Journey of Parasuram
According to mythology, it is believed that Lord Parasuram carved land out of the sea, and established 108 Shakti Peethas. He installed 42 Kalari centers and trained 21 of his disciples in Kalaripayattu. Over time,
different styles have emerged across regions. For example, Dronampalli, which is the basis for the Tulu nadan style of Kalari, as we know it, is almost extinct. The tendency to put the different styles into either the northern or southern style will cause these regional variations to fade. This could result in the loss of significant knowledge which has been preserved over centuries by the masters and practitioners of these styles.
Legend also has it that it was Sage Agastya who taught Kalaripayattu to the people who lived in this region. This, more commonly known as the Southern Style, has spawned other martial art forms like Silambam, Adi Murai, and is also believed to be the style that spread to the Far East in the form of Kung Fu and Karate.
Journey of Parasuram is a project that attempts to rediscover the various styles of Kalaripayattu that existed in the different regions from Kanyakumari to Gokarnam, the temples and traditions, the famous masters of each of these styles, and how they have evolved in the present day.
The project intends to:
Capture conversations with living masters of the various styles
Take videos of presentations by prominent schools in the region
Create documentation on temples and Kalari schools in the region
Document specific aspects of the styles like the oral instructions, variations in postures, or sequences.
Collect scrolls, manuscripts, or other documents that have been handed down by masters over the centuries
This project will require scholars, researchers, and historians to travel down the length and breadth of Southern India and map the regional styles to their physical locations as they exist today. It will also involve a multi-media team to accompany the historians and capture visual imagery of these studies.