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Velan Pattu Or Para Kotti Pattu In Kerala Temples

Velan Pattu or Para Kotti Pattu is a dying art form performed in Kerala temples by the members of Velan community. Velanpattu is performed at homes to remove bad luck, inauspiciousness, misfortune and evil eye. In temples it is performed to overcome misfortune, accidents and frequent natural calamities affecting the community.

Velan Pattu is an important ritual at the Pallipana observed once in 12 years at the Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna temple.

Velan community in Kerala was blessed by Goddess Bhadrakali when she came in the dreams of the elders of community and asked to take up the role of removing evil eye or drishti doshams.

Para is a musical instrument used by the Velan community during the singing of the songs. Pattu means song hence the name Para Kotti Pattu. The musical instrument is a small drum which is beaten with two sticks in a particular manner. It is believed that the beating of the drum invokes the intended deity.

Song is performed before a vessel filled with rice (Para Nazhi). A traditional Kerala Nilavilakku or lamp is lit. The singers sit on a thazha paa (mat made of dried pandanus leaves).

The Velan Pattu begins with the singer praising Shiva and asking permission for the performance and pleases the God who resides in Kailasam. Then songs in praise of Ganapathy, Subrahmanya and Goddess Bhadrakali are sung. The main content of Velan Pattu are stories from the Mahabharata. The songs end with the singer praising Bhagavan Vishnu.

It is believed that Shiva sang Velan Pattu to help Bhagavan Vishnu and Ayyappa Swamy overcome their Kala Dosham or difficult times.

Goddess Parvati who was impressed by Velan Pattu asked Shiva how he can make it beneficial for all living beings on earth. Shiva then blessed and appointed the Velan community with Para Kotti Pattu.

Earlier, whenever a person had Shani Dosha in the horoscope the ritual was performed at homes. It is believed that performing the ritual will help the person overcome the period of Shani in horoscope without any major untoward incident.