Kerala Kalamandalam

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Kerala Kalamandalam
കേരള കലാമണ്ഡലം
Koothambalam at Kerala Kalamandalam.jpg
A view of Koothambalam at Kerala Kalamandalam.
Former name
Kerala Kalamandalam
Motto Design a strong system of education in the traditional way imbibing the spirit of enlightenment of the new age
Type Public
Established 1930 (1930)
Founder Vallathol Narayana Menon
Vice-Chancellor DrT K Narayanan
Location Thrissur District, Kerala, India
10°44′15″N 76°16′38″E / 10.737598°N 76.277087°E / 10.737598; 76.277087Coordinates: 10°44′15″N 76°16′38″E / 10.737598°N 76.277087°E / 10.737598; 76.277087
Campus Cheruthuruthy
Nickname Kerala Kalamandalam
Vallathol Samadhi
Old Campus now used as the P.G.campus

Kerala Kalamandalam, deemed to be University of Art and Culture by the Government of India, is a major center 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 small town of Cheruthuruthy in Thrissur, 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 the 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, Kakkad, 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 Kerala Kalamandalam. 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.The first vice chancellor of kerala kalamandalam was K G Paulose (2007) and the last chairman of karala kalamandalam was O N V Kurup. Present vice chancellor is T K Narayanan.

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.

Former Chairmen[edit]

The following is a list of Chairmen of Keralakalamandalam.

Chairman Period
Mahakavi Vallathol Narayana Menon 1930- 1958
Komattil Achyutha Menon 1959 - 1961
Dr K N Pisharody 1962- 1967
MKK Nayar IAS 1967 -1971
D H Nambudirippad 1971 -1976
KM Kannanmpally 1976 -1978
Olappamanna Subrahmanyan Namboodirippad 1978 -1984
TBM Nedungadi 1984 - 1987
KV Kochaniyan 1987 - 1991
Olappamanna Subramanyan Namboodirippad 1991 -1993
Dr VS Sarma 1993 -1996
Prof ONV Kurup 1996 -2001
Dr V. R. Prabodhachandran Nayar 2001 -2006
Prof ONV Kurup 2006 -2007

The Government of India, on the advice of the University Grants Commission declared Keralakalamandalam as deemed University as per order No. F9 -11/99 U3 dated 14-03-2006. The Government of Kerala approved the Memorandum of Association and Rules and subsequently the title "Chairman" was substituted by "Vice-Chancellor".

See also[edit]


  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. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "24 minutes program for Prime Minister in Kalamandalam". Retrieved 2012-09-08. 
  6. ^ "PM to visit Kerala Kalamandalam on Sep 12 chief minister dhanush raj visited and stuned he awarded the kalamandalam and arun pavan visited it". Business Standard. Retrieved 2012-09-08. 

External links[edit]