January 11, 2015


At Thelliyoor Bhagavathi Temple near Thiruvalla

Padayani is the annual ritualistic festival celebrated in Bhadrakali temples of Central travancore zone with due dedications....
According to Hindu mythology, evolution of Padayani is related to the birth of Kali. Once an Asura(demon) named Darika delighted Lord Brahma through his hard practice of penance and gained blessings that, he would be killed only by a women. Darika went on with his atrocities. Failing to defend Darika, Devas approched Lord Shiva for help. Hearing the atrocities of Darika, Lord shiva kindled with anger and opened his third eye bursting out fire. It is from this third eye, Kaali was born. Accepting the request of ‘Devas’ and obeying the instruction of her father Shiva, Kaali left for the abode of Darika mounting herself on Vethal accompanied by ‘Koolee Ganam’. The fight between Darika and Kaali was really frightening. At the end of the battle, Kaali cut off his head. Holding head in her hand and with overwhelming anger she returned to Kailasam. To pacify her and to satisfy her lust for blood, Devas performed variety entertainments like dance, mimicry, dialogues and, comedies. But it did not work. As she was going through the Gopura , the goddess paused a while seeing the painting depicted angry Kaali and she smiled. She asked her father "who drew this?". Shiva answered, This was drawn by Kurup’ (Kurupu Kurichu"). She glanced at the Kalam(Painting) once more and burst into laughter. Attempts made by Lord Shiva and his Bhoothagana to pacify and delight kaali are imitated as such in Padayani celebration. Even today kalamezhuthum Pattum is strictly conducted in Kaali temples with it own ritualistic originality. Even now, Kurup ( a caste) draws the kalam.
As the people promised to offer their own blood, kaali became quiet and delighted. Padayani is celebrated annually for the protection and prosperity of the village and its people.

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Tripunithura, Kerala, India
Student Bishop Jerome School of Architecture Kollam, Kerala. Bhavans Adarsha Vidyalaya