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Kerala Kalamandalam, Cheruthuruthy

Location : Cheruthuruthy, in Thrissur District

One of the most revered places for the traditional art forms of Kerala, the Kalamandalam is the cradle of training in India. This temple of arts has preserved and propagated Kathakali - the classical dance-drama of Kerala - for the past 78 years. Many of the internationally renowned artistes of Kerala and India have been trained here.

The Kalamandalam and its surroundings reflect the simple, pure and ethnic atmosphere in which these arts have survived for centuries.

The Koothambalam - the traditional dance theatre - at Kalamandalam is the only one in the State which is built outside a temple complex. Constructed according to vikrushtra madhya, one of the three natya grihas (theatres) specified in sage Bharatha's Natyasasthra - a treatise on art compiled in the 2nd century B.C, the theatre is 14.62 m long and 7.31m wide and has four wooden pillars supporting it. It has three main parts - the aniyara (green room), the rangam (stage) - the space on front and side of it meant for the audience, and the mridanga-patha (where the drum is kept).

The Kerala Kalamandalam was established by Vallathol Narayana Menon, the renowned Malayalam poet. It was at a time when the popularity of Kathakali was on the wane. English education had been introduced and only a few upper class families in the State held the key to the art form. Realising the need to keep the art alive, the poet along with a few royal Kathakali enthusiasts like M. Mukundaraja and Kunjikuttan Thampuran, took over the revival and popularisation programme. They arranged performances by eminent artistes across the State and even raised funds through lotteries.

 

Over the years this unique institution has imparted training for Kathakali, Mohiniyattom, Kootiyattam, Panchavadyam, Thullal etc - following the ancient gurukula system of education.

For more details contact Kerala Kalamandalam, Vallathol Nagar, Cheruthuruthy, Thrissur, Kerala - 679531, India. Phone: 91- 0488- 2462418.

Getting there:

Nearest railway station: Shornur, about 10 km.
Nearest airport : Cochin International Airport, about 90 km.

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