The Panan community reveres Puli Chamundi, the Tiger Goddess, who emerged from the sacrifice of Mathu, a woman born under auspicious omens.
In the verdant hills of Kasaragod and the mystical realms of Tulu territories, the Panan community carries a tale so ancient and sacred that it breathes life into their annual rituals. It is the story of Mathu, a woman born under auspicious omens and the long-awaited female heir to the illustrious Tuluvangam clan. Her family nurtures her with love, but she struggles to conceive a child. The family turns to the goddess Kalari Bhagavati for help, and she grants Mathu the gift of motherhood. However, a tragic encounter with a leopard takes Mathu's life. Her brothers, consumed by grief, vow to avenge her death. But as they stand over her lifeless body, Mathu reappears, transformed into the goddess Puli Chamundi. She reveals that Chamundi had sacrificed her in order to create a new deity: the Tiger Goddess. Over the centuries, Puli Chamundi's story has endured in the Panan community through the Theyyam dances, lullabies, and whispered tales. She is a goddess of both life and death, and her story is a reminder of the divine mysteries that permeate our lives.