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Koothambalam or Kuttampalam meaning temple theatre is a closed hall for staging Koothu, Nangiar koothu and Koodiyattam, the ancient ritualistic art forms of Kerala, India. Koothambalams are said to be constructed according to the guide lines given in the chapter 2 of Nātyasāstra of Bharata Muni. The stage within the hall is considered to be as sacred as the temple sanctum. It is constructed within the cloister of the Temple; more precisely within the pancaprakaras of the temple. The prescribe location is between the prakaras of bahyahara and maryada. In Kerala tradition it is considered as one among the pancaprasadas of a temple complex. Its dimension vary from temple to temple.A square platform with a separate pyramidal roof supported by pillars in the center called natyamandapam is constructed as s separate structure within the large hall of Koothampalam. The floor of the hall is divided into two equal halves and one part is for performance (including stage, instruments, green room etc.) and other half for seating audience. During the performance, the stage is decorated with fruit-bearing plantains, bunches of coconuts and fronds of the coconut palm. A para[1] filled with rice is placed on the stage. A nilavilakku with three thiri is used for lighting. The mizhavu, a percussion instrument for accompanying Koothu, is placed within a railed enclosure, with a high seat for the drummer( belonging to nampiar community).

Only men from the Chakyar community are allowed to perform Koothu and Koodiyattam inside the Koothambalam. The women of the Ambalavasi-Nambiar caste (Nangyarammas), play Nangyar Koothu and the female characters of Koodiyattam. The traditional Ambalavasi-Nambiars play the mizhavu.

Famous temples with Koothambalams include the Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple - Kottayam, Sreekrishna Temple - Guruvayoor, Vadakkumnathan Temple - Trichur, Koodalmanikyam Temple - Irinjalakkuda, Mahadeva Temple - Peruvanam in Trichur District, Sree Mahadeva temple - Thiruvegappura, Thirumandhamkunnu Bhagavathi Temple - Angadippuram in Malappuram District, Subramanya temple - Harippad, Thirumuzhikkulam Lakshamana Temple - near Aluva, Subramanya temple - Kidangoor, Siva Temple - Chengannur etc. The Kerala Kalamandalam, Deemed University for Art and Culture, Cheruthuruthy, Thrissur District houses a beautiful Koothambalam. Another koothambalam at Vyloppilly Samskarika Nilayam, Trivandrum which is built recently is another example built out of traditional context- i.e., outside temple premises. All these are rectangular in plan. The plan, elevation and structure of these follow the shape grammar typical to the traditional Kerala architecture following the vastu rules prescribed in thantrasamuccayam and silparatnam, the authentic texts on temple vastu.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kerala Tourism - Souvenirs". Kerala Tourism - Govt. of Kerala. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 

1.Govardhan Panchal, "Kuttampalam and Kutiyattam", Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, 1984

Other sources[edit]

  • vendore,thrissur,kerala

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koothambalam — Please support Wikipedia.
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126 news items


Fri, 25 Sep 2015 06:07:30 -0700

If all these are not enough, a Koothambalam fit to seat around 150 people during cultural evenings has also been built. There is a one and a half kilometre walkway around the park now. Paved pathways and lawns have been set out. This will sure make the ...
Times of India
Tue, 15 Sep 2015 07:39:52 -0700

While several temples in Kerala boast of being major pilgrim centres, none can beat the Vadakkumnathan Temple, Thrissur, when it comes to majesty and sheer serenity. A marvel in wood and stone, the temple stands tall right at the centre of Thrissur ...
Daily Pioneer
Sun, 27 Sep 2015 11:45:00 -0700

The famous Koothambalam, a traditional performing theatre built by founder Rukmini Devi Arundale with the cooperation of artisans and traditional architects was demolished by Samson in 2009. This was the heart of Kalakshetra where aspiring danseuses ...
The Hindu
Sun, 20 Sep 2015 17:11:15 -0700

In an order dated September 10, the State government has entrusted K. Padmakular, ADGP South Zone, for investigating the Fort Kochi boat accident. Persons or institutions who would like to give any suggestions or opinions on the probe are requested to ...
The Hindu
Tue, 22 Sep 2015 17:09:27 -0700

Purogamana Kalasahithya Sangham: Cultural meet, K.S. Bhagavan, noted writer to inaugurate, Layam Koothambalam, Tripunitura, 6 p.m; debate on contemporary relevance of cultural politics, 11.30 a.m; Poet's meet, 2 p.m.. YMCA Ernakulam: Train the ...
The New Indian Express
Mon, 29 Apr 2013 23:11:15 -0700

The Tripunithura Municipal authorities' promise to complete the 'Koothambalam' project before March this is yet to be kept. The work is not even half way through. According to the plan, a 40X40-sqft Koothambalam was to be constructed at Laayam Ground, ...
The Hindu
Mon, 12 Dec 2011 00:41:35 -0800

A koothambalam under construction near Ramanaliyam went up in flames around 4 a.m. on Monday. Fire and Rescue Services personnel were alerted aroud 4-10 a.m. Eight fire engines were pressed into service. Firefighters brought the blaze under control ...
The New Indian Express
Wed, 02 Sep 2015 14:00:00 -0700

With its principal deity Shiva, the exquisite architecture of the surrounding temple theatre the 'Koothambalam,' the archaeological marvel has to this day survived the tests of time, and in no small part due to the diligence of authorities involved ...

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