PULIKALLI Festival Thrissur

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1. Pulikali (Tiger Dance) is one among the folk art forms of Kerala. On the fourth day of Onam festival, artists paint their bodies like tigers with stripes of yellow, red and black and dance to the rhythm of traditional percussion instruments such as thakil, udukku and chenda.

2. Close-up of man painted as tiger. The Swaraj Ground in Thrissur district plays host to this carnival that has people appearing in various unique hues and masks, with the locals and visitors alike joining in on the revelry. Tradition is more than 200 years old.

3. The main theme of this folk art is tiger hunting with participants playing the role of tiger and hunter. The make-up for the same is applied using oil paints and is said to be extremely hard to remove. Above captions from Kerala Tourism Official website.

4. “It’s believed that King Rama Varma Shakthan Thampuran introduced Pulikali for the finale of Onam. This is a time when men with ‘huge tummies’ are in great demand. Artistes say it is easy to paint tiger faces on their huge bellies. When they indulge in a crude belly dance accompanied by rustic drum beats, their tummies vibrate, giving varied expressions for the tiger faces”.

5. How I love this festival. Thrissur is a great place, about 2 hour’s drive from Cochin Airport. Visit the world famous Thrissur Pooram Festival in May 2019, there is nothing in the world like this.

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