Kerala, Photography

The Story Behind: Vishnumurthy Thottam

I have countless posts on Theyyams here, but none on the ‘Thottam Pattu’…

Each Theyyam performance is preceded by it’s Thottam, where the theyyam artist, with minimal make up, recites the story of theyyam.

Vishnumurthy theyyam is one of the most important and common theyyam performed as it’s based on lord Vishnu’s fourth avatar (incarnation), Narasimha.

The performance is so intense that, we get the true intensity of violence as the story unfolds.

The story is enacted on the following day without any recitation but with the rhythmic drum beats manipulating each step of the theyyam …

6 thoughts on “The Story Behind: Vishnumurthy Thottam”

  1. I am in awe of the way you have illustrated the rich heritage and culture of Kerala,I would suggest you to open a page on any social media because each of your clicks unveil a new a story in itself and it needs to be shared with the world.

    With all the best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Neha, Thank you so much for your kind words, it really means a lot to me 🙂

      I started this blog some six years back with an idea to share my travel stories and the offbeat destinations I explore with others…

      As I am not so organized, I couldn’t really set aside quality time for blogging regularly and most of posts became photo only ones…

      But, I still have the old plan running in the back of my mind and I would like to come up with more useful post for fellow travelers and photography enthusiasts.

      Now a days, I share photos through instagram (sreejith_payyadakath) and on my FB page (Sreejith P Nair).

      Thanks again Neha, for your time 🙂


  2. Sreejith, you have perfectly captured the action and expression of the performance. I again would like to thank you for sharing the information along with the pictures. You bring out so much of your state and I am so glad to be informed about these amazing tradition and practices that are followed in Kerala. Is the Vishnumurthy theyyam only performed during the Spring? I had this question as you said it is based on Narasimha and Holi is around, so I pondered on this thought that they must be associated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Sarmistha, for your time 🙂

      They Theyyam season starts after the rains in Kerala and lasts till the Monsoon rains (mid October to mid May).

      Vishnu murthy is one of the most common and most popular Theyyam in Kerala. Most of the Theyyams are based on local folklore and legends, and Vishumurthy is an exception…

      Liked by 1 person

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