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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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128 news items

Times of India

Times of India
Tue, 17 Nov 2015 02:52:30 -0800

He says, "Initially Koodiyattam, one of the ancient ritualistic art forms, was staged in the Koothambalam. The art form is still rooted in tradition. Hence, it is not popular, or meant for the masses. The audience has to be well-informed about the ...
The Hindu
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 16:11:15 -0800

Dakshinamurthy Festival 2015: Layam Koothambalam, 2 p. m. onwards. Kerala Fine Arts Society: Musical concert, Fine Arts Hall, 6.30 p. m. onwards. Three-day Art Camp: to observe the 16th death anniversary of Captain Ludwig, Ludwig Nagar, Chellanam, ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Wed, 11 Nov 2015 16:00:00 -0800

The Minister inaugurated the Aniyara (dressing room) and compound wall of the Koothambalam. He also distributed the awards and fellowships. P.K. Biju, MP, presided over the function held at Koothambalam. A Nila National Dance Festival is being ...
The Hindu
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 16:33:26 -0800

Koodiyattam. Nepathya presents Koodiyattam by Margi Madhu Chakyar. Venue: Nepathya's koothambalam. Date and time: November 9, 6.30 p.m.. Address: Moozhikulam, Kurumassery, Aluva. More In: METRO PLUS | FEATURES · Tweet · Email the Editor.

Economic Times

Economic Times
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 14:39:50 -0800

The statement refers to "unfruitful expenditure of Rs 6.28 crore on renovation of Koothambalam by Kalakshetra Foundation". "All these issues related to Bharata Kalakshetra Auditorium will be placed before the finance committee," Priyadarshini Govind, ...
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

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 Hindu

The Hindu
Thu, 10 Sep 2015 02:45:00 -0700

Vibrant beats of the mridangam mark the entry of actors in Koothu-p-Pattarai's play, 'England' (script: N.Muthuswamy; direction: Pralayan) at 'Koothambalam Meenakshi', Virugambakkam. The actors wrap themselves in cloth, and different years are ...

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