Ochirakali Parichamuttukali Poorakkali Velakali


Oachira is place near Karunagappally in Kollam district of Kerala. The Ochirakali is a martial art form performed at the Ochira Prabrahma Temple (a temple having no idols). It is performed on the first and second day of Mithunam (June-July) when the festival of the temple is concluded. Ochirakali is a mock war, performed at the vast field in front of the temple known as Padanilam (war place).It is believed that the art form is performed to commemorate the war between the kingdoms of Kayamkulam and Chembakassery .

Performers from 52 villages in and around the area form two teams and perform the dance. They dress like ancient warriors and hold fake sword, shield and other weapons. Ochirakkali is also considered as a festival of central Travancore region.


Parichamuttukali is a martial art-dance form of Christians of Kerala. The participants are dressed like warriors with fake swords and shields and dance in a circle. The dance is a mock fight and steps are almost similar to that of Kalaripayattu. The song that sung while performing the dance is about the St.Thomas.


A function organised in Devi (Bhagavathy) Temples of North Malabar in connection with the Meenapooram festival during the month of Meenon (March-April). Though Meenapooram is a festival of women, men perform the poorakkali. Poorakkali requires special training and resembles the actions of Kalaripayattu, the martial art of Kerala. Men standing around a Nilavilakku bell metal lamp, perform the dance in eighteen different steps. The festival will last for nine days.


Velakali is a martial dance performed by men in the temples of southern Kerala to commemorate the victory of justice over the evil. It is believed that Velakali originated in Ambalappuzha. Mathoor Panicker, chief of the Chempakasserri army, proped up the dance form with a view to enhance the spirit of soldiers. Velakali is peroformed as a regular item of the annual festival of the Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna temple.The dancers, dressed in the traditional clothes and colorful headgear of the medieval Nair soldiers, armed with phony swords and shields dance dynamically in front of the idol, when the procession of deity takes place. The panchavadyam is the accompaniment.