Kerala Kalamandalam

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Kalamandalam Deemed University of Art and Culture
കേരള കലാമണ്ഡലം
Koothambalam at Kerala Kalamandalam.jpg
A view of Koothambalam at Kalamandalam Deemed University of Art and Culture.
Former name Kerala Kalamandalam
Motto Design a strong system of aeducation in the traditional way imbibing the spirit of enlightenment of the new age
Established 1930 (1930)
Type Public
Location Thrissur District, KeralaSouth India, India
10°44′53″N 76°17′34″E / 10.7481°N 76.2927°E / 10.7481; 76.2927Coordinates: 10°44′53″N 76°17′34″E / 10.7481°N 76.2927°E / 10.7481; 76.2927
Campus Cheruthuruthy
Nickname Kerala Kalamandalam

Kerala Kalamandalam Deemed University of Art and Culture, is a major centre for learning Indian performing arts, especially those that developed in the Southern states of India, with the special emphasis on Kerala. It is situated in the village of Cheruthuruthy in Thrissur District on the banks of the Bharathapuzha river.


The inception of Kalamandalam gave a second life to three major classical performing arts of Kerala as Kathakali, Kudiyattam and Mohiniyattam were, by the turn of 20th century, facing the threat of extinction under various regulations of the colonial authorities.[1] It was at this juncture, in 1927, that Vallathol Narayana Menon and Mukunda Raja came forward and formed a society called Kerala Kalamandalam. They solicited donations from the public and conducted a lottery in order to raise funds for this society.[2] Kerala Kalamandalam was inaugurated in November 1930 at Kunnamkulam, and was later shifted to the village of Cheruthuruthy, just south of Shoranur in 1933. The Maharaja of Cochin donated land and a building. Subsequently, a dance department was started to revive Mohiniyattom.[3] Kerala Kalamandalam has been functioning as a grant-in-aid institution under the Cultural Affairs Department, Government of Kerala. In 2006, the Kalamandalam was accorded the status of 'Deemed University for Art and Culture' by the Government of India. In 2010, University Grants Commission (India) has given 'A' category status for Kalamandalam Deemed University of Art and Culture. Kalamandalam is the only deemed university in Kerala state accorded the prestigious status.[4]

Prime Ministers visited Kalamandalam[edit]

The first Prime Minister to visit Kerala Kalamandalam is Jawaharlal Nehru in 1955 for the Silver Jubilee of the Kerala Kalamandalam. Indira Gandhi was the second Prime Minister to visit Kerala Kalamandalam in 1980 and V. P. Singh in 1990. Manmohan Singh is the fourth Prime Minister to visit Kerala Kalamandalam in September 2012.[5][6]


Kalamandalam imparts training in classical dance and theatre forms like Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Kudiyattam, Thullal, Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam, and Nangiar Koothu, besides the traditional orchestra called Panchavadyam. Training is also given in various percussion instruments like chenda, maddalam and mizhavu. Kalamandalam follows the gurukula sampradayam, the ancient Indian education system based on residential tutelage. Kalamandalam was conceived to provide training to its students in the Gurukula Sampradaya, an ancient tradition of residential schooling where students stayed with the teachers.

Awards instituted by Kalamandalam[edit]

The institution honours noted performers with awards. Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar was the first recipient of its Suvarna Mudra (gold medal) and Natyacharya Mani Madhava Chakyar was the recipient of the first Fellowship. The institution also gives away the annual Kalamandalam award.


  1. ^ [The Hindu, Sunday edition November 6, 2005]
  2. ^ The Hindu
  3. ^ The Hindu
  4. ^ "Kalamandalam gets ‘A’ category status". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  5. ^ "24 minutes program for Prime Minister in Kalamandalam". Retrieved 2012-09-08. 
  6. ^ "PM to visit Kerala Kalamandalam on Sep 12". Business Standard. Retrieved 2012-09-08. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]