--> Skip to main content


Gulikan Theyyam – Story – Information

Gulikan theyyam is the most popular theyyam and is performed in all most all important kavu, tharavadu and temples in Kannur and Kasaragod region of Kerala during the annual thira theyyam and kaliyattam festival. As per information, Gulikan does the job of Yama, the Hindu god of death. Gulikan Theyyam story is that of Shiva rescuing Young Markandeya Rishi from the clutches of Yama. In the process, Shiva opens his third eye and burns down Yama into ashes.

With no death, there was total chaos in the universe. Saints and Devas approached Shiva for a solution, Shiva then produced a divine being by pressing down his left thumb on the ground. This divine being was given the role of Yama and he came to be known as Gulikan. Shiva gave Gulikan a trishul (rident) and kalapasham (rope of death).

It is believed that Gulikan is a witness to all the activities of human beings including good and bad.

This theyyam is performed by Malayar community as the belief is that only they can invoke the deity successfully.

The belief is that Gulikan resides in coal, ash and smoke.

There are numerous types of Gulikan. Eight of them are very famous and they are Unmatha Gulikan, Uchhara Gulikan, Marana Gulikan, Kara Gulikan, Karim Gulikan, Sevakkara Gulikan, Thekkan Gulikan and Vadakkan Gulikan.

Gulikan wears various types of mask depending on the place and type of Gulikan performed. He usually holds a rope and trishul.

The deity is worshipped to overcome fear of death and for early cure of incurable diseases. He is also propitiated to defeat enemies and to achieve success in competition.