Pagati Veshalu is a popular and historic folk theater form in Andhra
Pradesh. It is performed by three to four individuals who focus on
contemporary society and some of its mannerisms. Pagati Veshalu aims
to bring reforms in the society through satire. It is enacted only
during the day time and is hence called Pagati Veshalu.
Usually, the folk theatre form of Pagati Veshalu is categorized into
several episodes and is presented as a series over a certain period of
time. It also depicts stereotyped professions or faiths.
Pagati-veshalu is also called by the name Bahurupalu i.e. 'many
roles'. Some of the enactments are performed by teams comprising
husband and wife. The dance is known for portraying characters of less
privileged communities in a positive way and it is considered
synonymous with theatre in Telugu literature. According to legend and
tradition, kings used to encourage their spies to disguise themselves
as individuals from every walk of life, and mingle with the common
man, to understand how people felt about their rule. This is also
termed Pagati Veshalu.