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Erasing the Kalam

A ritual practiced in the temples of Kerala, Kalam is a powder drawing done on the floor. The figures of Goddess Kali, Lord Ayyappa, Vettakkorumakan and the snake gods are drawn with five colours derived from natural sources. The drawing will be done within a canopy decorated with palm fronds, hibiscus flowers and ocimum leaves.

In the climax of the ritual, the Kalam is ceremoniously erased. Here, the erasing of the Kalam of Vettakkorumakan is seen. In rhythmic movements, the oracle steps onto the Kalam and while erasing it, also cuts down the palm fronds hung overhead.

The venue is Vettakkorumakan temple at Thilanoor, Kannur, where the hunter deity, mythologically the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, is worshipped.