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Theyyam travel guide


Published on provides you the best travel plan to experience theyyam ritual. We welcome you to the land of theyyam.

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Theyyam travel guide

  1. 1. Theyyam Travel Guide ©
  2. 2. TheyyamTheyyam is a popular Hindu ritual ofworship in North Kerala, India. As aliving cult with several thousand-year-old traditions, rituals and customs, itembraces almost all the castes andclasses of the Hindu religion in thisregion. The term Theyyam is a corruptform of Daivam or God. People of thesedistricts consider Theyyam itself as aGod and they seek blessings from thisTheyyam. Theyyam performancesrequire ritualistic arrangements andalso the involvement of traditionalperforming communities. Therefore, itis considered as ritual performance, andnot as merely performing art. Theyyamusually take place either within the areaof a small shrine or in the yard of anancestral house. The first stage ofalmost all Theyam performances areeither a tottam pattu in which aperformer with simple costume andminimal make up comes before theshrine and recites the invocatory songsor tales of the deity, or comes beforethe shrine wearing a more elaboratecostume and make up as vellattamwhich performs ritual dance. SomeTheyyam do not have tottam pattu asits tale is confined to the invocatorysongs. But on the other hand someTheyyam do have an elaborate tottampattu which lasts for several hours. ©
  3. 3. Madayil Chamundi Theyyam ©
  4. 4. PerformanceAfter the singing of tottampattu and performing somerituals, the performerretires to prepare for theactual Theyyamperformance, a processbeginning with theapplication of intricate facialmake-up whose every line issymbolic, and ending withthe donning of theelaborate costume. Themost sacred part of thecostume, the headdress, isput on before the shrinessanctum after which, asdrum beats, the performerlooks at his reflection in asmall hand-mirror. This isone of Theyyam’s mostconceptually crucial andintimate moments as whathe sees in the mirror is nothis own image, but of apowerful divine being whichhe represents. ©
  5. 5. RitualsThe performer alongwith the drummersrecites the particularritual song, whichdescribes the myths andlegends, of the deity ofthe shrine or the folkdeity to be propitiated(called “thottam”). Thisis accompanied by theplaying of folk musicalinstruments. Afterfinishing this primaryritualistic part of theinvocation, theperformer appears astheyyam with propermake-up and costumes .ThottamThe first part of thetheyyam performance isusually known asVellattam or Thottam. Itis performed withoutproper make-up or anydecorative costume.Only a small, redheaddress is worn onthis occasion.©
  6. 6. Theyyam CostumesThe costumes of Theyyam are made out of cutting andpainting coconut sheaths in black, white and red patterns,fresh coconut fronds form skirts, fashioning breasts out of drycoconut shells and tying a red cloth around the waist. Thefacial decorations are intricately designed with enrichedsymbolism. ©
  7. 7. TempleThe dance or invocation is generally performed in front of thevillage Temple (Kavu). It is also performed in the houses asancestor-worship with elaborate rites and rituals. There is nostage or curtain or other such arrangements for theperformance. The devotees would be standing or some ofthem would be sitting on a sacred tree in front of the shrine ©
  8. 8. PerformersTheyyam’ performersbelong to one of theHindu communities(Malayan, Vannan,Velan (Thuzhuvelan),Koppalan, Mavilan,Chingatthan, Panan,Parayan,Pampatharavan,anhuttan, Munnuttanetc.). Each individualcaste has the right toperform certaindeities and allperformers mustposes a wide range ofextraordinary skills.They must know theritual and character ofevery deity. ©
  9. 9. CustomsThere are lots of related ritualperformance along withtheyyam performances. Insome occasions temple priest(komaram / Velichappadu) willjump through wooden pyrejust before theyyampeformance starts..BlessingsJust after initial performance,theyyam starts blessing thedevotees. In this elevated statetheyyam assumes super humanand divine powers—speaking,moving, blessing and evenhealing as a god or goddess.Man to GodAfter wearing the headdressthe actual moment of"becoming" the deity, themoment of crossing the line, ashe stares into a small hand-heldmirror. It is at this point that,almost imperceptibly, he slipsinto another state of being, hiseyes widening as they focus noton his own reflection, but onthe enigmatic features of adivine being. This is themoment of fusion, the definingmoment known asmukhadarshanam, or theseeing of the face. It is themoment when a mortalbecomes a god. ©
  10. 10. Theyyam SeasonTheyyam season begins with end of October and ends in May monthnext year. During these times, theyyam will be performed in more than500 temples / kavus of Kannur and Kasargod districts. Theyyam will beperformed as a part of yearly temple festival or as a separate prayer bya family or individuals . There are more than 450 types of theyyams,most of them are closely related each other. Theyyam Season ©
  11. 11. How to reach Nearest Airports Calicut (Kozhikode) Airport (Distance: 90 km to Kannur) Mangalore Airport (Distance: 143 km to Kannur) Cochin Airport (Distance: 291 km to Kannur) Kannur(theyyamlocation)
  12. 12. Our Services• We arrange to pick you from Nearest Railway stations or Bus stations of Kannur to accommodations• We provide homestay facilities Vehicle Services near theyyam locations.• We provide transportation to reach different theyyam locations.• Our exclusive theyyam calendar help to identify theyyam festival locations where you can see maximum number of theyyams Ordinary Homes with shortest available time• We connect you with homestays and hotels in Kannur & Kasargod districts .• We provide guide services to understand and experience Homestay facilities theyyam in depth.• We help you to interact with theyyam performers.• We help you to reach other tourist attractions in Kerala. Guide services ©
  13. 13. Homestay facilities Homestay Bed room Kitchen facilities Sit out Beach access Extra room  Special rate for theyyam visitors  Easy access to Railway station & Bus stations ©
  14. 14. Poomaruthan TheyyamPhoto by: Ted from Taiwan ©
  15. 15. Thondachan TheyyamPhoto by: Rhea Fevero from Australia ©
  16. 16. Muthappan TheyyamPhoto by: Anna from USA ©
  17. 17. Kathivanurveeran TheyyamPhoto by: Giorgio from Italy ©
  18. 18. Bhagavathy TheyyamSketch by: Benoit from France ©
  19. 19. Madayil Chamundi Theyyam: the stages of transition from man to God ©
  20. 20. Contact Information In India (kannur) Mobile: 00919847090077 E-mail: Middle East Mobile: 00971507941159 (Dubai) E-mail: Europe Mobile: E-mail: America Mobile: E-mail: Australia Mobile: E-mail:More information on theyyam: