Structure of a Kalari  

There are different types of Kalaries which had their own origin in the distant past. The indigenous folk law's and literate furnish a long list. The Ballards of North Malabar, a collection of heroic songs, have reference to different types of Kaleries, Anka kalari, Patanilim, Totukalari and Cherukalari. Technical writings named the kalaries on the basis of functional structures, Netumkalari, Kurumkalari, Totukalari and Cherukalari. To highlight the different types of Kalaries and their location.

The Patanilam is a plain ground for war or duel. The Totu Kalari is a place where instructions are given in the marma system, (Knowledge of the vital points of the body), including the Choondumarma and Thattu marma. The building of the Kalari, based on the measurement of the ground, inform us that the size of the structure ranges from twelve to sixty two feet, the most common among the above groups and the only type that exist at present in Kerala is the Nalpatheerati. All Kalaries except the Patinetteerati bare from a width of half its length.

There are two different types of Kalaries, the Kuzhikalari in the North and the Nilakalari in the south of Kerela. A Kuzhikalari is constructed by digging out the soil from the ground and forming a pit for an appropriate structure. The depth of the pit varied from region to region. The Nilakalaries of Southern Kerela are made by constructing mud or stone walls around the appropriate area and roofing it with coconut leaves.

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