Pulikali 2023: A Mesmerizing Spectacle in Thrissur

Pulikali 2023: The Dance of the Tigers in Thrissur

The heart of Kerala, Thrissur, witnessed another year of vibrant festivity last week with its iconic Pulikali performance. An integral part of Onam celebrations, Pulikali, which translates to the ‘dance of the tiger’, is a spectacle that amalgamates art, culture, and tradition in a visual fiesta.


A Brief History of Pulikali

Onam celebration pulikali

The roots of Pulikali can be traced back over two centuries, embodying the spirit of Thrissur. Historically, performers would paint their bodies in vibrant hues, mimicking the patterns of tigers, and dance to the rhythmic beats of traditional instruments. Today, while the essence remains unchanged, the scale and enthusiasm have only magnified.

The Pulikali of 2023

This year’s Pulikali was nothing short of mesmerizing. Thrissur’s Swaraj Round was painted in a palette of colors as hundreds of performers, adorned in tiger motifs, swayed to the music. The meticulous detailing in their body art, combined with the synchronicity of their moves, made it evident that countless hours of preparation had gone into making the event a success.

Pulikali Woman

Capturing the Essence of Kerala

Beyond the dance and artistry, Pulikali serves as a reflection of Kerala’s rich cultural tapestry. It’s an event where age-old traditions meet the fervor of the younger generation, ensuring that the legacy continues. Visitors from various parts of India and even from abroad were seen reveling in the festivities, with cameras capturing every pulsating moment.

As the sun set on Thrissur last week, the echoes of Pulikali’s drums lingered, promising a return next year with even more vigor. If there’s one takeaway from this year’s celebrations, it’s that traditions like Pulikali remain the heartbeat of Kerala, with Thrissur proudly taking center stage.

Tiger Dance