Thappu Melam: the drum symphony of Padayani

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For the people living in the village of Kadammanitta, the drumming of Thappu (a type of drum) and the rhythm of cymbals is an invitation to the Padayani festival held annually at their temple dedicated to the Goddess. Thappu melam or thappu orchestra is an important ritual of Padayani - a ritualistic art form.

The Thappu Melam, held prior to the Padayani performance, invokes the Goddess from the sanctum sanctorum to the Padayani ground. It is believed that the Goddess will stay in the ground till the end of Padayani festival.

Here is the thappu melam of Kadammanitta Padayani held at Kadammanitta Devi temple in Pathanamthitta district, State of Kerala. Padayani is a ritualistic art form of Kerala held mainly in the Bhagavathy temples of central Travancore region. In Kadammanitta, Padayani festival is celebrated every year from the first day of Malayalam month Medam (Aries) and concludes on the 10th day, called the Pathamudayam.

How to reach:
Nearest railway station:
Chengannur, via Mavelikkara - Kozhencherry Hwy, about 24 km; Thiruvalla railway station, via Kadammanitta Kozhencherry Rd, about 28 km
Nearest airport: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, about 105 km from Thiruvalla.

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