Thekkady, Kerala, India, Sep 2013
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is spread across 777 km (300 sq mi), of which 360 km (140 sq mi) is thick evergreen forest. This wild life sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River adds to the charm of the park. Thekkady is also a heaven for natural spices such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and clove. Stayed at the Club Mahindra Resort.
The cultural dance of Kathakali originated in Kerala, India in the first half century of the 17AD. Stories from Hindu epics like Ramayana, Mahabhratha and the Bhagavata are depicted without voice at the Kathakali performances. The theatre known as Kalamandalam Mudra Kathakali Center has a daily show. The title of the play is Narakasura Vadha (The Murder of Narakasura), a story from Bhagarath Purana with characters of Jayantha (Son of Lord Indra), the demon lady (who is also played by a man) is Lalitha, a beautiful form of Nakkrathundi. Jayantha is played by Shiju Kumar and Lalitha is played by Mr. Kalamandal Subin.The story is about Lalitha, a maiden slave to Demon King Narakasura who was told to leave for heaven to kidnap the handsome green face Jayantha. She changed her demonic look and disguised as beautiful Lalitha to befriend Jayantha and to entice him to marry. Trying her very best by dance and seduction this handsome hero does not fall for it leading Jayantha to reveal her true identity, but she kept seducing him with lustful desire. Jayantha told her he will never marry anyone without his father’s consent. Jayantha became very angry and told her to leave the palace. She told Jayantha she is here to kidnap him and tried to catch hold of Jayantha. She went berserk and let loose her hair in agitation. Jayantha became very very very furious, he drew out his sword and cuts off her ears, nose and breast leaving her screaming in pain and returned to Narakasura. At the end of the performance Jayantha danced in lordly character and then left the palace to inform his father about the incident. The musical Instruments used in this performance are the Chenda, Maddalam, and Ilathalam.