Kalamandalam Deemed University of Art and Culture, is a major centre for learning Indian performing arts, especially those that developed in the Southern states of India
, with the special emphasis on Kerala. It is situated in the village of Cheruthuruthy in Thrissur
District on the banks of the Bharathapuzha river.
The inception of Kalamandalam gave a second life to three major classical performing arts of Kerala as Kathakali, Kudiyattam and Mohiniyattam were, by the turn of 20th century, facing the threat of extinction under various regulations of the colonial authorities.It was at this juncture, in 1927, that Vallathol Narayana Menon and Mukunda Raja came forward and formed a society called Kerala Kalamandalam. They solicited donations from the public and conducted a lottery in order to raise funds for this society.
Kalamandalam imparts training in classical dance and theatre forms like Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Kudiyattam, Thullal, Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam, and Nangiar Koothu, besides the traditional orchestra called Panchavadyam. Training is also given in various percussion instruments like chenda, maddalam and mizhavu. Kalamandalam follows the gurukula sampradayam, the ancient Indian education system based on residential tutelage. Kalamandalam was conceived to provide training to its students in the Gurukula Sampradaya, an ancient tradition of residential schooling where students stayed with the teachers.