Paana Kali

Paanakali, a ritual dance tradition, confined to a few areas in North Kerala, is performed annually to propitiate the Goddess Kali. Paanakali symbolically narrates the slaying of the demon Darika by Kali.Popularly celebrated in the Mangot Bhagavathy temple near Vellinezhi for the last 30 years, Paanakali is now sponsored by one of the Nair families as an offering to the Bhagavathy of Mangottu Kavu. The venue of Paanakali performance, thus, is the courtyard of the sponsor. It requires a lot of training as the rituals connected to Paanakali have to be performed for nearly two hours without a break. One must also have a sense of rhythm to do the steps gracefully. Although the ‘Poojakkaran’ is the central character of Paanakali, a total of 16 other performers are required for the ritual art form. The performers’ steps are in harmony with the continuous and varying rhythmic patterns provided by the percussionists.