Prep for traditional Kerala Kathakali performance. Stage make-up session starts one hour before the performance.

It involves the application of several layers – base and colours made out of crushed natural coloured stones mixed in coconut oil.

The performer applied his own make up first and is later aided by another artist.

Before the performance starts – a ritual of lighting or lamps and imprinting kollam (decorative floor art) is carried out by one of the performing troupe members.

This particular performance at the Kathakali centre in Fort Kochi conveyed the story of Pancheli who coaxed her husband Bhima to find a flower she liked from the forest.

On his expedition, Bhima chances upon his mischievous brother – Hanuman.

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