Famous Kuchipudi dancer Dr. Padmaja Reddy, who is known for bringing the rich heritage and glory of the Kakatiya dynasty alive on stage, has won Padma Shri Award, the fourth highest civilian award.
Over the last 40 years, she has done over 3,000 shows in 100 countries.
She is also the first dancer from Telangana to receive the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the highest award given by the Indian government to practicing artists, in 2016.
The 51-year-old started dancing at the age of five. She comes from Pamarru village, which is about 15 kilometers from Kuchipudi village.
Padmaja has brought in a few modern concepts too into her dance drama to showcase the wonderful sculptural art of the Ramappa Temple that displays the dance forms of the Kakatiya era.
Dr. G Padmaja Reddy from Hyderabad has spent most of her time at the Ramappa Temple, the Warangal Fort, and the libraries nearby, for her research on the dance forms from the Kakatiya era.
Darshanam Mogilaiah, popularly known as Kinnera Mogilaiah, the 12-fret kinnera folk artist has also won the Padma Shri Award. The folk artist hails from the Amrabad forest reserve, Mahabubnagar, and is popular for singing ballads which are often interspersed with simple and short monologues.
Recently he has landed his voice in the Telugu movie Bheemla Nayak. Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao felicitated and awarded Mogilaiah for his contribution to keeping the culture alive. The state board incorporated a lesson in the textbooks for Class 8 students, under the name of "12 stairs Kinnera." It highlights the significance of the instrument and Mogilaiah's contribution.
Drum artist Ramachandraiah from Telangana has also been conferred with the Padma Shri.