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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 02-12-2011.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help), /wiki/Para

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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118 news items

The Hindu

The Hindu
Thu, 21 May 2015 17:11:15 -0700

The government will allot more funds for the Subala Park attached to the Scheduled Castes Development Department at Mele-Vettippuram here, Minister for Tourism A.P. Anil Kumar has said. The Minister was inaugurating the second phase of construction ...

The New Indian Express

The Hindu
Thu, 07 May 2015 17:16:25 -0700

The Koothambalam at the Vyloppilly Samskrithi Bhavan was enveloped in the rhythmic rise and fall of sweet music as Rabindra Sangeet exponent Archana Bandopadhyay and her young disciples crooned melodious compositions of Rabindranath Tagore in ...

മെട്രോ വാര്‍ത്ത

മെട്രോ വാര്‍ത്ത
Tue, 19 May 2015 02:22:30 -0700

പത്തനംതിട്ട: കഥകളി ഗ്രാമമെന്ന് അറിയപ്പെടുന്ന അയിരൂരിന് സ്വന്തമായി ഒരു കൂത്തമ്പലം നിര്‍മിക്കാന്‍ ഒരുങ്ങുന്നു. കഥകളി, കൂത്ത്, കുടിയാട്ടം തുടങ്ങിയ ശാസ്ത്രീയ കലകള്‍ അവതരിപ്പിക്കാനാണ് ...

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 ...
Business Standard
Tue, 31 Mar 2015 03:18:45 -0700

Kutiyattam is predominantly performed in the 'Koothambalam' or the temple theatre built inside the temple precinct. Dadasaheb Phalke award winning filmmaker Adoor Gopalkrishnan had made a documentary on the art form for UNESCO which hailed it as a ...

The New Indian Express

The New Indian Express
Sun, 11 Jan 2015 12:15:00 -0800

With sandalwood paste on his forehead, white dhoti at half mast and two Kerala-style beaded chains around his neck, Michel Lestrehan could easily pass off as a Malayali. In fact, he did and we scanned the koothambalam at Vyloppilly Samskrithi Bhavan ...
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 01:34:01 -0800

What helped me was the ambience in my home town. On the one side, Koothu and Koodiyattam were performed in the temple auditorium called Koothambalam. On the other, there is a Kathakali school in my home town, named after one of the great authors of ...

The New Indian Express

The New Indian Express
Tue, 23 Dec 2014 16:33:45 -0800

The programme is being organised under the joint patronage of Sree Sankara Natya Sabha, Koothambalam Research Centre for Temple Arts, Sanathana Dharma Trust and PTA, SSD. Lalitha Kala Sadanam director and Sudha Peethambaran's guru ...

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