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Karakattam – Popular Dance form of Tamil Nadu

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About Karakattam Dance

Karakoram is an age-old folk dance hailing from Tamil Nadu and is performed in honor of the rain goddess named- Mariamman. The performers are seen to balance water pots on their heads quite gracefully.

When is the Dance Form Held and Where Is  It Popular?

Also known as Karagam, the popular dance form of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh is conducted in the month of August every year. Though originated in Thanjavur, its craze and rage spread in the neighboring areas including Pudukkottai, Salem, Tirunelveli, Madurai, and Ramanathapuram.

The Performance

Karakkatam is basically performed by an individual or two different persons with myriad acrobatic feats. The dancers clad in vibrant colored attires, carry intricately designed pots on their heads in an expressive and graceful manner to the rhythm and tune of the music played in the background. The pots are beautified with flower arrangements come along with a  parrot sitting at the top. The parrot rotating on dancer’s movements is nothing short of a delightful visual treat.

Musical Instruments Used in Karakkatam

The musical instruments that are used include Muni, Pambai, Udukku, Nadaswaram, and Tavil.

The Two Different Types of Karakam Dance Form

If we go by the long held tradition, the dance dorm is distinguished into two major parts or types namely-

Atta Karakam

Atta Karakam is performed with water pots balanced on heads, and it represents happiness and blithe.

The Sakthi Karakam

This dance form is performed solely in temples as part of the spiritual offering.

Movies and Commercials Featuring Karakam Dance Form

A Tamil Cinema back in 1989, named as Karagattakaran featured its protagonist as performers of Karakattam. The movie, needless to say, went on to become a smashing hit, with a commercial for Karakattam, mainly because of Ilaiyaraja, and specifically in the song- Maanguyilae Poonguyile.

In Sangam Literature, the Karkattam is known and coined as Kudakoothu. It is noteworthy to mention that this particular dance form is quite famous in villages during the temple festivals.


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