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Marapuli Theyyam – Story - Information

Marapuli Theyyam (മാരപുലി) is a unique and rare theyyam part of the annual Thira – Theyyam – Kaliyattam festival mainly in Kannur and Kasaragod districts in Kerala. As per information, this theyyam is associated with Shiva and Goddess Parvati taking the form of tiger and tigress respectively. As per the Mara Puli Theyyam story, Mara Puli theyyam is the son of Shiva and Goddess Parvati in the form of tiger and tigress.

Once, Shiva and Goddess Parvati were traveling through the Thullor Forest. Here they happened to see a tiger mating with a female tiger. Shiva and Parvati had amorous feelings and they took the form of Pulikandan and Pulikarinkali (Pullikarinkali) (പുലികണ്ടനും പുലികരിങ്കാളി (പുള്ളികരിങ്കാളി)).

It is believed that Puli Karinkali made a big hole below Thathenar rock (താതേനാര്‍ കല്ലിന്റെ തായ്മടയില്‍) and gave birth to five children – four males and one female. As per some beliefs she gave birth to five male children.

The female child is popularly known as Puliyoor Kali. The five male children were known as Kandapuli, Kala Puli, Marapuli, Pulimaruthan and Puliyoor Kannan.

Marapuli Puli theyyam is performed at Periya Pulibhootha Devasthanam temple in Kasaragod, Kuppam Marathakkad Ivar Paravadevatha temple in Kannur, Naduvil Arakkal Puthiya Bhagavathy Temple in Kannur, Thaliparamba Mukkunnu Anakkeel Bhagavathy temple, Narikode Parammal Parol Bhagavathi temple, Mundayad Sree Erinjiyil Keezhilil Bhagavathy Kavu temple, Mathamangalam Sree Puliyoorkali temple, Payyannur Kandoth Koorumba Bhagavathy Kavu temple, Mathamangalam Eryam Puliyur Kali temple and Mathamangalam Paravoor Puliyoor Kali temple.

The dress and headgear of Marapuli theyyam varies from region to region.