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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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89 news items

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 ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Fri, 05 Sep 2014 04:37:30 -0700

Amidst all that she has her hands full with her twin sons, Abhinav and Vaibhav. “But for my husband Prince Vinod and my mother it would never have been possible for me to do the multi-tasking,” she says. Aiswarya performs Kuchipudi at Koothambalam of ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 02:45:00 -0700

As a mizhavu artiste, his presence behind the majestic copper pot that resonates in a koothambalam during a Koothu, Koodiyattam or Nangiarkoothu performance is alive in our memories of evenings at the Margi in Thiruvananthapuram. The total negation of ...

The Daily Star

The Daily Star
Fri, 12 Dec 2014 10:09:51 -0800

The artistes of Koothambalam Cultural Association stood out among all the performers of the day. They performed Bharatnatyam pieces -- kirtanaam and tillana in unique styles. The dancers evoked the multifarious qualities of Lord Rama through depicting ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:48:45 -0700

The centre got its own Koothambalam (traditional stage for Koothu and Koodiyattom) in 2005 and children trained at Nepathya began to perform since 2007-08. Besides the two extensive festivals (in May and in August/September in memory of its founder), ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 19:15:00 -0700

According to Thakazhi Smaraka Samithi secretary Devadatt G. Purakkad, the museum will encapsulate the Kuttanad heritage and the rich traditional values of Kerala. The building, which is being modelled on the 'koothambalam' (auditorium for performing ...

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 ...
The Hindu
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 19:37:30 -0700

The Ganamela events will be at the Peroorkada Bappuji Library stage, Public Office premises, Bharat Bhavan, and Poojappura grounds. Group dance will be staged at Nupura Mandapam of Vyloppilly Samskrithi Bhavan and 'solo dance' at the Koothambalam ...

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