India, Travel in India

Theyyam- The ritual dance form showcasing the faith in divine.

To appease Nature, spirits and ancestors in ancient temples or ancestral homes (Tharavadu), artistes who’re believed to be the incarnate of God, perform a performing art form that is quite popular in the northern districts of Kerala.

This ritual dance form is a mix of art & ritualism. It embodies myth, dance and music & is called as  Theyyam  (Teyyam,  Theyyattam  or Thira).  The word Theyyam comes from  Deivam  that stands for God in Malayalam.

Each marked with a distinct costume, there are more than 400 different theyyam in Kerala. (Pic Credit: Kerala Tourism board)

Each marked with a distinct costume, there are more than 400 different theyyam in Kerala.
(Pic Credit: Kerala Tourism board)

Theyyams dress themselves in predominantly colour red for facial make up as well as in dazzling costumes, marked by headgears of varying size whereas each self made costume & facial make-up vary according to the role and myth of the forms.

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Make-up of Vishnumoorthi Theyyam
(Pic Credit: Wikipedia Creative Commons)

In the Malabar region of Kerala, the districts of Kannur and Kasaragod this art form has more dominance & from December to May, the region come alive with the sound of anklets, folk musical instruments & the thrill in the air.

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Theyyam,of northern Kerala showcase the faith in divine.
(Photo by binux on Flickr)

During the course of a Theyyam performance, the dancer along with the drummers recites a story in the form of ritual songs, of the deity to be propitiated. This performance is backed by playing folk musical instruments like chenda, tuti, kuzhal and veekni, played in a certain rhythm. So, Theyyam is a performance is a combination of playing of musical instruments, vocal recitations, dance, and peculiar make-up and costumes.

If you happen to be in Kerala these days- apart from Backwaters, spices gardens, Munnar hills fragrance; there is one more reason to spend winters here!

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India, Travel in India

The first chapter of my stained Diary Pages!

India is an abode to some of the most tremendously blessed landscapes around the world. Its not just the strategic locations, but the beauty these landscapes ensembles, which makes them extraordinary.  Munnar, a small town in the backdrop of rolling mountain scenery is surrounded with mountain landscapes which are contagiously beautiful are rare in southern region of India. The craggy peaks, the manicured tea estates and crisp mountain air, Munnar is a perfect spot to let cool yourself after the sticky heat of the lowlands. It could be a tough task to photograph these landscapes because usually, the weather remains hazy or cloudy for much of the year and the camera or the eye could not get a clear view of things and hence cannot be captured effectively. Perhaps, the only way to get it right is to plan well and be at the right place at the right time in the right seasons.

TripOrTrap_Munnar

Image Courtesy: Prasanna Vijapur.

The morning view of the mountain pass that connects Suryanelli and Kolukkumalai Tea Estates, located to the east of Munnar Town is an example of surreal beauty. People here seem full of life and easy going. To explore this place morning is the ideal time, when one could make a backbreaking journey through some remote roads to reach just in time for sunrise kissing the peak of the mountains.

A visitor might get fooled by the bustling noisy and grubby namesake town of the region but the real attractions lie in the surrounding hills that can make every trip to this place rewarding.

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