Lord Shiva is known as Bhairava and in some occasions manifests as Batuka – Bhairav. Folk art painting, on walls, of Batuka-Bhairav is seen in the Pipili-Puri belt of India. Bhairava originates from the word bhīru, which means “fearful”. Bhairava means “terribly fearful form”. It is also known as one who destroys fear or one who is beyond fear.
There is also another interpretation: Bha means creation, ra means sustenance and va means destruction. Therefore, Bhairava is the one who creates, sustains and dissolves the three stages of life. Therefore, he becomes the ultimate or the supreme.
This “BATU” dance item in honour of “Lord Bhairava” in Odissi has also been developed into a form known as THAI or THEI or STHAI:
After innovation in Mangalacharan the next stage of an Odissi dancers path of learning is to pay respect to the one who protects the family constantly in the form of Batuka. The Gurus logically names the second item as Batu which is pure dance Nritta. This is rhythm based, Talasraya, and exhibits difficult body movements, in a graceful manner. This has two components of Histronics, Angika and Aharya. The monosyllabic Vanis are the only recitation and the foot work follows the utterances (vani) on the rhythm provided by the Mardala (drum). Being a pure dance there is no Abhinay component in this item.