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:: Culture Programs

The culture of Wayanad is related to the Tribal culture.  The characteristic feature of Wayanad is the large Adivaasi population. Some of the tribal clans living here are Paniyas, Kurumas, Adiyars, Kadans etc. The people living here speak many languages other than Malayalam due to the difference in the culture. The tribals or the Adivasis here have a rich legacy of arts and crafts which includes music, dance, handicrafts etc. The main tribal art forms of Wayanad are Vattakali, Koodiyattam, Gadhika, Kolkali and Nellukuthu pattu. The tribes here are experts in using various organized farming methods. They are also famous for using various herbal medicines for treating any illness. It is gaining much importance now.


Koodiyattam is recognized by the UNESCO as one of the masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity. The Koodiyattam tradition of enacting classical Sanskrit dramas, is closely tied to Kerala's Hindu temples. It is a comprehensive theatre form that has existed since before the tenth century AD and is India's oldest theatre to have been continuously performed. Koodiyattam has the same delight in nuance and hidden shades of meaning in metaphors and delicate implications which is the hallmark of so much of Sanskrit literature


Gadhika is an art from practised among the Adiya community of Wayanad district. It is a kind of dance and there are two variations of Gadhika called Naattu Gadhika and Pooja Gadhika. While Naattu Gadhika is staged publicly, Pooja Gadhika is performed for ritualistic purposes, mainly to cure illness or as part of a ritual for having a safe delivery of child.  


It is a highly rhythmic dance with dancers wielding short sticks, is folk art of the agarian classes. The rhythm of this dance is set by tapping of the feet to the striking of sticks. The movement is circular and the artist sings as the dance and strike the sticks in unison.


Wayanad Festivals and culture

  • Wayanad Festivals

    Valliyoorkavu Festival: Located high in the Wayanad Hills at Valliyoorkkavu, 3 km from Mananthavady town, the temple is dedicated to goddess Bhagavathy. The idol of the temple is believed to be self- manifested and the annual festival is held in March.

    Thirunelli Festival: Thirunelli Festival is a two-day festival celebrated on Vishu day and its eve, in the Malayalam month of Medam (April) is the annual festival of Sree Thirunelli Devaswom at Thirunelli in Wayanad.

  • Wayanad Culture

    The local people here speak Malayalam, which is also the official language of Kerala, whereas the second language is Tamil. T-Shirts, Woolen cloths are ideal dress codes to wear in Wayanad.

  • Wayanad Religious Places

    Ananthanatha Swami Temple: The temple is at Puliyarmala A beautiful Jain temple, devoted to Ananthanatha Swami, one of the saints of the Jaina faith, is located six kilometres from Kalpetta.

    The Glass temple at Koottamunda: Located on the slope of Vellarimala, this temple dedicated to Parswanatha Swami, the Third Thirthankara of the Jain faith, is an exquisitely beautiful family temple.

    The icons of Paraswanatha Swami and Padmavathi Devi: This is the set in the sanctum of this temple have thousand reflections in beautiful patterns on the mirrors placed on the inner side of the temple walls. It is 20 km from Kalpetta.

    Maha Ganapathi Temple: The temple is at Sulthan Bathery. This temple is believed to have been built eight centuries ago. In the past, it was under the control of the Kottayam royal dynasty. Before the conquest by Tipu Sulthan, Sulthan Bathery was known as Ganapathivattam. The temple is devoted to Ganapathi.

    Ponkili Temple: This is an ancient temple associated with the myth of Sita Devi. It is located on the Karnataka border.

    Santhinatha Temple: The temple isat Venniyode This is another Jain temple devoted to Saint Santhinatha Swami and is situated 20 km away from Kalpetta.

    The Chandranatha Swami Temple: The temple isat Puthanangadi, Vrishabhadeva Swami Temple at Mananthavady and Parawanatha Swami temple at Palkunnu are the other important Jain temples in the district.

    Sita Devi Temple: The temple is at Pulpally. This is centuries old temple, dedicated to Sita Devi. The icons of Leva and Kusa are also installed here.

    Thirunelli Temple: The temple is located in a valley beneath a hill called Brahmagiri in the reserve forest. This temple is often referred to as the 'Kasi of the South'. The temple is dedicated by Brahma to Vishnu in the form of Chaturbhuja. A little away from this temple is the mountain spring called Papanasini, which literally means destroyer of all sins.

    Paallikkunnu Church: It is situated 12 km north of Kalpetta Kallianathum.

    St. Peter's Church: It is at Meenangadi. This is an important church of Jacobite Syrian Christians.

    Pallickal Mosque: It is situated 10 km southwest of Mananthavady.

  • Wayanad Monuments

    Edakkal caves: Edakkal caves in the Ambukuthi Hills in north Kerala, considered to be one of the earliest centres of human habitation. Inside the cave one will find ancient stone scripts, pictorial wall inscriptions of human and animal figures with peculiar head dresses, the swastik form, symbols and cave drawings of human figures, wheels, bows, knives, trees and so on. Similar cave drawings, considered to be 7000 years old, are found only in Stiriya in the European Alps and a few rocky places in Africa. The caves, which are found around 10 km from Sultan Bathery, are two natural rock formations believed to have been formed by a large split in a huge rock. Kozhikode railway station is about 97 km from Sultan Bathery. Karipur international airport is about 23 km from Kozhikode.




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