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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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127 news items

The Hindu

The Hindu
Thu, 16 Jul 2015 06:52:30 -0700

Starting off as a lecturer in the Viswabharati University, he is now an Associate Professor in the Rabindra Bharati University, besides running his own institution Koothambalam. The title 'Nrityashali' conferred upon him by Padma Subramaniam befits him ...
The New Indian Express
Tue, 07 Jul 2015 17:05:28 -0700

The disciple of world renowned tabla maestro Ustad Allah Rakha and his son Ustad Zakir Hussain, Praffulla Athle will conduct a tabla workshop as part of the programme. The two-day workshop will be held at the Koothambalam of Vyloppilli Sanskriti Bhavan.
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
Sat, 20 Jun 2015 17:33:12 -0700

The eight-day festival organised by Vedadhwani Cultural Trust, will have Sopana Sangeetham, Carnatic music, Ottanthullal, Koodiyattam and Kathakali on various days at the Layam Koothambalam. The Festival will begin on Sunday morning with ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Fri, 19 Jun 2015 17:33:13 -0700

The eight-day festival of percussion, music and dance, Poornojwalam Monsoon Festival 2015 opens at Layam Koothambalam, Tripunithura, on June 20 at 10 a.m. with Panchavadyam by Cheruplassery Narayanan Namboodiri and group. A Hindustani vocal ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Wed, 17 Jun 2015 17:33:16 -0700

An eight-day festival of percussion, dance and music, Poornojwalam Monsoon Fest 2015 , will be held at the Layam Koothambalam, Tripunithura, from June 21-28. Organised by Veda Dhwani Cultural Trust, the festival will kickoff with a Panchavadyam by ...
The Hindu
Sun, 21 Jun 2015 17:00:00 -0700

The eight-day Monsoon fest, 'Poornojwalam 2015', began at Tripunithura with the major set panchavadyam led by Cherplassery Sivan and Kariyannur Narayanan Namboothiri at the Layam Koothambalam on Sunday. The inauguration was done by poet S.

The Hindu

The Hindu
Thu, 09 Apr 2015 06:52:29 -0700

The ancient art of Kutiyattam travelled all the way from the Koothambalam (temple theatre) of Kerala, for the very first time, to the Namghar (a place for offering congregational prayers) in a busy city of Guwahati and also a Sattra (monastery) in ...

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