Padayani- the divine dance of Mahadeva

Unni Mohanadas Destinations 0

Padayani is a ritual at Bhadrakali temples in four districts in Kerala viz.Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam and Alappuzha. It is to honour Goddess Bhadrakali and the performer enacts the divine dance by Lord Mahadeva and Bhootgana to reduce her anger after killing demon Darika. It is conducted as a psychic healing medium and as a way to ward off all evils forces.

History of Padayani

  1. One theory connects origin of Padayani to Kolam Thullal
  2. Another theory relates its origin to Kalaripayattu
  3. Between 8th to 16th CE Buddhist revived this Dravidian art form

Types of Padayani

Some of the different types of Padayani includes:

  1. Ganapathi Kolam
  2. Yakshi Kolam
  3. Pakshi Kolam
  4. Maadan Kolam
  5. Kaalan Kolam

Rituals and costumes in Padayani

  1. Costumes include mask, mundu, tender coconut leaves ornaments
  2. Some of the natural colours used to make the mask( Kollam) :
    1. The green of the lath itself (kamukin pacha),
    2. Kari (carbon),
    3. Manjal podi ( turmeric powder)
    4. Powdered red stone
    5. Sindooram, etc.
  3. Rituals starts with heating of Theppu drum
  4. Songs in Malayalam are sung and performance starts
  5. Poppada is the last ritual

Where to watch Padayani

The festival season from February to April is the best time to watch Padayani. Since the temple festivals follow Malayalam calender verify the Gregorian date with your travel agent before planning your trip. Some of the temples where Padayani is conducted are:

  1. Kadamitta Devi temple
  2. Kallooppara Devi temple
  3. Elanthoor Bhagavathikunnu temple
  4. Kottangal Devi temple
  5. Neelamperoor Palli Bhagavathy temple
  6. Kadalimangalam Devi temple

How to reach


Trivandrum International airport is the nearest airport to these areas. It has flights to:

  1. Dubai
  2. Kuwait
  3. Kuala Lumpur
  4. Colombo
  5. Singapore. etc

There are flight to Indian domestic destinations such as

  1. Kochi
  2. Delhi
  3. Mumbai
  4. Bangalore and
  5. Chennai

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