"The perfect base to find a theyyam ritual" Cannanore by castorp75

Cannanore Travel Guide: 12 reviews and 35 photos

Spend some says here to hunt down a theyyam

Our only reason for coming to this tourist-free town in the northern part of Kerala was to watch a night-long ritualistic theyyam performance which are only held in the 50 km vicinity of this town and nowhere else in India. The place where we have found one was a so-called "sacred grove" in the middle of nowhere, about 15 km from Cannanore (Kannur) is a small place called Aroli. The main attraction started around midnight and went on for about six hours. It was a genuinely astonishing experience which we will remember forever in our lives. There's wild drumming all the time, the performers wear elaborately made costumes, their faces are painted and they often go to trance-like states during which they speak, give blessings and offer sacred food to the audience. There was an animal sacrifice as well so it's not for the faint-hearted.
Performances are not intended for tourists, therefore the atmosphere is totally genuine, everybody is welcome and you don't have to pay a rupee to attend. (Though you have to arrange your transportation to/from the village.)
It it not easy to find a performance but the Kerala Foklore Academy (near Chitrakkal Pond?) about 8 km from Kannur city center in the direction of Telicherry (Thalassery) will be very glad to help. Their English is very bad but they make up for it with their enthusiasm.

While gathering information about the whereabouts of the performances and waiting for their time, you can visit the magnificient St. Angelo Fort in Cannanore or the snake park in Parassinikadavu (18 km from Cannanore).
Plan to stay at least 4 days in Cannanore if you wouldn't like to leave without attending a ceremony (which is a MUST SEE in my opinion!).

  • Last visit to Cannanore: Apr 2007
  • Intro Written May 6, 2007
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