Various forms of Theyyams

Theyyam is an ancient artform, popular in the northern region of Kerala. It is a ritual expression of worship of the Northern Malabar area. There are 456 theyyakkolams or types of Theyyam. Among this 112 are very important and famous.

We have listed some of them below:

The performance of Vishnumoorthi Theyyam includes intricate rites and rituals. It is the most popular part of the Vaishnava Theyyam. This captivating piece narrates the story of Palanthai Kannan, a great devotee of Lord Vishnu.

Sree Muthappan Theyyam
Muthappan Theyyam is distinctive as it is performed around the year whereas the other Theyyams are performed seasonally (the season lasting October to May). Muthappan temples are present in hundreds of places in North Malabar, each with a story of its own. Among the Muthappan temples, Kunnathur Padi and Parassini Kadavu have attained the most fame.

Gulikan is a local form of the Hindu God of death, called Yama. The intricate and fascinating dance steps of Gulikan stands apart from that of the other Theyyams. Among the Guligan Kavus or temples, the most famous and most powerful one is situated at Nileshwar popularly known as the Benkanakavu [Venganakavu]. The prosperity of the people in the neighbouring places is believed to be on account of the presence of the God Guligan in Benkanakavu.

Padikutti Amma
Padikuttiyamma is believed to be the mother of God Muthappan. The Theyyam Padikutti Amma has been performed in the famous Palaprath Temple, at Kodallur. Kodallur is a place near Parassini Kadavu that attained fame as a result of the performances of the Padikutti Amma Theyyam in the Malayalam month of Meenam every year. Sree Padikkutti Mahadevi Temple is a famous temple of Padikutti Amma at Eruvessi.

Muthappan Anthithira
The uniqueness of Muthappan Anthithira is that it is performed only once in all the Muthappan temples of North Malabar.

Puthiya Bhagavathy
Puthiya Bhagavathi is the main deity of many shrines in Kannur including Thalikavu situated in Kannur. Puthiya Bhagavathy is performed in Koovapratthu Kaavu Kavinisseri and in the Morazha Koorumba Kaavu in Pazhangottu, Matul, Thavam.

Perum Kaliyattam
In some Kavus the Theyyam festival is conducted at intervals of 12 or more years. These kinds of festivals are known as Perumkaliyattam. In 2008, Perumkaliyattams were celebrated in temples such as Ramanthali Muchilot Kavu, Kalayikode Muchilot Kavu and Mandur Padinjatta Thiruvarkat Bhagavathy Temple.

Agni Kandakarnan
In Agi Kandakarnan Theyyam lighted torches are attached around the waist of the performer. This Theyyam is performed at Swamimadam in Kannu Veedu Kapadapuram, Valiyaparamapa, Kasaragod in Kerala.

Padamadakki Bhagavathy
Once the Nileswar Raja was frightened by an invading force from Karnataka. As a result of the fervent prayers of the King and his followers, the Gods acknowledged the appeals of the devotees and sent Padamadakki Bhagavathy. It is believed that upon seeing the Padamadakki Bhagavathy, the invading troops became unconscious and the Goddess thus averted a battle. Koroth Temple is the venue where the Padamadakki Bhagavathy Theyyam is performed yearly in memory of the incident.

Manakkott Amma
Manakott was a powerful Nair Tharavadu (household) in Nileswar. Once there lived a woman who restrained herself from the stringent rules of caste system that existed at that time. She was educated and wanted to challenge the system. The head of the family killed her while she was carrying a child, for breaking the caste law. The murder of a pregnant woman created a lot of problems in the Tharavadu and was finally destroyed. Later the villagers came to the conclusion that the assassinated woman must have emerged as a Goddess who they called Manakkott Amma. Her Theyyam is performed every year in the Vairajathan Temple, Malappacherry in Nileshwar in the month of April.

Kuttichathan is a widely acclaimed theyyam throughout Kerala. It is the theyyam of Brahmin caste.

Kathivanur Veeran
Mandhappan was a great warrior in whose memory Kathivanur Veeran theyyam is performed. A great excellence is needed in the martial art of Kalaripayattu in order to perform the Kathivanur Veeran.

Some more types of Theyyams are listed below:

  • Puliyur Kali
  • Pullikarim Kali
  • Pulikandan
  • Marapuli
  • Kandapuli
  • Pulimaruthan
  • Padarkulangara Bhagavathy
  • Karinthiri Nair
  • Kuttikol Thamburatti Theyyam
  • Elayor Theyyam
  • Muthur Theyyam
  • Vannathan
  • Chuzhali Bhagavathy
  • Kannangat Bhagavathy
  • Kodoth Chamundi
  • Moovalamkuzhi Chamundi
  • Palot Daivam
  • Dandinganath Bhagavathy
  • Padarkulangara Bhagavathy
  • Karim Chamundi
  • Muthala Theyyam
  • Elleduth Bhagavathy
  • Adukunnath Bhagavathy
  • Narambil Bhagavathy
  • Chembilot Bhagavathy
  • Pulichon
  • Vellarangara Bhagavathy
  • Mayyakkal Bhagavathy
  • Koroth Naga Bhagavathy
  • Padinhare Chamundi
  • Vettakorumakan
  • Mavila Chamundi
  • Urpazhassi
  • Kudiveeran
  • Veerabadran
  • Vishakandan
  • Kandanar Kelan
  • Vayanat Kulavan
  • Kunhiraman Gurukkal
  • Munnayareeshwaran
  • Manavalan
  • Manavatti
  • Manjalamma
  • Thoovakkari Muthappan
  • Karimanal Chamundi
  • Peruvamba Chamundi
  • Eroth Chamundi
  • Kizhakkeveettil Chamundi
  • Kaitha Chamundi
  • Madayil Chamundi
  • Pethalan
  • Pullon
  • Chooliyar Bhagavathy
  • Kodoth Chamundi
  • Olassa Poomala Bagavathi
  • Astamachal Bagavathy
  • Nagacherry Bhagavathy
  • Meethale Theyyam
  • Oyola Bagavathi
  • Padaveeran
  • Pallivettakkorumakan




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