Kanyarkali, a colourful folk art, performed in the village temples of Palakkad area, owes its origin to the pursuit of martial arts in this region, which was under the constant threat of an attack from neighbouring Konganaadu. Dance and comedy were pitched in to add vigour and colour to these training practices.
It combines the agile movements of martial arts with the rhythmic grace of folk dance. It is performed during March-April in temples as well as places called Thara, a venue for informal gatherings. The performance is accompanied by folk songs and percussion instruments.