Traditions & Practices

Traditions & Practices
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Kadavallur Anyonyam

Kadavallur Anyonyam, an annual debate of Vedic scholars from two schools of Rig Veda practice, is held at the Kadavallur Sree Rama temple on the border of Thrissur and Malappuram districts. It is the final examination of Vedic scholars from these institutions – the Thirunavaya Brahmaswam Math (once patronized by the Zamorin of Calicut) and the Thrissur Brahmaswam Math (earlier patronized by the Cochin kings). It is held in the Malayalam month of Vrischikam (mid Nov.).

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Kalamezhuthu Pattu

Kalamezhuthu is the art of drawing very large pictures on the floor as part of temple rituals in Kerala. While drawing patterns on the floor, walls or doors in homes is a common domestic routine in almost all parts of India (going by different names like kolam, rangoli, etc.), kalamezhuthu in Kerala is a temple art.

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Kalbelia: Folk Songs and Dances

Kalebelia folk song and dances are the art form of the Kalbelia community of Rajasthan. Klabelia is the community of snake charmer predominantly found in districts of west Rajasthan and some areas of east Rajasthan. Kalbelia Dance is an expression of the Kalbelia community's way of life as snake charmers. The women in flowing skirts dance to the beat of the 'khanjari,' a percussion instrument, and the 'poongi,' a wind instrument. Both these instruments are made by the Kalbelias themselves from natural materials like dried vegetable gourds and leather hide. On the occasion of Holi (the festival of colours), the Kalbelias perform a special dance with another percussion instrument called the 'chang.' While men play the instruments, the women sing and dance. It is remarkable that in today's context, the Kalbelia's traditional music and dance has evolved into a creative and contemporary version that enthrals audiences worldwide. The music of the 'poongi' has a sinuous quality, which makes a dancer swirl and dance like a serpent. The songs also portray the creative and poetic acumen of the Kalbelias. The Kalbelias are reputed to compose lyrics spontaneously and improvise songs impromptu during a performance. The vast repertoire of songs covers all the rites of passage in their life.

Source IGNCA Inventory of ICH, Janapada Sampada Division, IGNCA

Contributed by Aditya, CEE Ahmedabad

Kalamkari Paintings

Kalamkari (referring to the pen which is used in decorating handloom cloth with natural dyes) has evolved over the centuries as an art form in Andhra Pradesh. The Kalahasti style, the Golconda style and the Machilipatnam style are three important kalmkari styles. Kalamkari originally depicted ancient legends like stories or scenes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha. The scenes were depicted in rows and the narrative written below. The most popular kalamkari is the Tree of Life pattern. The kalamkari fabric has an earthy natural beauty born of gentle vegetable dyes.

Contributed by Prarthana, CEE Ahmedabad


As the temperature in Kashmir decreases in winter, the sales of Kangri - a local parlance for an earthen pot encased in wicker - picks up. Kashmiris use Kangri to keep themselves warm during late autumn and winter seasons, especially in the rural parts. Villagers cannot afford the electric heater so they rely on the Kangri.

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Kannyaarkali, also known as Desathukali, is a folk dance form exclusively practised by the Nair or equivalent community in parts of Palakkad district, Kerala. It originates from the martial arts practiced in the region which was under constant threat from attacks from neighbouring Konganadu. Dance and comedy were added to the rhythm, agility and grace of the martial arts giving rise to Kannyaarkali.

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Kantha, a type of traditional embroidery popular in Bangladesh and West Bengal, originated with Bengali housewives mending and reinforcing old clothes with strands of thread drawn from the colourful borders of old saris and creating simple designs with them. It is a simple running stitch made on the edges. Earlier when five to six layers of the cloth were embroidered together it formed a quilt. Today the embroidered cloth is used as stoles, shawls and sarees. The clothes also find use as covers for mirrors, boxes, pillows etc. The outer layers of the clothes comprises of white or light colored cloth which makes the embroidery perceptible. The entire cloth is covered with running stitches which give it a slight wrinkled wavy effect. The embroidery usually has beautiful folk motifs, floral motifs, animal and bird figures and geometrical shapes. Themes from day to day activities are also a common subject for the embroidery.


Contributed by: Prarthana, CEE Ahmedabad

Karkidaka Marunnu Kanji (Medicinal Porridge)

The Malayalam month of Karkidakam (July- August) is the peak of the rainy season in Kerala, when no agricultural operations take place due to heavy rain. It is also a period, according to ayurveda, when our body's immunity and digestive system are at a low, due to the drastic weather change. All over Kerala, this month is therefore considered an ideal time for traditional ayurvedic rejuvenation treatments. Panchakarma therapy is commonly undertaken during this period.

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Kathputli - The Art of Puppetry of Rajasthan

Kathputli (kath means wood, putli means doll), the art of puppetry of Rajasthan is believed to be more than a thousand years old. It is chiefly the Bhat community that practises this art. Handcrafted in Rajasthan, the puppet's head

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Kaudi Khela

Kaudi Khel (Cowry Play) is one of the post-marriage ritual performed in Odisha. The groom hold one cowry (a kind of sea shell) in his hand and bride tries to get it by forcefully opening his hand. Then this happens other way around. It is a kind of fun power play to entertain the gatherings.


Khatarua is the special festival of pastoral- agricultural Kumaon society in Uttarakhand and is observed annually on the first day of Ashvin, the seventh month of the lunisolar Hindu calendar. The festival honours farm animals and is believed to protect rural livestock from all evil. It heralds the arrival of autumn, the important harvest season for the agriculture dependent community.

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Kite Flying

History has it that Hiuen Tsang and Fa Hein brought the tradition of kite flying with them when they came to India in the 4th and 7th century respectively. Kite flying as a sport and pastime became popular with the patronage of Nawab Asaf-ud-daulah and his uncle Ustad Aga Abu Turrab Khan

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Kosa products of Chattisgarh

Chattisgarh is known for "Kosa silk" and "lost wax art". Besides saris and salwar suits, the fabric is used to create lehengas, stoles, shawls and menswear including jackets, shirts, achkans and sherwanis in lost wax metal, International Sculptor Sushil Sakhuja's Dhokra Nandi is famous and available at SHABARI handicrafts emporium of Chattisgarh Handicraft Development Board in Raipur.

Contributed by: CEE Central

Kolam: Ritualistic Threshold Drawings and Designs of Tamil Nadu

Kolam are a type of threshold drawings and designs found in Tamil Nadu. Like many other parts of India, threshold drawings are very famous in Tamil Nadu. Kolam is also practiced in other states of South India such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

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Kummattikkali is a masked dance popular in South Malabar in Kerala, especially in Thrissur and Palakkad districts. During Onam, groups of Kummatti performers move from house to house entertaining the people and receiving gifts (in kind or cash) in return.

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Kunhimangalam Bronze Craft

Kunhimangalam is a small village in the neighbourhood of Payyanur in Kannur district of Kerala. It is a village of craftsmen, especially of bronze and bell metal craft. These craftsmen, known as moosaris, are famous for making idols, lamps and other artifacts.

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