Unravelling Ashtamudi's cultural tapestry - Traditional performances and festivals

April 22, 2024

Unravelling Ashtamudi's Cultural Tapestry

In Ashtamudi, every festival is like a big event where people keep their old traditions alive and share them with each other. The streets get lively with music, light, dancing, and art all mixed, making it feel like pure magic. 

So, come and be a part of the fun in Ashtamudi. Let the special festivals and performances show you their magic, and may your heart always remember the amazing spirit of this fantastic place:

Sr.No.NamePlace to experienceTime to visit
Traditional Performances
   1Theyyam    Thrikkunnappuzha Bhagavathy TempleTheyyam performances are held here on various occasions throughout the year.
   2Mohiniyattam  Kuthiramalika PalaceNavaratri Festival, which usually falls between September and October
   3Kathakali    Kadathanadan Kalari Centre and Navarasa Kathakali    Kathakali performances are held here throughout the year
Topical Festivals
   1OnamSree Krishnaswamy Temple    On the occasion of Onam
   2VishuPadmanabhaswamy TempleDuring the Vishu festival
   3Kollam Pooram    Asramam Ground, Kollam    Between March and April
Local Festivals
   1Kottamkulangara Chamayavilakku    Kottamkulangara Devi TempleMid-March and Mid-April
   2Malanada Kettukazha Temple FestivalPoruvazhy Peruviruthy Malanada Duryodhana TempleIn the month of March
   3Mannoorkavu Kathakali Festival   Manoorkavu Devi Temple    In the month of May
   4Thrikkadavoor Temple Festival      Thrikkadavoor Sree Mahadevar Temple    Between February and March
   5Oachira Kali     Oachira Parabrahma TempleBetween June and July


Traditional Performances:

Theyyam: Witness the divine descend upon earth in the form of Theyyam. This ritualistic dance form is not mere entertainment; it's a sacred offering to deities, where performers transform into powerful spirits. Adorned in elaborate costumes, their faces painted with vivid hues, they move with a captivating blend of ferocity and grace. The rhythmic clang of cymbals, the hypnotic chant of priests, and the pulsating drumbeats create an atmosphere of otherworldly energy. 

What to expect: Performers in elaborate costumes and painted faces
Distance from The Leela Ashtamudi, A Raviz Hotel: 54.2 km

Mohiniyattam: Let the elegance of Mohiniyattam captivate your senses. This classical dance form, named after the alluring enchantress Mohini, embodies feminine beauty and grace. Flowing like the serene backwaters, the dancer's movements are marked by gentle curves, expressive eyes, and intricate footwork. The tinkling of anklets and the melody of cymbals weave a spellbinding soundscape, as the dancer narrates tales of love, longing, and devotion. 

What to expect: The essence of Kerala's womanhood
Distance from The Leela Ashtamudi, A Raviz Hotel: 73.3 km

Kathakali: Prepare to be enthralled by the grandeur of Kathakali. This dynamic dance form, characterised by elaborate costumes, dramatic makeup, and stylised gestures, draws inspiration from Hindu mythology and epics. The performers, painted in vibrant hues, tell stories of gods and heroes through expressive eyes, powerful movements, and rhythmic footwork. 

What to expect: Theatrical experience 
Distance from The Leela Ashtamudi, A Raviz Hotel: 160 km

Topical Festivals:

Onam: Immerse yourself in the joyous spirit of Onam, the ten-day harvest festival that celebrates the mythical return of King Mahabali. Every nook and cranny of Ashtamudi comes alive with vibrant pookalam (flower carpets), traditional Onam feasts (sadhya), and exuberant boat races (Vallamkalli). Witness the snake boat races, where decorated vessels slice through the backwaters in a display of breathtaking skill and camaraderie. Feel the warmth of community, the aroma of delicious delicacies, and the echoes of joyous laughter as you participate in this celebration of hope and renewal.

What to expect: Snake boat races, floral carpet and sadhya
Dress code: Traditional clothes preferred during Onam in Kerala

Vishu: Usher in the Malayalam New Year with the auspicious traditions of Vishu. On the morning of Vishu, wake up before dawn to witness the 'kandam,' the first thing you see, believed to determine your fortunes for the year. Exchange gifts, wear new clothes, and savour the sweetness of Vishukani, a unique dish prepared with fresh fruits and vegetables. Bask in the joy of this fresh start, and let the optimism of the new year fill your heart.

What to expect: Vishu sadhya
Dress code: For men, it is dhoti (mundu) and angavastram and for women, it is saree or half-saree

Kollam Pooram: The annual event of Kollam Pooram brings together people in joyful celebration, showcasing mesmerizing processions, traditional music, and captivating performances. From ornately decorated elephants to the rhythmic beats of traditional percussion, immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of this grand festival, a true reflection of Kerala's heritage and spirituality. Experience the intertwine where tradition meets celebration to create exhilarating moments.

What to expect: Procession with Elephants, Elephant Feeding, Enormous Festive Crowd
Distance from The Leela Ashtamudi, A Raviz Hotel: 3.7 km
Suggested Dress code: For men, it is long pants, shirt with sleeves, covered shoes or sandals; and for women, it is skirt or dress that covers the knees, covered shoes or sandals

Local Festivals:

Kottamkulangara Chamayavilakku: The vibrant event, held at the Kottamkulangara Devi Temple in Kollam, Kerala, in the month of Meenam (mid-March to mid-April) is renowned for its unique customs and colourful festivities. The highlight of the festival is the Chamayavilakku ritual, a gender-bending display of sartorial creativity where men dress up as women. These male devotees embrace the feminine and lead a mesmerising procession to the temple, accompanied by traditional orchestras.  

What to expect: Men, even boys disguised as women, with proper makeup, ornaments and attire
Distance from The Leela Ashtamudi, A Raviz Hotel: 14.3 km
Suggested Dress code: Comfortable traditional and modest clothing

Malanada Kettukazha Temple Festival: This is the annual festival at the Malanada Kettukazha Temple, the only one in India dedicated to Duryodhana, the main antagonist in the epic Mahabharata and conventionally considered to be a villain. The temple is architecturally significant, consisting of huge, decorated structures 70 to 80 feet high.   

What to expect: Huge Decorated Structures and Cultural Performances
Distance from The Leela Ashtamudi, A Raviz Hotel: 33.4 km
Suggested Dress code: Comfortable traditional and modest clothing

Thrikkadavoor Temple Festival: Immerse yourself in the annual ten-day festival at Thrikkadavoor Sree Mahadeva Temple, renowned for its spectacular Kettukazhcha, a towering structure adorned in brilliant colours, carried by devotees as an offering to the deity. Witness the awe-inspiring spectacle on the banks of the Ashtamudi backwaters in February/March each year.  

What to expect: Decorated structures and traditional performing art forms
Distance from The Leela Ashtamudi, A Raviz Hotel: 2.7 km
Suggested Dress code: Comfortable traditional and modest clothing

Oachira Kali Festival: A unique cultural extravaganza held in Oachira, Kerala. Witness boys and men divided into two groups engaging in a mock battle, wielding sticks replacing the swords and splashing muddy water in spirited camaraderie. Held on the first two days of the Malayalam month of Mithunam (mid-June), this festival captivates spectators with its lively energyand vibrant traditions. 

What to expect: Mock battle with sticks replacing swords
Distance from The Leela Ashtamudi, A Raviz Hotel: 33.0 km
Suggested Dress code: Comfortable traditional and modest clothing

Planning to experience the captivating world of Ashtamudi's traditions? Book your stay at The Leela Ashtamudi, A Raviz Hotel.  

Nestled along the serene shores of Ashtamudi Lake, The Leela Ashtamudi, A Raviz Hotel offers a haven of luxury where you can indulge in the region's rich cultural heritage while enjoying traditional performances and festivals. Immerse yourself in opulent accommodations that blend modern comfort with traditional aesthetics, providing a sanctuary of relaxation after each captivating experience. We curate a seamless fusion of lavish hospitality and cultural immersion, offering you the chance to witness mesmerising performances, all within the elegant confines of the property. Whether you choose to partake in the vibrant festivities of Onam and Utsavam or simply savour the tranquillity of the surroundings. The Leela Ashtamudi, A Raviz Hotel invites you to create lasting memories as you soak in the cultural essence of Kerala's enchanting traditions.

To book your experience, please call +91 474 275 1111 | +91 8589901888 or email us at dm.tlash@theleela.com