|Gadhika is an art from practised among the Adiya community of Wayanad district. It is a kind of dance and there are two variations of Gadhika called Naattu Gadhika and Pooja Gadhika. While Naattu Gadhika is staged publicly, Pooja Gadhika is performed for ritualistic purposes, mainly to cure illness or as part of a ritual for having a safe delivery of child.
The format of this art form is like a dance drama and it will be accompanied by musicians who play wind instruments and drum. The artists of this dance drama move rhythmically according to the music and the dialect used is a mix of Kannada and Tulu languages.
Gadhika is often performed in the Malayalam month, Mithunam which falls in June-July. The participants of the art form, who belong to the Adiya community, visit the houses from which they have received invitation to perform and then conduct the rituals. This tribal sect believes that someone falls ill when gods are angry and Gadhika is performed to please the gods and thus cure the illness. The principal performer will be Moopan, the chieftain of the tribe and he invokes Lord Shiva to help cure the patient. Once Lord Shiva was brought down to earth and pleased with invocations, other gods including Chamundi, Maniamma, Malamkali and Karimkali are believed to arrive. The participants are dressed in simple, but colourful costumes and they include men dressed as women. The main function of such performers is to welcome the gods and goddesses arriving in response to the summons of Lord Shiva.