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Vazhakunnam Neelakanthan Namboothiri
Born(1903-02-08)February 8, 1903
Thiruvegappura, Pattambi, Kerala
Died(1983-02-09)February 9, 1983 (aged 80)
OccupationMagician, Illusionist
Spouse(s)K C Anujathi Thampuratty
ChildrenK C Aravindakshan Raja, K C Thulasidas Raja, K C Sumathy

Vazhakunnam Neelakanthan Namboothiri or Prof. Vazhakkunnam(February 8, 1903 – February 9, 1983) is known as the Grand Father of Kerala's Magic. He gave a new meaning to magic in Kerala. He is praised as the patriarch of magic in the State. He played an important role in bringing Magic as an Art. For more than half a century, he had kept the onlookers spellbound in spite of his extreme simplicity and being devoid of any elaborate stage and costume. `Prof. Vazhakkunnam, born in an orthodox Namboodiri `illam' at Thiruvegappura, near Pattambi, is considered to be the `guru' of magic by contemporary magicians like R.K.Malayath who is the guru to Mgn. Gopinath Muthukad. Magician R.K.Malayath is celebrating his golden jubilee in Magic in the year 2017-18. As a part of the celebration "Guruthrpanam " was done on 1st July 2017 at the ancestral house of Prof. Vazhakunnam at Tiruvegapura. Minister K.T.Jaleel lighted the lamp and genuine living disciples of Grand Master assembled there and did original magic. Mr. Muthukad had seen Prof. Vazhakunnam only once and that too introduced by Mr. Malayath during a programme at Manjeri. Every year on Feb. 9th, Vazhakunnam day is observed and magic competitions are conducted and Yugami trophy is given for the best performer.

The main disciples of vazhakunnam were P.P Nanu Kuttiyadi , late K.J Nair, late Manjeri Ali Khan , and R.K Malayath .

Documentary on Vazhakkunnam[edit]

The 12-minute `Manthrika Muthachan,' presented by Muthukad's Magic Academy that was screened at the Press Club on February 9, 2007, captures the life and the art practised by the legendary magician.

The docu-fiction tracks the transformation of a boy, enthralled by the sleight of hand of a magician who had performed at the `illam' into a magician of versatility. Prof. Vazhakkunnam's six-decade long devotion to magic is highlighted through narratives and visuals. The work shows how the magician captivated children with his chalices with unbelievable dexterity. The script of the docu-fiction, written by Sreekanth Kottakkal, is narrated by Aliyar.

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