Art & Culture

Pulikkali Festival

The Pulikkali event, a traditional folk art form from Kerala, culminated the Onam festivities, with individuals dressed as tigers and leopards marched around the streets.


  • Pulikkali, popularly known as Tiger Dance, is a distinctive Kerala folk art.
  • On the fourth day of Onam, artists dress up as tigers, complete with characteristic yellow, red, and black stripes, and are accompanied by the rhythmic rhythms of traditional percussion instruments such as thakil, udukku, and chenda.
  • The core topic is tiger hunting, with individuals portraying both the tiger and the hunter.
  • Pulikkali is a rich cultural heritage that was introduced by Maharaja Rama Varma Sakthan Thampuran, the former monarch of Cochin.

The Key Highlights of the Onam Festival

  • Onam, Kerala’s most important festival, is culturally significant.
  • It is a harvest celebration that takes place at the beginning of Chingam, the first month of the Malayalam calendar.
  • The Onam Carnival lasts four to ten days, with Atham (the first day) and Thiruonam (the tenth day) being the most important.
  • According to popular belief, Onam welcomes King Mahabali’s spirit, who is said to visit Kerala around this time.
  • Vallamkali, a spectacular snake boat race on the Pampa River, is part of the event.
  • Onam has Kaikotti kali and Thumbi Thullal, two beautiful dances performed by women that add elegance to the festivities.

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