Customs of Palakkad

Religion and Customs

Hinduism is the predominant religion in the district. Nearly 76 percent of the population belongs to the Hindu community. All the sub castes of Hindu community are well represented in the district. The Vellodis and Nedungadis, two sections of the Nair community, peculiar to Malabar area, are represented in this district. Sections of the Hindu Vaisya(Business) community, peculiar to this district are Moothan, Guptan,Mannadiar and Tharakan.

Vishnu and Siva are popularly worshipped. Kshethrams and Ambalams are dedicated to these major deities. The Kavus and Kovils are dedicated to deities like Ayyappan, Subramonyan, Bhadrakali, Hanuman and even malignant demons. Snake worship has been widely prevalent in these part. The worship of ancestors is also practiced by Hindus. Offerings are made to departed souls on moon Sankranthi days.

The Muslim community is the second largest, forming 21.2 percent of the population. A particular section of the Muslim community whose mother tongue is Tamil, are known as Ravuthars. These people came here as traders and soldiers. They belong to the Hanaf sect of Islam. Most of them reside in Alathur, Chittur, and Palakkad taluks. The way of life this particular section is much influenced Ty the Tamil culture, especially in marrioage customs and food habits.

There is another sect of Muslims known as Pattanis. They are also called Decanese. Rthey came from Decan with the Mysore rulers and settled here. Traditionally, they are well-trained horsemen. Their influence in Palakkad can be seen from the fact that a street is named after them as Pattani Street. They also belong to 'Hanafi' sect of Muslims. The rest of the Muslim community is known as Moppilas.

The numerical strength of the Christian community in the district according to 1971 census is 45,426. Almost all sections of the Christian community are represented. A good number of Christians have moved to the hilly tracts of the district in search of land and a living.

The ceremonies connected with, birth, marriage and death differ from one community to another. The restrictions based on caste and religions are observed generally by all communities.

The forest region of Palakkad district is notable for its tribal population. Irular, Kurumber, Eravalas, Malamalasar, Malasar, Kadar, Malayar, etc are the tribals living in these forests. Attappady is an important centre of tribal people. The beliefs, customs, and ways of life of these tribal people are distinct; each class having its own traditional customs and ways of life.