In the third item, Shabdam, for the first time words of sahitya and the abhinaya or gestural expression for that is introduced.
Lines of lyrics and rhythmic syllables (jatis) alternate in shabdam. Thus both abhinaya as well as the nritta is found here. Shabdameans words of praise, hence a shabdam is a piece in which the deity/God or the king are praised for their deeds, glory, generosity and qualities. In Sanskrit it is called Yashogita, a song in praise praising the subjects’ fame.
Shabdams usually ended with the word ‘salaamure’, that is, a salutation, hence they were also called as salaamus.
A large numbers of shabdam have been composed by gifted vaggeyakars of Melattur Village in Tanjore District like Bharatam Kasinadhayya, Ventaka Rama Shastri. Most of them are in raaga kaambhoji and a few in ragamaalikaa.