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Heli Tourism

Enchanting Kerala


ISSUE: 201

MAY 2010

C.V.N. Kalari - Thiruvananthapuram

A disciplined way of life for the body and mind - Kalarippayattu, considered as the mother of all martial art forms is something Kerala can be proud of. If you are on the lookout for getting trained in martial arts; this perhaps could be the one you are looking for. Very systematic in its teaching, approach and methodology, the martial discipline of Kalarippayattu demands a seasoned and knowledgeable teacher and students who could devote themselves to every aspect of learning with outstanding focus and determination.

During your next visit to Kerala, make sure that you try and get a firsthand experience of Kalarippayattu by visiting an authentic centre. This month we introduce you to one such centre that has established itself as a premier place for learning Kalarippayattu and also for treatments based on Kalari traditions and principles. The name 'C.V.N. Kalari' is today synonymous with Kalarippayattu in Kerala. The Kalari has earned the reputation of a centre of excellence in Kalarippayattu, since its inception in 1956.

The C.V.N. Kalari in Thiruvananthapuram is located inside the historic East Fort in the southern part of the city. It is at a walking distance from the central railway station and also from the main bus terminus; both of which are located at Thampanoor.

The founder of C.V.N. Kalari at Thiruvananthapuram, C.V. Govindan Kutty Nair Gurukkal was the source of inspiration for the centre to grow and establish as a premier centre for Kalarippayattu in Kerala. A formal training centre for Kalari performance was established in 1975 and the centre has been actively engaged in the promotion and propagation of Kalarippayattu since then. C.V. Govindan Kutty Nair is credited for performing all over India and abroad in many countries. He has conducted many workshops and performance tours in Europe, Asia and U.S.A.

The Kalari affiliated to centres at Karukachal in Kottayam and Nadakkavu in Kozhikode offers training in traditional northern style Kalarippayattu. The Kalari or the practice ring at C.V.N. Kalari is built in an east-west direction and is about four feet below ground level. The Kalari is closed on all sides except for a small door on the eastern side. This structural uniqueness of the Kalari is well suited for Kerala, which experiences tropical climate. The light for the Kalari is chiefly provided by the name of a tall traditional wick lamp or nilavilakku. Since Kalarippayattu is considered a sublime martial art, certain deities are placed in the Kalari and rituals are performed to obtain their blessings before every session.

Long years of systematic and rigorous training hone the Kalari fighters' reflexes even while cultivating mental abilities like concentration, confidence and courage.

Training in Kalarippayattu usually starts at the age of seven for both boys and girls. Apart form physical aspects, Kalari training includes meditation and oil massages. The massages attain importance, as they provide suppleness to the body and proper conditioning. Kalari training generally comprises four stages viz. Chuvadu, pertaining to stance, followed by Vadivu, meant for body postures and proceeding to Meyppayattu, the use of body in fighting and then the final stage of training with weapons.

The C.V.N. Kalari organizes Kalarippayattu performances in different parts of India and also abroad on request. Lecture-demonstrations are presented to interested groups at the Kalari of C.V.N in Thiruvananthapuram.

So if the mother of all martial art forms appeals to you, then make your next visit to Kerala one to understand a way of life that would add value to your quality of life.

For more Details:

Getting there:

Nearest railway station: Thiruvananthapuram central, about 1.5 km.
Nearest airport: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, about 6 km.
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Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, Park View, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India - 695 033
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