Theyyam is a popular ritual art of north Kerala. It is rich in
culture and is essentially a dance festival. Theyyam is said to be
corrupted form of the word 'Deivam' meaning God and 'Aattam' means
dance. The meaning of Theyyam thus becomes 'God's dance'. In
Theyyam people worship deity and dancer is also the deity. In this
art devotees worship Mother Goddess. Though animals, serpents and
trees are also worshiped by many.
Season of Theyyam continues for six months beginning from the
Malayalam month of Thullam (October-November) and continues till
Edavam (May-June). Most Theyyam festivals are held in the region
of Valapattanam River of Kannur and Chandragiri River of Kasargod.
Prominent amongst all places is the Theyyam of Malabar region in
Theyyam is performed by male members of particular castes
only. Malayan, Pulayan, Vannan, Anjoottan, Munnutton, Velan,
Chungathan, Koppalan and Mayilon are some of the castes who
Theyyam dance has its roots in the ancient tribal culture of
Kerala dating back to the Dravidian age. It lays great
importance to worship of heroes and ancestral spirits. Theyyam
sees a wonderful amalgamation of dance, mime and music. Chenda,
veekku chenda, elathalam and kurumkuzhal are the musical
instruments used in theyyatom.
There are about 450 known forms of "theyyams" and each has got
its own myth and style of costumes, make-up, choreography and
songs. Rakthachamundi, Makkappothi, Puliyoru Kannan, Pottan,
Kathivanur Veeran, Muchhilottu Bhagavathi, Palothu Daivam,
Vishnumurthy, Puthiya Bhagavathi, Vayanattu Kulavan, Ucchitta,
Gulikan, Nagakanni, Mutiappan, Veerali, Puliyoru kali,
Panchuruli, Kuttissasthav are some of the theyyams performed
Influence of prominent Hindu sects of Shakteyas (followers of
Mother Goddess Shakti), Vaishnavites (followers of Lord
Vishnu) and Shaivites (followers of Lord Shiva) is apparent on
Theyyam is supported by a vast literature of folk songs.
Besides the theme of worshiping Mother Goddesses and animals,
Theyyam also narrates the tales and woes of people who lost
their lives in battlefield, pangs of women who committed
suicide or persons killed by the local chieftains. Such people
are honoured through theyyams performed in front of shrines.
Theyyam is also known as
Kaliyattom at some places.
Kaliyattom means 'a sacred dance performance for goddess Kali.
Some believe that Kaliyattom is sometimes called Theyyattom
because every 'thera' or village was duly bound to
perform it. There are two stages in theyyattom:
the preliminary ritual and Theyyam. Some theyyams also has
another stage called
Vellattom. The myth of the deity
is recited by thottam, through songs accompanied by a
orchestra. Theyyam is the second stage.
To get the appearance of super-human, peculiar and colourful
costume and make-up are used in theyyam dances. Essential
componentc of the costume of theyyam dancer are the leaves of
coconut tree which are cut and made into different shapes and
01: Flight to India (Chennai)
Around Midnight arrival in
Chennai (formerly known as Madras). The cosmopolitan city and
capital of Tamil Nadu is the main gateway for travellers to South
India. Upon arrival, you will be met by an Indo Vacations
representative and transferred to the hotel.
Day 02: Chennai
After having the breakfast we start the sightseeing of Chennai. We
visit the Fort St. George near the harbour area of Chennai. The
British built this fort in the 17th century. We will also visit
the St. Mary's Church. This church was the first English church in
Day 03: Chennai - Mysore
In the morning we drive through the betel nut and pepper
plantation and proceed to
Mysore. Mysore is world famous for Silk and Sandalwood. Mysore
is also a centre of producing saris. Saree is a common dress of
woman in India. In Mysore we drive to Chamundi Hill to see a giant
Nandi (buffalo god) and enjoy the view of the surroundings form
the hilltop. In the evening we will visit the beautiful Brindavan
Day 04: Mysore - Halebid - Belur (about 170 km)
Today we visit the most impressive and one of the largest city
palaces in India. The City Palace of Mysore "Ambar Vilas" is built
in the Indo-Saracenic style. After the sightseeing of Mysore we
proceed through picturesque hilly landscape and arrive in
Halebid. Halebid was the ancient capital of Hoysala Empire. In
Halebid we visit the Hoysalesvara Temple of 12th century where we
see half-life size statues of Hindu deities, with minute details
of each, all around the temple. After the visit in Halebid we
Belur. In Belur we visit the group of Chennakesava Temples.
These temples are famous for their architecture and sculptures.
Belur and Halebid are the apex of the cultural heritage of
Day 05: Belur - Sravanbelgola - Bangalore (about 160 km)
In the morning after having breakfast we drive to
Bangalore. On the way to Bangalore we make a stopover in
Sravanbelgola where we visit the colossal monolithic statue of
Gomatesvara, standing 18 meters high of 1980 AD. This Jain
sculpture represents the saintly prince Bahubali after he had
gained enlightenment. After the visit of Sravanbelgola we proceed
for Bangalore. Bangalore is the capital city of the Indian state
Karnataka. This former "Garden city" Bangalore is known today as
"computer city" of India. In Bangalore we visit the monolithic
Nandi, Shiva's Bull and famous Gowda Fort. The Gowda Fort was
built by the Tipu Sultan.
Day 06: Bangalore - Hassan
In the morning we drive through the garden city with its numerous
avenues of Jacaranda, gulmohar and cassia. Today we visit Tipu's
summer palace. Drive past numerous parks, the Vidhan Sauda and
downtown commercial centre. Today we also visit Protima Bedi`s
Dance Village. Overnight in Hassan.
Day 07: Hassan - Mahabalipuram
Today after having breakfast we drive through the coastal route to
Mahabalipuram. In Mahabalipuram we visit some of the 14 cave
temples and 9 monolithic rathas (temple chariots). Pallavamala was
the ruler who made the port famous in the 7th century and was
largely responsible for building the temples.