Prepare to be intrigued by a dance form with a unique purpose—curing illness. The Adiya tribal community of Wayanad district introduces you to the captivating Gadhika dance, a cultural art believed to possess the power to dispel diseases and life’s troubles. This ritualistic dance typically takes place during the Malayalam month of Midhunam (June to July).
Dancers, adorned in vibrant and simple attire, embark on a special mission as they visit homes by invitation. An interesting aspect of this tradition is that men don women’s attire, adding an extra layer of uniqueness. The dialect employed during the dance is a fusion of Kannada and Tulu languages.
HEALING THROUGH TRADITION
According to the Adiya tribe, ailments are perceived as the result of divine displeasure. The Gadhika dance is their way of appeasing the deities and seeking healing for the afflicted. At the heart of the performance is the Moopan, the tribal chief, dressed in resplendent red attire. The Moopan serves as the principal performer who invokes Lord Shiva to intercede and facilitate the patient’s recovery. This invocation marks the commencement of the dance. As the performance unfolds, other deities, including Chamundi, Maniamma, Malamkali, and Karimkali, are believed to make appearances at Lord Shiva’s behest. The primary objective of these performers is to welcome the divine entities in response to their invitation.
ANNUAL RITUAL AND DANCE DRAMA
Gadhika is a mesmerizing annual event where performers move gracefully to the rhythmic beats of music, accompanied by drummers and wind instrument players. There are two distinct forms of Gadhika: Naattu Gadhika and Pooja Gadhika. Pooja Gadhika serves a ritualistic purpose, often employed to address diseases or as part of childbirth rituals, ensuring the safety of both mother and child. In contrast, Naattu Gadhika is a public performance, captivating a larger audience with its cultural richness.
Contact Information: For additional details or inquiries, please reach out to: DTPC Wayanad Phone: +91 493 620 2134
Nearest Airport: Calicut International Airport, approximately 94.2 kilometres away.
Nearest Railway Station: Kozhikode Railway Station, situated about 87 kilometres from Wayanad.