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Melam at Pisharikkavu temple

Sree Pisharikkavu Bhagavathy temple is located at Kollam, about 28 kilometers from Kozhikode (Calicut) town. The main deities here are Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvathi.

The annual eight-day festival held here is a feast for music lovers. Traditional drum ensembles are held on almost all days. Of them, most important is Panchavadyam. Panchavadyam is a drum orchestra involving five musical instruments- maddalam, thimila, edakka, ilathalam and kombu. The video is of a drum ensemble held in the temple as part of the festivities.

Kaaliyattam is an most important ritual connected with the festival. On the Kaaliyattam day, the Naandakam Vaal (a sword) is ceremoniously taken out of the temple atop caparisoned elephant. About fifteen caparisoned elephants take part in the procession. Aarppu Vili (boisterous shouting on auspicious occasions) is an interesting ritual held during the festival.

The temple is famous for its ancient murals believed to be of 14th century and exquisite woodcarvings. The temple has two sanctum sanctorums and two main sub shrines. There is a big pond on the temple premise called Kollam Chira. The temple attracts large number of devotees. It also finds a mention in Kottarathil Sankunni’s famed book Aithihyamala, a collection of Kerala legends.