Kathakali is a classical dance form from Kerala which has attractive make up, costumes, mudras and hand and face gestures performed along with singing and basic instrumental music. Kathakali is believed to have evolved from Ramanattam and Krishnanattam, originating in Kerala in the 16th century. Evolving over the years, it has been finetuned over the years in terms of singing, dresses etc
There are more than a 100 stories, though only around 20 stories are enacted. Kathakali used to be performed for an entire night. Nowadays, there is increasing popularity for concise, or often select versions of stories, so as the performance lasts not more than three to four hours.

Some of the Kathakali artists:

Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair
Kalamandalam Gopi
Kottakkal Sivaraman
Madavoor Vasudevan Nair
Mankompu Sivasankara Pillai

Malayalam Movies
Malayalam Writers
Kerala Folk Art
Kerala Classical Art
Paintings from Kerala
Malayalam Mimicry
Koodiyattam is a Sanskrit drama performed in Kerala. They have been performed in temples of Kerala and is the known ancient Sanskrit art form. These plays are now presented worlwide on stage. They have Saktibhadra's play, Kalyanasaugandhika etc. It was only performed at temples of Kerala in buildings called Kutampalams.

Mani Madhava Chakyar
Mani Damodara Chakyar
Margi sathi
Ottamthullal was created by Kunchan Nambiar. Ottamthullal is performed by one person, with simpler make up as compared to Kathakali, and colourful dress. The art form mixes ancient stories with current affairs and satire, and is modified as performed. Its humour makes it more attractive to everyone. The language is easy Malayalam and the lyrics are finetuned.


Chakyar Koothu is an art form from Kerala and is similar to stand-up comedy act. The actor utilizes his freedom to tease the audience. Stories from epics are narrated, stories of Ram and Krishna, and other stories from the Puranas combined with current affairs, and are performed in temples during festivals. Chakyar community and Nambiars have passed on the art to successive generations. Malayalam and Sanskrit are both used.

Mani Madhava Chakyar