Literally, Karadiyattam means the “ dance of the bear”. This is a tribal ritual art prevalent among the tribes of Attapadi in Palghat district. It is believed to be more than 500 years old .
This dying art form is performed at Malleeswaran temple at Chemmannur in Attapadi on Sivarathri, the festive and auspicious night of Siva that is celebrated every year.
Karadiyattam is presented for propitiating gods and also for appeasing departed souls. About ten to fifteen men and women in ordinary dresses participate in this ring dance.
This takes place at night around a bonfire. The performers sing and dance in well defined steps round and round the leaping flames. Para, thakil and kuzhal are the musical instruments used.