Zha is a new show which details the cultures, traditions and beauty of Tamil Nadu, its language and its people. This travel show unleashes the beauty of the state and its people, each episode of the series leaving you with a profound sense of awe. The show is broadcasted by Thanthi TV(a subsidiary of the Dina Thanthi newspaper company). The show is an ode to the interesting and mind-bogglingly large diversity of the culture, the people and the land of Tamil Nadu.
The word ‘Oyilattam’literally means the ‘dance of grace’, it is a folk dance which originates in the Madurai district of Tamil Nadu and is primarily performed in southern Tamil Nadu mainly in the districts of Madurai,Tirunelveli and Tiruchirapalli. It is a traditional dance form in which men stand in a row and do rhythmic steps in accord with the musical accompaniment, as the number of dancers slowly increase as the dance proceeds. Typically, the musical instrument played is the Thavi; the performers usually have coloured handkerchiefs tied to their fingers and wear Ghungru.
Oyilattam is one of the many folk art forms that has been identified for mainstream teaching by the Tamil Nadu University. It is a descriptive dance form, where the dance is used to depict the various great epics of India such as the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the history of Lord Murugan history among others. While another episode deals with the traditional martial art form Silambam or Silambattam which is a weapon-based martial art form which originates from Tamil Nadu but is also practised by the Tamil speaking minorities in Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
It is similar to the Kerala-based martial art form Kalaripayat, while another episode dealt with the Dhenupureeswarar temple or the Mandambakkam temple which is located near Tambaram in Chennai. The temple deity Dhenpureeshwar got his name because he is an aid to have granted Moksha to a cow, who was Sage Kapila reborn in this form for having improperly worshipped a Shiva lingam, and hence having sinned. The cow is said to have continued to worship Shiva by pouring milk Abhishekham on the lingam buried in the ground.
Shiva then appears and grants moksha to Kapila and forgives the sage for having sinned. The temple is said to have been built by the king after he had a dream in which he saw the entire event take place. The other episodes of the series dealt with similar topics such as temples of great Religious significance such as the Thiruvanmiyur Mrundeeshwar temple, the other dance forms of Tamil Nadu such as the Karagattam, among others.