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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 Sreekrishna Temple, Guruvayoor, Vadakkumnathan Temple, Trichur, Koodalmanikyam Temple, Irinjalakkuda, Mahadeav Temple, Peruvanam, Trichur District, Sree Mahadeva temple,Thiruvegappura, Thirumandhamkunnu Bhagavathi Temple,Angadippuram, Malappuram District, Subrahmania temple, Harippad, [Thirumuzhikkulam Lakshamana Temple near Aluva], Subrahmania temple, Kitangur, Siva Temple, Chengngennur 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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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 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 Hindu

The Hindu
Fri, 05 Sep 2014 04:43:54 -0700

Dance has been a passion for Aiswarya Prince ever since she could remember. When she took her first lessons in dance as a three-year-old, she never knew that it would remain with her for the next three decades and more. Today, even as she juggles her ...

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 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), ...
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Tue, 02 Sep 2014 21:59:00 -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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Sun, 06 Jul 2014 02:10:01 -0700

Bhargavikutti from Neelavelicham arrived in typical ghostly fashion, appearing first on a swing outside the koothambalam. If not for the posse of photographers around her, that would have been a bit more eerie. This being the 50th anniversary year of ...

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