Kerala Kalamandalam, Thrissur

Visitor Information

  • Famous For: Historical site, Training institute for performing arts, Theatre
  • Entrance Fee: A tour is specially tailor made for the visitors to educate them about Kerala’s rich and diverse culture. For foreign tourists, it costs $20 per head and for Indian tourists Rs. 1000 per head.
  • Visiting Time: The tour is open on all working days from 0930 – 1300 hours. The tour services are closed on all national holidays.
  • Visiting Duration: The visiting duration is equivalent to the tour timings. It takes about 3-4 hours for the tour.

Kerala Kalamandalam is one of those last remaining places which still hold true to the traditions and culture of Kerala. This world-renowned institution has been imparting cultural education and training to interested individuals in the various art-forms of Kerala. This institute is responsible for preserving the culture of Kerala in its dance forms like Kathakali, Mohiniyaattam and Panchavaadyam. Located in the beautiful and scenic village of Cheruthuruthy, it is the perfect place for the artists to practice. Even though it is located in a rather traditional place, but the Kerala Kalamandalam has been pretty open about its recruitment process. It focusses more on their merit rather than their cultural background, language or religion.

Kerala Kalamandalam
Koothambalam, Photo by Arayilpdas, CC BY 3.0

Traveler Tips

  • The tour accepts only 30 people per day, which are split into three batches of 10. It I better to book your spot in the tour before visiting the place.
  • Though there is no restriction on taking photographs, one should be careful to not disturb the classes going on.
  • The tourists are not allowed to ask the practicing students to strike poses with them. It is a sign of disrespect towards the art-form.
  • Since the weather can be rainy at times, it is suggested to carry an umbrella in person. Though umbrellas are provided in the Kalamandalam on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Since you will have to remove your footwear quite often, it is better to wear sandals to make it easier for you.
  • Do not laugh or pass comments on the traditional art-forms. It is considered really disrespectful towards the masters and ideology of the institute.

Things to Do

  • Learn about the various artistic dance forms being taught here.
  • Enjoy the cultural diversity and uniqueness of Kerala.
  • Watch the students perform striking poses complemented by their vibrant expressions.
  • Visit the art gallery, which displays the various head gears, jewelry and costumes that form a critical part of these classical dances.
  • Visit the old Kalamandalam campus, which is located near the banks of Nila.
  • Experience the lush greenery, azure skies and the smell of rain in God’s own Country, Kerala.

Availability of Guides

During the tour, the Kalamandalam staff will act as your guides. They will explain you about the rich and beautiful culture that is celebrated every day in the institute. As the tour proceeds, often a couple of masters join in to interact with the tourists.

Best Time to Visit

The Kerala Kalamandalam is open to visitors almost throughout the year, except on national holidays. But the Kalamandalam stays closed during the summer break (April-May), Onam holidays (September) and winter holidays (December). Apart from those times, any other time is perfect for enjoying this scenic place.

How to Reach

Kerala Kalamandalam is well connected by road and rail. One can catch a train from Shoranur railway station or from Cochin. For local commute, buses and taxis are always at your disposal in Thrissur.

Interesting Facts and Trivia about Kerala Kalamandalam

  • This institute was founded in 1930 by the revered Malayalam poet, Vallatthol Narayan Menon. Its mission was to preserve the cultural art forms of Kerala.
  • The Kalamandalam has succeeded beautifully in its mission to educate the youth about the rich cultural ethnicity of Kerala.
  • Artists from Kalamandalam give recitals and dance performances all over the country and various parts of the world. It has received worldwide acclaim and funding to continue with its amazing work.
  • Of all dance forms, Kathakali is the youngest and also the most vividly colorful one. Kalamandalam has ensured that it does not die out by training various students in it.
  • Its students are not just from India but also from various other countries. It is a big pot of people from different backgrounds uniting to keep the spirit of Kerala alive.
  • Kerala Kalamandalam has left a mark on the world map. It is considered to be a behemoth in cultural vividness.
  • The Kalamandalam is the representation of traditional Indian teaching which follows the Gurukul methodology.
Kerala Kalamandalam Thrissur
Kathakali, Photo by spisharam, CC BY 2.0

Nearby Attractions

Nearby Places to Eat

  • Ambady Restaurant
  • Navaratna Restaurant
  • Lulu
  • Copper Spoon Multi-Cuisine Restaurant
  • India Gate
  • Pathan’s Restaurant
  • Hotel Bharat
  • Food Mall

Kalamandalam is a beautiful organization located in the astounding scenic Kerala. It is a very beautiful place, and when it is combined with the colorful dances, it is irresistible. It is an amazing place and definitely worth a visit.

About Rohit

An architect by profession, Rohit Agarwal is a curious traveller, seeking out the minutest detail about the places he travels to, and that’s what one will find in his writings. His writings have appeared in various blogs, he’s currently trying to bring forth as many different places a traveller who shares the same level of curiosity like him would like to visit through his writings.

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