We rarely book an agent to organize a trip but this time we made an exception and it was worth it.
We actually hired TravelKannur (Asha and Santosh) to organize the whole 5 day trip in northern Kerala. We did
1. Tour around Bekal: Bekal Fort, the ancient Mosqueue, the lake temple
2. A day on a Houseboat
3. 2 days in the beach. One on the private island, another in Kannur
4. Theyyam, Theyyam, Theyyam, so much Theyyam
In the end the highlight of the trip was Theyyam
We did two fire Theyyams: 8pm and 5am which was just mesmerizing.
It was not performance of tourists. It was not performance for locals. This was a real religious ceremony which involved a lot of dancing, drumming, costumes, body paint. We were a mere guests at someone's house. So that was the first two Theyyams we saw. Small private temple at somebody's home. ~100 people. It was so cozy and real
The next day we saw another Theyyam now in a bigger public temple. At the end there were at least a dozen hundreds locals watching the ceremony. There were many more dancers (priests?) this time. Constumes were more complicated, head pieces were just insane.
Santoch was our guide and he gave us all needed information about Theyyam. How to behave, what to do and what not to do.
I highly recommend TravelKannur to your trip to northern Kerala