Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala


A ritual art related to Lord Subrahmanian, Kavadiyattam is mostly conducated an offering to the Lord. Also known as Subramanian Thullal, in Kavadiyattam the performer carries on his shoulder an ornate Kavadi (a huge bow, richly decorated with peacock feathers) and will dance.

Kavadi used for the dance is of different sizes and shapes, each with its own significance. Background music of Panchavadyam, Nagaswarm etc is an added attraction. The dancers twist and spin in a row. They gradually move in a frenzy, in step with the rising beats of percussion music. Some of the dancers even pierce parts of their body with arrows. It is believed that arrow was the weapon used by Lord Subramanian.


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