Virbhadra is a ritualistic folk dance-drama performed in parts of Goa
. This art-form was brought to this region by the ruling dynasty of Karnataka
. True to its origin, the narration in this dance is done in Kannada
, the language of Karnataka. This ritual is still popular in at least some parts of Karnataka.
The Virbhadra dance depicts various episodes from the life of a mythical warrior named Virbhadra. He is believed to have been blessed with a divine gift of differentiating between the faithful and the treacherous. The person playing the role of Virbhadra dresses up in warrior's costumes and wields a sword, while dancing around in the temple yard. He is believed to become possessed with the divine spirit of the mythical warrior. Even if he struck a faithful person with his sword, that person would remain unaffected.
The Virbhadra dance is performed mostly on festive occasions at Sanquelim, Sanguem and Ponda.