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Ilanjithara Melam

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Ilanjithara Melam

Peruvanam Kuttan Marar, leader of 'Chenda' group of Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple performing at Thrissur Pooram

Ilanjithara Melam is an assembly of percussion performance artist held at Ilanji (famously known as Bullet Wood tree Mimusops elengi) tree at the courtyard of the Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur city during the Thrissur Pooram. It is considered as one of the best platforms for traditional Kerala music and the largest assembly of percussion artistes in any other Poorams. The Melam in technical exactness and instrumental discipline are the best example of Pandi Melam.[1][2][3]

The Melam

The Pandi Melam of Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple is famously known as Ilanjithara Melam. The Melam begin at the Ilanjithara in the Vadakkunnathan Temple around 2.30 PM, and goes for around four continuous hours. The base of Pandi Melam is the Tripura Thaalam. Correct number of instrumentalists participating in Melam is 222. But more than 250 instrumentalists assemble because of its prominence and various other reasons. 100 Chendas (In Edanthala and Valanthala categories), 75 Elathalams 21 Kombu and 21 Kurunkuzhal is the number of instruments in each category. There are 7 types of Melangal viz Panchari, Champa, Chempada, Adantha, Anchadatha, Druvam and Pandy. Adantha Thalam (14 Aksharas) is the Thalam performed in the Ilanjithara Melam.[4][5][6][7][8]

Chiefs (Pramanis) of Ilanjithara Melam

Peruvanam Kuttan Marar is the current Chief of Ilanjithara Melam. He joined Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple team in 1977 and later became its leader in 1999. He has been the Chief for 13 years and has been associated with Ilanjithara Melam for 35 years. Kuzhoor Narayana Marar, another veteran percussionist, was also part of the Paramekkavu team for 41 years. He was its Chief for 12 years.[9][10]


  • Pandaarathil Eachara Marar - 1940s
  • Peruvanam Narayana Marar
  • Peruvanam Appu Marar - 1960s
  • Thrippekkulam Achutha Marar
  • Pallavoor Appu Marar
  • Peruvanam Kuttan Marar (1999-)


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