Kerala Kalamandalam is located in the district of Thrissur, in the state of Kerala, in south India. It was largely established in 1930 and founded by Vallathol Narayana Menon. Its campus is situated at Cheruthuruthy. At present, it is a deemed a University of Art and Culture under the Government of India. It is also a major education center for wholeheartedly learning Indian performing arts. With the special emphasis on Kerala, it mostly focuses on that art form which developed in the states of Southern India. It is situated on the banks of the Bharathapuzha River.
History of Kerala Kalamandalam
It is to be remembered that by the turn of 20th century, major classical performing arts of the state of Kerala such as Kudiyattam, Mohiniyattam and Kathakali were facing the serious threat of immediate extinction under several rules and regulations of the colonial government. It is that this situation, circumstances and conditions, the inception of the presitigious Kalamandalam gave a second better life to these three art forms. In 1927, Mukunda Raja and Vallathol Narayana Menon came forward plus formed a society named as Kerala Kalamandalam. They largely solicited different forms of donations from the public at large. They also conducted a lucky lottery in order to immediately raise funds for this particular society. in November 1930, Kerala Kalamandalam was grandly inaugurated at a place named Kunnamkulam. Later, in 1933, the society was shifted to the village named Cheruthuruthy that is located south of Shoranur. The Maharaja of Cochin largely donated land plus a large building. A dance department was added in order to revive an art form called Mohiniyattom. This institution has been successfully functioning as a grant-in-aid institution directly under the Cultural Affairs Department of Kerala. The Kalamandalam was proudly accorded the grand status of ‘Deemed University for Art and Culture’ under the Government of India in 2006. University Grants Commission (India) has provided ‘A’ category status in 2010 for Kerala Kalamandalam.
Prime Ministers visited Kerala Kalamandalam
- In 1955, the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru visited Kerala Kalamandalam for the Silver Jubilee celebration.
- In 1980, Indira Gandhi was the next Prime Minister to visit Kerala Kalamandalam.
- In 1990, V. P. Singh visited this presitigious institution.
- In 2012, Manmohan Singh visited Kerala Kalamandalam.
Courses and training offered in Kerala Kalamandalam
- In classical dance plus theatre forms such as Kathakali, Kudiyattam, Mohiniyattam, Thullal, Bharatanatyam, Nangiar Koothu and Kuchipudi.
- The traditional orchestra known as Panchavadyam.
- Training is given in several percussion instruments such as chenda, mizhavu and maddalam.
- This institution follows strictly the gurukula sampradayam which is the ancient Indian education system that is largely based on residential tutelage.
It is to be remembered that the Government of India particularly on the strong advice of the University Grants Commission immediately declared Kerala kalamandalam as deemed University dated 14-03-2006 as per order No. F9 -11/99 U3. The Government of Kerala also immediately approved the Memorandum of Association plus Rules and the title as”Chairman” was subsequently substituted by “Vice-Chancellor” with immediate effect.