Attakalam is the second combat game played on the occasion of Onam. The first being 'Kayyankali'. Attakalam is less dangerous and aggressive of the two. The other difference between the two combats is that while Attakalam is played in batches, Kayyankali is played singly.
Attakalam requires strength, dexterity and a lot of practice. Players fight and dodge each other as they go on offensive and defensive in different rounds of the combat.
Preparations for the Combat
As Attakalam is played in batches, two teams of equal strength and match are needed. Battleground is prepared by drawing a large circle on a plain sand floor. One team stands inside this circle while the other takes its place outside it.
Struggle for Victory
Attakalam requires that team standing outside the circle make effort to pull players of inside team out of it. A player for the outside team moves inside the circle to look for his prey. This player is supposed to touch the body of an inside player. This is a risky job as the inside team make all efforts to stop him from doing so. They bully the challenging player and also beat him.
As soon as the challenging player manages to touch the body of a player in the inside team, the battle gets restricted between those two. No other player of the inside team is allowed to touch the challenger. The caught player is given the liberty to struggle for his defense and exit from the circle. He can even strike a blow to his challenger.
If the challenger succeeds in driving the caught player outside the circle, the latter is considered out of the game. The combat proceeds similarly with the other players till no player is left in the inside circle.
Game then moves for its second round and an exchange of places between the two teams takes place. If any player is left inside who cannot be driven out, his team is declared successful.
Applause from the audience and a prize from the organizers is awarded to the winning team.