Published on: December 30, 2021




All-woman team performs Tholpavakkoothu, a first in history, breaking age-old conventions. Rajitha Ramachandra Pulavar, who led the performance at the District Panchayat Hall in Kerala’s Palakkad on Christmas, aptly titled the show Penpavakkoothu, meaning women’s Tholpavakkoothu.


  • Form of shadow puppetry
  • Temple art form
  • Prevalent in the Bhagavathy temples (mother Goddess) in Palakkad district and nearby regions in Kerala.
  • Thol means leather, Pava means puppet
  • Moved with the help of strings, and their shadows are depicted on a screen with the help of a row of oil lamps in the background.
  • The story of performance is from the Indian epic, Ramayana.
  • In the olden days, it was performed elaborately over a period of forty-one days.
  • The narrative used for the performance is a mixture of prose and poetry called Adalpattu.