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Kadusarkarayogam is a rare mixture of natural materials, which is used to make or fix idols in temples.  This is considered to be an auspicious and noble yogam. Silver and gold wires are used for making bones and veins of the idol.  Thereafter the idol will be covered by using Kadusarkara, a mixture made of Kavi (saffron) soil, Kadukka, Thannikka, Nellikka, kozhipparal and chenchalyam.  The idol at Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple of Thiruvananthapuram is made by using Kadusarkarayogam.


Kalakabhishekam is done using Kalabham to cover the idol fully. Kalabham is made of sandal, akil, gulgulu, manchi, kumkum flower, kottam,iruveli and ramacham.  It is very special to Lord Siva and Lord Vishnu.


Kalamezhuthu is a function organised in temples and houses as offerings.  It is performed for prosperity, recovery from illness and as a religious function. The practice is to draw the figure of a goddess by using several natural powders and conduct of pooja and songs. The drawing of ‘Bhadrakali’ (Durga) is commonly used.  The drawing of hunters and snakes are also practiced to conduct kalamezhuth pattu (songs) in the same manner.
Karkidaka Vavu

The new moon day in the month of Karkidakom (July-August) is the Karkidaka Vavu.  This is famous for bali (paying homage) to the departed soul of ancestors.  It is believed that the souls will attain it is believed if bali is performed on this day. It is the first Amavasi of Dakshinayanam.  The first Amavasi of Utharayanam comes in the month of Makaram (January-February). The first is related to fathers and latter to Gods.  Therefore, Karkidaka Vavu became famous for performing bali to ancestors.  Thousands of people will throng on the riverbanks and beaches to offer holy prayers and bali for the departed souls of their fathers.  In north Kerala, it is believed that the dead souls will visit the homes on the day of Karkidaka Vavu.  The relatives will prepare Ada (sweet rice cake) and wait for the arrival of the soul.
Kalasam (Reviving Divinity)

Kalasam is a ritual performed in temples to revive the divinity of the idol after the consecration ceremony.  The holy water is poured over the idol. Kalasam is also done when the power of the worshipping deity is found weak.  There are several types of KalasamsOttakalasam (one kalasam), Irupthanchukalasam (twenty five kalasams), Nootyettu Kalasams (one hundred and eight kalasams), Sahasrakalasam (one thousand kalasams) etc. This depends upon the number of pots (Kumbhams) used for conducting the pooja.


A festival of women in North Kerala connected with pooram celebrations during the month of Meenom (March-April) (Also see Meenapooram)

Kandakassani (Misery period)

Astrologically, Kandakassani is the period of travel of Shani (Saturn) in the Chandralegna or its 4th, 7th or 10th Bhavas.  This is termed as a most miserable period.  Grief, illness, exile from native region, poverty, and defamation are the results.  It is believed that Kandakasshani may take away the life ultimately.

Kani (first sight of day)

The person or thing, which one sees immediately after awakening from sleep in the early morning, is known as ‘kani’.  It is believed that the result of the day will depend upon this view. The ‘Vishu’ celebrations start with ‘kani’, which will be arranged in each home to be seen by all members of the family in the early morning.

Kanneru (Black eye)

This is only a belief that adverse effects will happen if some people look and make comments on any agriculture crop or new buildings under construction or any other beautiful objects or beings.  It is otherwise known as drishtipadam, drishtibadha, karimkannu, and nokkudosham. In order to save them from the Karimkannanmar (black-eyed persons), vulgar models were exhibited in the crop fields, in front of new constructions etc. Another trouble related to Kanneru is Naveru.  These persons are usually black tongued also.


When relatives go to the house where death occurred, they used to take betel vine, tobacco, avil (beaten rice), sharkara (jaggery), and banana. This is known as Kannok.

Karkidaka Samkranthi

The last day of month of Midhunam (June-July) is celebrated as Karkidaka Samkranthi.


Kathukuthal (Karnavedham) is the ear-boring ceremony, which takes place during the first year of birth. The Kathukuthu of children was celebrated as a great festival in olden days.  This custom is practiced in different forms by different castes.  Generally this function is arranged when the children attain the age of four or five. A gold or copper wire or thorn of lime tree is to pierce the bottom middle portion of the ear usually by a Thattan (goldsmith).


Kesantham is one of the Shodashacharangal of Namboothiris. Kesantham is a rite to remove the tuft from the head of a boy.


Kettukalyanam was a custom prevalent among the matrilineal family of ancient times.  This was a function of tying thali to the girls by an elderly person. He had no other relation with the girl. It is also known as Thalikalyanam.  The thalikettu was arranged before the girl attained puberty.  The age of 7, 9 or 11 were considered best for thalikettu.  If thalikettu was not done before the girl attained puberty, it was considered as a disgrace to the family.  Kettukalyanam was arranged by erecting huge pandals in front of the house and by serving feast according to the status and financial position of the family.  The function will last for four days.  Auspicious day will be fixed for thalikettu.  Relatives will be invited for the function.  At the fixed time, the girl in new dresses will be brought to the decorated pandal and thalikettu will be done in front of Nirapara and Nilavilakku.  Kettukalyanam and marriage are different. The real marriage functions of Nairs’ were very simple.  This was known as Pudavakoda.  The bridegroom reaches the house of the bride in the fixed hour along with his close relatives and gives pudava (cloth) to the bride in front of Nirapara and Nilavilakku. The customs of thalikettu, exchange of rings exchanging floral garlands etc. that prevalent now were not practiced in olden days. As matrilineal system was in vogue the children had no right in their father’s property.  The Namboodiries (Kerala Brahmin) and Ambalavasis practiced the Sambandham marriage.  These may be the reason for the Pudavakoda being performed as a simple function. Kettukalyanam gradually came to an end with the abolition of matrilineal system and financial deterioration of families.


Kettunira or Kettumurukku is one of the procedures of Sabarimala pilgrims.  This was performed before leaving for Sabarimala.


Kidakkakalyanam is a system of marriage resembling Pudamuri.  This was in practice at Palakk
ad and Chittoor.  Instead of giving cloth to the bride as in Pudamuri, here money is given.  All other functions are same as that of Pudamuri.  (Also see Pudamuri).

Kodi Archana

The pooja performed in temples for worshipping God. The Sahasranamam (thousand verse) will be repeated one thousand times through this pooja.

Kodiyettam (Flag hoisting)

Kodiyettam is the beginning of temple festival.  In temple where there is no permanent flag post areca nut or other available trees will be cut and brought in a festive procession and fixed in appropriate place.  The temple flag marking the beginning of the festival is hoisted in such posts.  No other programmes will be held on that day.  Festival starts from the next day onwards.


The oracle dance performed in temples, especially Devi temples during festivals to inform the presence of Devi is known as Komaramthullal.  It is also known as Velichappad thullal.  There will be identified persons in each temple to perform this act. They tie bells around their waist, takes out sword in hand, wear chilambu in legs and dance with divine sword in hand and announce the desire of the presiding deity.

Koottam (Public Forum)

Kootam was a public forum organised to discuss and solve public issues.  There were many forms of Kootams like Sabha, Tharakootam, Deshakootam, Nattukootam etc. People obeyed the decisions taken in such Kootams.


The grocery and vegetables given by the husband to wife’s house in the matrilineal system during Onam and Thiruvathira is known as Koppukodukkal.  The status of the matrilineal society is assessed depending upon the quantity of Koppukodukkal.


The procedures, customs and practices to be observed in temples are known as Kshethracharangal.

Kshethrakalakal (Art forms of temple)

The art forms performed in temples are known as KshethrakalakalKoothu, Koodiyattom, Patakam, Ashtapadi, Krishnanattam, Kadhakali, Thullal, Mohiniyattom are main among them.  Local festivals like Padayani, Kettukazcha, Kuthiyottam are some others.


Kuruthy is an offering performed in Bhagavathy temples.  It is otherwise known as Guruthi or Gurusi.  In olden days animals or birds such as goat or fowl were sacrificed as part of the ritual. It is not in vogue now.  Instead, a mixture of turmeric and quicklime will be added in water, as it will have blood colour. This mixture is used for performing Kuruthy.  Tuesday and Friday are good for performing the ritual.  Kuruthy is also performed in connection with Theyyam, Thira and Pana.


Kuthyottam is an offering made in the Devi Temples of South Kerala.  At Chettikulangara and Attukal Devi temples this was performed
along with temple festival.
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