
  62. Vainayiki vidya – art of enforcing discipline
  63. Vaijayiki vidya – art of gaining victory
  64. Vaitaliki vidya – art of awakening master with music at dawn