Kerala Kalamandalam Cheruthuruthy

(Deemed University for Art and Culture)


Founded in 1930 by renowned poet Padmabhooshan Vallathol Narayana Menon along the banks of the river Nila in the Cheruthuruthy village of Thrissur District, Kalamandalam is an immortal name in the cultural map of the world. Kalamandalam is strictly a residential center of learning. Veteran teachers and talented students are its inestimable wealth. For art-recitals held in Kalamandalam and outside, artiste-teachers and students participate

Courses Offered

 Training in Performing Arts

Training in the different art-disciplines begins in the wee-hours of the morning, From 6.30 in the morning there is an interval for a few hours. At 9.A.M., the kalaries start again. The training goes on till noon. In the late afternoon, the classes begin at 2.P.M. In the kalaries where acting and dancing are taught one can watch practising of hand-gestures, eye-movements, facial- expressions, leg-exercises, torso-movements, character-enactment and so on. In the vocal- music kalari, teacher will initially give training to the student in the basic-lessons of classical Karnatic music. Later on students of Kathakali vocal have to learn the text of invocational items and then move on to the Plays. Lessons in percussion-music begin with the vaytharis (Syllables) and progress to ‘strokes’ and fingerings’ in different rhythmic-scales and tempos. In the ultimate stage of training, there is a well-coordinated performance of Kathakali or Koodiyattam( Without make-up and costumes ) which is technically called Cholliyaattam. In this segment, dance, drama and music (vocal and instrumental) of the art-form concerned are integrated in one kalari. The Kathakali make-up class is most intriguing. Here one can watch the students applying different facial make-ups on earthen pots conceiving them as human- faces. As the study progresses, the students gradually switch over  from the class to the green-room.

Body-massage is a major segment in the training  culture of Kathkali and Koodiyattam. There are pre-massage and post-massage exercises. The students smear oil on their face, body and limbs Afterwards they lie down on the floor of the kalari and the teachers massage their body and limbs with feet. The teachers then massage the faces of students using hands. Massage is an exercise Kathakali and Koodiyattam borrowed from the Martial Arts Tradition along with other aspects of physical training. This makes the body of the actors supple for flowing movements.

Academic Education And Practical Training 
Kalamandalam has launched several schemes to re-strengthen the academic culture of the institution. The syllabi of the degree courses in different performing arts have been revised with the help of the newly reconstituted Board of Studies. The degree has been renamed B.A. instead of B.P.A. (Bachelor of Performing Art). In prescribing the syllabi, experts have formulated guidelines taking into account the concerns of both teachers an students.

The practical training in performing arts which forms the quintessence of Kalamandalam as an illustrious center of learning is soon to receive a fresh impetus as the hours of training get increased in due course. Steps have been taken to ensure qualitative assessment of the training imparted to students so that they get lot of space and time for corrections and improvements. The racholliyattam (late evening Kalari) will soon be re-introduced as a regular feature of training. Stage-performances of promising students for gaining expertise will get prominence in the training schedules.

Library & Research    
Scores of students from the different countries undergo condensed training in one or the other classical performing arts at Kalamandalam every year. Some of them combine applied- training and research.

Admission Process

Admission is any course would be made on the basis of candidate’s performance in the admission test; if and where, no test in conducted, admission would be made on the basis of aggregate total marks secured by the candidate in / at the qualifying examination and marks obtained by the candidate in eligibility subject
For latest information regarding Courses duration ,eligibility, and fee structure visit University/college website

Every year we receive hundreds of applications from young aspirants for admission to different courses. We have constituted an Interview Board consisting of experts in each art- discipline and members of the Governing Council. Eligible applicants will be requested to appear for an interview at Kalamandalam by the end of May. The Board will judge the aptitude of each applicant and would consider previous training if any he / she has in the art-discipline concerned. Applicants belonging to families practising traditional arts my possibly get preference. For areas of acting/dancing, sense of rhythm, physical appearance and histrionic taste are the criteria for selection. For vocalists and percussionists, sense of rhythm, voice-culture and previous training are the most desirable qualities for selection. Students admitted to various courses have to join the A.H.S.L.C. (Art High School Leaving Certificate Course). The upper-age limit for admission is thirteen. Each student is allowed to choose only one art-discipline for intensive training. Together with theoretical and practical training in the performing art concerned he / she has to learn scholastic subjects in the school. Those who pass the three-year A.H.S.L.C. Course can join the Plus Two Course and then for the B.A. Degree in Performing Arts. Kalamandalam introduced High School education for its students in 1990. The new system harmonized academic-study and training in performing arts. Till then all the students who joined for regular courses were awarded Diploma and Post – Diploma. In the present setup, the Diploma Course is retained to enable talented aspirants undergo training in various art- subjects.

Selection to M.A. Degree Course in Kathakali, Koodiyattam and Mohiniyattam is strictly based on merit. Kalamandalam offers M.phil and PhD programs in various subjects. Details of the Course can be getting from our office.

In April-May every year Kalamandalam notifies in the leading Malayalam newspapers details of admission to students in the various courses offered here


Kerala Kalamandalam
(Deemed University for Art and Culture

Cheruthuruthy – 679 531 via Thrissur, Kerala, India
Telephone: 91+ 4884 262418, 262526, Fax: 91- 4884 – 262019