Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala


One of the Navarasas.

Bhayanaka is the feeling of panic and dread brought on by the anticipation of danger. It denotes a weakness of heart and a want of strength in character. Fear is the base emotion of the Bhayanaka rasa.

To portray Bhayanaka, the actor widens his pupils and pushes them forcefully outwards. With eyes quivering, he raises his eyebrows one at a time and then together, pulls his lips inward, flares his nostrils, and looks from side to side like a deer that has caught the scent of danger.  The darkly reddened face conveys the adrenaline rush of extreme fear felt by the character.

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