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Kalamezhuthu Pattu – Ritual Art of Kerala

Kalamezhuthu pattu

Kalamezhuthu pattu or Kalamezhuththum pattum (Malayalam : കളമെഴുത്ത്പാട്ട് / കളമെഴുത്തും പാട്ടും) is a Traditional ritual art performed in Devi temples (Temple of Goddess) in Kerala. Kalamezhuthu is a drawing of goddess, most commonly the image of goddess Kali, using the natural powders. Pattu is the ritual song rendered in front of such drawings.


Ritual Kalam – Figure of Bhadra Kali (Goddess Kali)

The ritual Kalam

Kalam, a unique drawing of Kerala is a ritual art form as old as the Sanghom period. The word Kalamezhuthu is combination of two words Kalam (unique drawing) and ezhuthu (writing or drawing). Kalams occupy an important place in Kerala’s rituals and figures of favorite Goddesses are drawn on the floor using colored powders.


Kalamezhuthu Pattu – The priest draws the ritual Kalam

The natural colored powder

Turmeric powder with yellow color, rice flour with white color, black carbon powder, grass powder for green color, and mixture of turmeric and lime for red color are the color powders to draw the ritual Kalam. In short the Kalam made with organic natural powders.  Songs are rendered to appease the deities.


Kalamezhuthu Pattu – Completely drawn figure of Goddess

Figures in Kalamezhuthu Pattu and Kali Goddess 

Kalam are figures of goddess that are drawn based on the rituals of a particular place and these include Yakshi, Sarpam, Bhadrakali, Gandharvan and Gulikan. This ritual art performed mostly in Bhadrakali (Kali Godedess) temples are known as Bhadrakali (Kali Godedess) kalam and Pattu. The main figure in the Kalamezhuthu pattu is Bhadrakali (Kali Godedess).


Ritual Kalam – Figure of Bhadra Kali (Goddess Kali)

Kalamezhuthu pattu Timing

Kalamezhuthu begin after the sunset. After completing the Kalam drawing, singers start rendering of songs. After rendering the songs, the performer dances vigorously and will erase the Kalam.

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