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Nilavilakku "s a lighted bell metal | by Ajil Kumarakom
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Nilavilakku "s a lighted bell metal

Nilavilakku is a lighted bell metal traditional lamp used commonly in Kerala, South India. Nilam in the Malayalam language means ground and Vilakku means lamp. Nilam and vilakku have exactly the same meaning in the older cognate Tamil language.


The Nilavilakku is integral to all the rituals and ceremonies in a Keralite's life. As dusk creeps in, young girls of the family bring the lighted lamps (nilavilakku) to the verandah of the house. In the flickering light of the nilavilakku she is joined by the children and elders of the family, especially the grandparents, in chanting hymns and evening prayers.


Lighting the nilavilakku on any occasion is believed to be auspicious. Nilavilakku play an important role at the presentation of various art forms. The art forms are performed after lighting the nilavilakku.

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Taken on July 15, 2012