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Kerala tourism Guide



During the ancient days Padayani was performed as a ritual dance to heal deep psychological dysfunctions in the form of psychic or spiritual healing and a method of exorcism by the ancient magical-medicine men of Kerala. Now Padayani has become a divine ritual performed during festivals in Bagavathy temples across Kerala.

History of Padayani

Padayani is a traditional folk dance and a ritual art prevalent in the central part of Kerala. It is an ancient ritual and ceremonial dance performed in Goddess Bhadrakali temples across Kerala. Before the advent of Brahmanism, Padayani is considered as the last remnant of Dravidian worship. The unique thing about Padayani is that it is the only art form which mixes music, dance, theatre, satire, facial masks, and paintings during the performance.

How to perform

The major feature of Padayani is the song associated with it which is sung in Malayalam and handed down through generations. The song is accompanied by a single instrument called thappu which is heated and tuned before using it. There different types of Padayani dance forms like madan, marutha, yakshi, pakshi, kalan kolam and bhairavi kolam.

Famous artists from kerala

  • Kadammanitta Ramakrishnan exponent of Padayani.
  • Prof. Kadammanitta Vasudevan Pillai exponent of Padayani.

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