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Padayani involving masks, it is an ancient ritual performed in Bhagavati temples. The dance is performed in honor of Bhadrakaali. It is part of worship of Bhadrakali and is staged in temples dedicated to the goddess from mid-December to mid-May and is performed in association with festival occasions of Bhagavathy (Bhadrakaali) temples of Kerala. Padayani is unique to central Travancore, comprising the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. The instruments used in Padayani are patayani thappu, chenda, para and kumbham. The steps and movements of the dance vary according to each Kolam or character.Padayani is very popular in Kerala, India, as a means, used to worship goddess Kali. Padayani is being performed as an offering to Goddess Kali (Devi) and often portrays the story of Goddess winning victory over Daarikan, an evil character. Literally the word padayani means “row of army”. The story line comes as after killing daruka, an asura, goddess was in anger. The bhoothagana, servants of lord siva, danced in front of her to reduce her anger, else her anger would result in the destruction of the whole world. After that, the art form starts.
Various types of dances have different names such as madan, marutha, yakshi, pakshi, kalan kolam and bhairavi kolam. This ritual festival is famous in Kadammanitta village in Pathanamthitta district. "Kadammanitta Padayani" is being performed along with the 10 days long Pathamudaya Maholsavam at Kadammanitta Devi Temple during March - April ( from 1-10 of medam month in Malayalam Calendar) of every year. Kadammanitta, Kadalimangalam and Othara in Pathanamthitta district are famous for annual Patayani performances.Another type of padayani includes Neelamperoor Patayani, is a spectacular event that falls in the Malayalam month of Chingam (usually August/September). Eventhough patayani is a ritual art form which is performed in number of other temples in Kerala, the one held at Neelamperoor is totally different from others. A chief exponent of Padayani is Prof. Kadammanitta Vasudevan Pillai. His association and acquaintance with Kadammanitta Ramakrishnan has led to many literary contributions.

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