• April 2024
  • North Malabar Festival Kasaragod Kerala Tourism

Explore Theyyam: Divine Dance Form in northern Kerala

The Divine Dance Form

A Journey Into The Heart of Theyyam

Theyyam, a dance form that is a jewel in the crown of Dravidian culture, offers a window into the profound spiritual heritage of North Malabar. BDC Bekal, celebrated as the best domestic tour operator in India invites you on a trip to Kasaragod in North Kerala with their Kasaragod tour packages, which promise to be an enlightening and thrilling experience.

Theyyam the Ritual Art form of Kerala

The Origins of Theyyam: 

The origins of Theyyam trace back to the mists of time, where it began as a series of tribal dances and rituals in the tribal hamlets of ancient Dravidian societies. Over centuries, Theyyam has evolved absorbing elements from tribal folklore, Hindu mythology, and the socio-cultural ethos of the region, transforming into a rich, complex art form that today stands as a vibrant testimony to its multifaceted heritage.

With 456 distinct types of Theyyam, each performance is a universe unto itself, featuring unique rituals, mesmerizing costumes, and compelling narratives. BDC Bekal’s Bekal Tour Package is your gateway to this captivating world of Theyyam where every dance is a story and every story a slice of the divine.

At the heart of Theyyam lies the word ‘Daivam’, a Malayalam term for ‘God’. This etymology reflects the essence of Theyyam as more than just a performance; it is a divine embodiment, a spiritual communion that transcends the boundaries of mere entertainment to touch the soul of the divine.

The Social Philosophy of Theyyam:

Theyyam is not just a dance, it is a reflection of society’s aspirations, inequalities, and narratives. Performed predominantly by artists from marginalized communities, Theyyam becomes a powerful medium where the social hierarchies of caste are inverted, if only temporarily. The performer ascends to the status of a deity, revered by all, regardless of caste or creed. This remarkable feature of Theyyam offers a poignant commentary on social dynamics and offers a voice to the voiceless, making it a sociocultural phenomenon.

Theyyam The Divine Dance Form

Theyyam and North Kerala – The Sacred Land

The magic of Theyyam is bound to the soil of North Kerala, with districts like Kasaragod and Kannur serving as the vibrant stages for this divine performance. This regional specificity not only adds to the uniqueness of Theyyam but also makes it an invaluable cultural treasure of the North Malabar region, one that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Book a homestay in Bekal or a Homestay in Kasaragod with BDC Bekal and prepare for an experience that goes beyond tourism. Witness the divine spectacle of Theyyam, where Gods dance among men, and stories of valor, devotion, and wisdom come to life in the most vibrant hues and movements. Take a trip to Kasaragod today and witness the sacred, to connect with the ancient spirits of the land, and be a part of a living tradition that celebrates the divine in all its forms.

Get in touch with BDC Bekal to plan a trip to Kasaragod and experience the stunning Theyyam performances.

Discover the Mystical Dance of Gods – Variations of The Folklore

  • The Sacred Dance of Bali Theyyam

Bali Theyyam, a performance that captures the essence of the divine offering peace and protection, has the performers adorned in vibrant costumes and intricate body paint. Bali Theyyam is based on the character from Ramayana by the same name. Bali or Vali was a brave warrior who was tragically killed. Bali is worshiped by the Vishwakarma (Carpenter) community in the Kannur district. This theyyam is performed in temples and tharavadu (traditional homes) in the Kannur district. 

Don’t worry about how you will travel to watch these performances. Book a rental bike in Kasaragod or a rental car in Bekal with BDC Bekal.

  • The Vigorous Bhairavan Theyyam

The thumping beats of the traditional drums and the intense energy of the performer pull you into a narrative of power and protection. The Bhairavan Theyyam, a portrayal of the guardian deitya are tales of valor that have been passed down through generations. Bhairavan Theyyam is worshiped within the tradition of Theyyam as the manifestation of Lord Shiva’s furious aspect, Bhairava, stemming from a myth where Brahma falsely claimed to have witnessed Lord Shiva’s universal form. Infuriated, Shiva decapitates one of Brahma’s four heads, only to receive a curse from Brahma to wander the earth as a beggar for fifteen thousand years. This narrative of Lord Shiva’s penance, carrying a beggar’s bowl draped in humility, forms the basis of the Bhairavan Theyyam, symbolizing his time spent in human realms, and highlighting themes of divine retribution and the complexities of divine justice.

Theyyam Festivals - Theyyam: The Human God

  • The Heroic Padeveeran Theyyam

The Padeveeran Theyyam tells the tale of a valiant warrior celebrated through vigorous dance and soul-steering music. This Theyyam with its raw emotional power and heroic narrative offers a glance into the local lore of bravery and sacrifice. This Theyyam talks about a warrior who battled with the enemy forces of Kodagu and met his end on the battlefield.

  • The Divine Kundor Chamundi Theyyam

Among the pantheon of theyyam deities, Kondur Chamundi, holds a special place, embodying the fierce form of Goddess Kali. Her dance is a powerful spectacle, a divine act of dispelling darkness and bringing light. Book a trip to Bekal with BDC Bekal to stand witness to the spiritual cleansing, a moment where the divine energy fills the air, leaving you mesmerized. 

BDC Bekal can also help you with car rentals in Bekal during your stay to watch the Theyyam performances.

  • The Fiery Agni Kandakarnan Theyyam

The Agni Kandakarnan Theyyam, a performance invoking the God of Fire, is a testament to the purification and protection rituals deeply rooted in Kerala’s culture. This Theyyam with its spectacular use of fire, symbolizes the ultimate destruction of evil. Experience this fiery dance through BDC Bekal, the best domestic tour operator in Kasaragod.

  • The Enigmatic Vayanattu Kulavan Theyyam

Vayanattu Kulavan Theyyam stands out with its mystical aura representing a Guardian deity of the forest. Through the eyes of BDC Bekal witnesses how this Theyyam brings together a community celebrating the sacred bond between nature and mankind. It is a performance that speaks directly to the soul urging us to preserve the natural world that cradles our existence. 

  • The Majestic Vairajathan Theyyam

BDC Bekal offers you a front seat to this spectacular display of devotion and might, a dance that encapsulates the eternal struggle between good and evil, resonating with the heartbeats of the onlookers. Also known as the Thattum Theyyam, this is a fierce form of Theyyam. Known for its aggressive dance called vellattam, the Theyyam wields a sword and shield. Being struck by the sword brings a curse and is believed to cause death before the next Kaliyattam. The performance starts with an intense half-hour vellattam, which gradually transitions to a calmer state. 

The Theyyam is believed to originate from a story where Lord Shiva, angered by his wife Sati’s suicide at her father Daksha’s yaga creates Veerabhaderan and Badrakali from his rage. They destroy Daksha’s yagashala, making it a significant mythological event. Initially performed at Cheruvathur Kambikathidam Madam in Kasaragod district, it is also now showcased in Pilathara and Thrikarripur Thankayam Madam. 

  •  The Healing Poomaruthan Theyyam

The Poomaruthan Theyyam dances to the rhythm of healing and well-being. As BDC Bekal guides you through this therapeutic journey, witness a tradition that goes beyond entertainment, embodying the ancient knowledge of healing practices passed down through generations. In the myth, Poomala Devi, barred from picking flowers in a heavenly garden, is aided by Poomarutha, a divine guard in wind form. They become siblings and explore the Earth, landing in Malanad with Arya Princess Aryapoonkani on a Vishwakarma built ship. Welcomed by Vishnumutthy with coconut water at Oriyara estuary in Cheruvathur, they are enshrined there. Another tale tells of their landing at Kuruvanthara in Ezhimala, where the beauty of the land convinces Poomla to stay leading to the first sgrines in their honor.

  • The Protective Narambil Bhagavathi Theyyam

Experience the divine protection of Narambil Bhagavathi Theyyam, a performance that envelops you in a blanket to spiritual safeguarding. Book a trip to BDC Bekal to watch this Theyyam performance that has become a part of a secret tradition that has safeguarded the local communities for centuries. The Theyyam performance offers a glimpse into the deeply rooted cultural beliefs of Kerala. Narambil Bhagavathi is believed to have emerged from the blood to assist Devi Mahakali in her battle against the demons. With immense powers, she wielded her powers to slice the liver of the demons, offering the pieces to the Bhoothaganas. People belonging to Vannan caste are granted the privilege to perform this Theyyam. 

Take a Trip to Kasaragod with BDC Bekal

BDC Bekal, the best domestic tour operator in India beckons you to take a trip to Bekal where the divine dance of Theyyam awaits. Their Bekal tour packages are carefully and thoughtfully designed to offer an exciting and immersive experience into the heart of Theyyam, where every dance is a prayer, and every prayer is a bridge between the earthly and the divine.

Talk to us today to book your stay during a Theyyam Performance season.


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