Kanyarkali or Ottapooshaari/It is a ritual art based on Tamil literature Chilappathikaram, practicing in Palakkad and surroundings in Kerala



Kanyarkali is a ritual art form, popular among the Nair community of Palakkad district in Kerala, India.

Kanyarkali owes its origin to the pursuit of martial arts by the local people in the region. The place was under threat of attacks from nearby Konganadu.

The performance is accompanied by folk songs and percussion instruments. The dance combines the agile movements of martial arts with the rhythmic grace of folk dance.

Kanyarkali is performed in at several places in Palakkad district during March-April. The performance starts with a ritual kanyarkollal on the auspicious day of Vishu, the first day of the month of Medam, according to the Malayalam calendar.

The venues are usually temples or places called Tharas, local venues for informal gatherings.

Kanyarkali is played in two styles; Vattakkali and Porattu. While Vattakkali is ritualistic, the latter is for played as an entertainer.