Thekkanpattu is an important genre belongs to Malayalam folk musical tradition. Rich in culture and language, like Vadakkan pattukal, Thekkan pattukal are not mere exhibit. Thekkan pattukal has its origin from the art form of Vilpattu - popular in the erstwhile Travancore, and adjoining Kanyakumari district.
The songs came to be known as Thekkan Pattukal for they were popular in the southern parts of Kerala. ‘Villu’ is the main instrument used. So, it is also known as Villupattu, Vilpattu and Villadichan pattu.
The origin of Thekkanpattu can be traced back to Nanchinadu in Kanyakumari district. Besides villupattu, the other Thekkanpattu style is Ramakadhapatu or Ramavaratham.
Another style of Thekkanpattukal is associated with temple worship. Bathapattu or Vathapattu is Thekkanpattu which has different stories. Another kind of Thekkanpattu is the Sasthapattu which combines astrology and mathematics. The language used is a mix of Malayalam and Tamil.
There are songs popular in pure Malayalam also. The important stories in Thekkanpattu include Moovottumallan kadha, Rameswarayathra, Valiya kunju Thampikadha, Purushadev Ammapattu, Puthuvathapattu, Panchavankad Neelikadha, Thakarayankadha, Eravikutty Pillaiporupattu, Kannadiyanpar, Ilakudaperumalpattu, Ammankadha, Anchu Thamburanpattu, and so on.