“Dr. Srinagi B. Rao (left) and Shashi Reddy (right)”

Shashi Reddy and Dr. Srinagi B. Rao love temples and all things related to culture. So, when they decided to bring the two together, it just felt like the right thing to do. That was how Gudi Sambaraalu, the temple dance festival started. With the concept of temple dances, the two wanted to take people back into the past.

“Back then dance was not performed at auditoriums but at temples, and that entire experience was different. We’re making the experience of dance more divine,”
– Dr. Srinagi B. Rao, Co-founder of Gudi Sambaraalu

Shashi and Srinagi, have known each other for 20 years. Both have always been interested in dance and music and that was one of the things they bonded over. So, when Shashi went to a temple dance festival in Bengaluru and decided to start something similar in Hyderabad, she found a perfect match in Srinagi.

“I handle my family business and also run Roshni Counselling Centre. So, I wanted someone who would not only be able to devote time but would also be very passionate about this and Srinagi was perfect,” says Shashi.

Srinagi, on the other hand, is a physician and the CEO of Medwin Hospitals, Hyderabad. Though Srinagi is busy with work and family, she manages to find time for culture. “I actually learnt Hindustani vocal and Kathak for three to four years each, but then I just stopped. So when Shashi approached me with this idea, I jumped at it.”

“Many are also excited about the unknown, century-old temples that we are able to find”
– Shashi Reddy, Co-founder of Gudi Sambaraalu

One of the best features of Gudi Sambaraalu were the lesser known, but very old temples in and around the city. “Take for instance the Sri Venkateshwara Swamy Temple at Shaikpet. We found the temple by chance. The city has a lot of these old hidden gems, one just needs to find them,” says Srinagi.

They add, “Even after the annual festival is over and we are back to our normal lives, every time we spot an old temple, we still call each other.”


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