Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala


Paana is a ritualistic art form performed to propitiate the goddess Bhadrakaali in Kerala. Paana is of two types Kalipaana – last for a day and the other Kallipaana – last for a day and night. This ritual art form is popular in the regions of Ponnani, Ernadu, Kochi, Thrissur and Palakkad.

A temporary thatched hut or canopy (Panthal) is supported by 64 posts of cut out from the Paala tree ( Alstonia scholaris). Later the panthal will be adorned with tender palm fronds and plantain tree with bunch of fruits (kulavazha). After the purification of panthal, a stump of Paala tree is ceremonially brought to the site and planted there for the performance. Non-figurative kalam (patham) is drawn in the centre using coloured powders.

Later on the priest will held the pooja and one of the important rituals of Paana is Thiri uzhichil, a form of worship and is followed by Thottam Pattu (ritualistic song). At the end of a series of rites, the oracle arrives and moves in a trance around the kalam and the pandal. The musical instruments used for Paana are para (a kind of the chenda), chenda, maddalam, ilathalam, kuzhal and kombu.  

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