Nilambur Pattulsavam or Nilambur Patulsav
Nilambur Pattulsavam or Nilambur Patulsav and Kovilakom are the twin examples of the local cultural heritage. The annual fest is more than just a ritual. It is a homage to its rich past.
Known as the oldest teak plantation in the world, Nilambur with its beautiful forests and wildlife, located on the banks of Chaliyar, is known as the teak town of Kerala. Nilambur Pattu and Kovilakom are the twin examples of Nilambur unique cultural heritage.
Kovilakom bears testimony to Kerala’s architectural heritage. Nilambur Kovilakom refers to the royal residences of the rulers of Zamorin, who were reigned Malabar in the bygone era. These architectural wonders are known for its grand frescoes and artistic wood work which are prefect blend of creativity and Vastu Shastra. The royal family of Nilambur Kovilakom were the rulers who took care of the land and collected the food tax for the Zamorins.
Nilambur Pattu is one of the most elegant festivals of Eranadu and Viradoor temple (connected with King Virad with whom the Pandavas lived during exile). The ancient temple festival is famed for its Kalampattu ritual or exquisite powder drawing on the floor created by Nilambur Kovilakom. The six day festival is celebrated during the Malayalam month of Dhanu (January/February). ‘Pattu means the songs sung in praise of the Lord by the Kurup community or Kuruppanmar. A ritual that has come down the ages, this reglious function is held at Nilambur Kovilakom in Vettaikkorumakan temple at Nilambur. Considered to be one of the royal duties, according to Nilambur Kovilakom records, the festival is also known as Pattu atiyanthiram.
Kalampattu is a traditional art form performed as an offering in order to get the blessings of deities like Bhadrakali, Ayyappan, Vettakkorumakan, the serpent god etc. The picture (kalam) is drawn on the floor using five colours accompanied by singing. The Velichapadu mostly belonging to the Namboodiri community does the Kalapradikshinam (going round the kalam matching steps to differing rhythms), Nalikerameri (breaking of coconut as offering) and kalammakkal (closing ceremony) marking the end of the proceedings.
Uniqueness of Nilambur Pattu
This festival, related to ancient warfare, hunting and tribal chieftains, is an important part of the festivities. Every year Vettakaran Pattu is held during the initial weeks of January for two weeks. Although there isn’t much relevant data available regarding the history of Nilambur Pattu, legend has it that every year the tribes-who used to live in and around the Nilambur forest paid homage to the royal family of Nilambur Kovilakam.
A mega carnival organized as part of the festival. Many cultural programmes graced by cine stars and play back singers add glamour to this annual fest.
Rich in heritage – More than a festival
Nilambur Pattu provides the residents of Nilambur an opportunity to cherish the old memories of the Nilambur Kovilakam. Presntly Nilambur Pattu is being promoted as the tourism festival-cum cultural event and it is celebrated with Great Spirit, pomp and pageantry. People from all religions and race from far away destinations participate in this cultural extravaganza and it plays a leading role in promoting religious tolerance and harmony. Nilambur Pattulsavam is conducted by Nilambur Municipality in co-ordination with Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samthi and Nilambur Merchants Association from 2005 onwards. The district tourism promotion council (DTPC) of Malappuram provides a favorable support for the promotion of this unique kaleidoscope and currently it is a prestigious event of Kerala’s tourism calendar.
Nilambur can be easily accessible by raod from nearby towns such as Manjeri and Perinthalmanna.