A temple of Kutiyattam, the Ammannur Chachu Chakyar Smaraka Gurukulam is a renowned training and performing centre for this divine art form. The centre is attached to the Ammannur Chakyar family whose members have been the hereditary practitioners and custodians of the art of Kutiyattam.Formally registered as a charitable society the centre started functioning in October 27, 1982, with the support from Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi.
For the members of the Ammannur family Kutiyattam art is a family vocation. The family settled at Irinjalakkuda in 1874 where the Ammannur Chakyar Madhom was set up near Koodalmanikyam temple. The old Ammannur Kalari was started in 1918, and continued for almost 23 years.Though the Kutiyattam as a family occupation was usually handed down from uncle to nephew in the matrilineal Chakyar families, master performers often took disciples from other families as well especially for the higher levels of learning.
Ammannur Madhava Chakyar is the Kulapathy (doyen) of the centre. He had performed at several places and had won recognition and rewards from the rulers and other eminent personalities of his time. The government of India honored this great artist with Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award in the Republic of India in the year 2002.
The Gurukulam provides facilities for the research and other studies. The old manuscripts and other scriptures that throw light into the system and techniques of Kutiyattam are preserved in the Gurukulam. Presently there are very many scholars and visitors who frequent the centre to quench their thirst to know more about the nuances of this millennia old art form.
On 18 May, 2001, UNESCO proclaimed Kutiyattam as a "Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity". On July 24, 2001 at a function organised by the Department of Culture, India and Sangeet Natak academy in New Delhi, the Living Exponent of Kutiyattam, Padmabhooshan (Dr). Guru Ammannur Madhava Chakyar received the first citation of UNESCO for Kutiyattam from its Director General Koichiro Mastura.
Ammannur Chachu Chakyar Smaraka Gurukulam
Ammannur Chakyar Madhom
India - 680121