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Māni Mādhava Chākyār
Guru Māni Mādhava Chākyār- The Doyen of
Kutiyattam and Abhinaya
||Māni Mādhava Chākyār
February 15, 1899
Kozhikode, Kerala, India
||January 14, 1990 (aged 90)
Ottappalam, Kerala, India
||Smt. P.K Kunjimalu Nangiaramma
Guru Mani Madhava
Chakyar ( Māni Mādhava Chākyār, Devanāgarī: माणि माधव चाक्यार्, Malayalam: മാണി മാധവ ചാക്യാര്) (15 February 1899 - 14
January 1990) was a celebrated master performance artist and Sanskrit scholar from Kerala, South India, considered to be the greatest
Koothu and Koodiyattam (ancient Sanskrit drama theatre tradition) artist and authority of
He was considered as the authority of Abhinaya (the classical Indian acting style) and Nātyaśāstra.
Known as "the Emperor of Rasa-Abhinaya", he had
an exceptional ability to perform Rasa-Abhinaya. His
world famous and he had the ability to act only with eyes. He was
well versed in all the traditional Koodiyattams and all the
prabandhas used in Chakyar Koothu. He was able to explain
the concepts, methods and practices of Koodiyattam and Chakyar
Koothu in a clear and scientific way. He had an in depth study of
Nātyaśāstra of Bharata Muni, as well as ways of acting
which were popular in Kerala.
His knowledge and mastery over both theory and practice of
Koodiyattam were superb. He was a veteran teacher and practitioner
of these art forms and Sanskrit.
He was the first one to take Koodiyattam and Chakyar Koothu
outside the precincts of the temples of Kerala to all over India
and to impart training in Kudiyattam to non-Chakyar disciples including foreigners. He had
produced many accomplished disciples in Kutiyattam and other
classical arts like Kathakali.
He was a Sanskrit scholar of supreme rank and was used to give
lectures and talks in Sanskrit.
He is the author of Nātyakalpadrumam - the
authoritative encyclopedic treatise on all aspects of Koodiyattam.
He was a Fellow of important
national art academies like Sangeet Natak Akademi and
recipient of coveted titles like "Nātyāchārya",
"Vidūshakaratnam" and prestigious Awards like Padma Shri, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
life and education
Mani Madhava Chakyar in one of his most
celebrated roles, as Ravana
, at the age of 89, at Tripunithura
It was one of his last public Koodiyattam performances
Māni Mādhava Chākyār was born on 15 February 1899, in his
ancestral home at Thiruvangayoor near Karayad, of Kozhikode district of
Kerala. His father was Vishnu Śarma and mother was Savithri Illotamma. He belonged to
the Māni family of Chakyars of North Kerala, who for centuries
have been the custodians of Koodiyattam - the traditional Sanskrit
theatre and Chakyar Koothu - another classical art form based on
Sanskrit Champu Kavyas.
He trained in Chakyar Koothu and Koodiyattam in traditional way,
under the direct guidance of his uncles who were great scholars and
masters of these art forms. They were Guru Māni Parameswara
Chakyar, Guru Māni Neelakandha Chakyar and Guru Māni Narayana
He belonged to the "Mani" tradition of Koodiyattam and Chakyar
Koothu which gives importance to both Rasa-abhinaya and
He was a Sanskrit
scholar of supreme rank. He used to give lectures in Sanskrit. He
studied Alankarashastra, Nātyaśāstra, Vyakarana, Nyaya, Jyotisha, etc. in the
traditional way, under great scholars such as
Panditaratnam Pazhedathu Sankaran Nampoothiripad. He was
the beloved student of one of the greatest Sanskrit scholars of all
time His Highness Darsanakalanidhi Rama Varma Parikshith Thampuran
(Maharaja of Cochin). He had his higher
studies in Nyayashastra and Natya Shastra under
him. Mani Madhava Chakyar taught Sanskrit at Balakollasini
Sanskrita Pathasala of Killikkurussimangalam.
His first performance (Arangettam) of Koodiyattam was
at the age of 14 at Trikkaikkunnu Temple of North Kottayam
of Malabar. He used to
perform the huge number of Atiyantara koothus of Mani
family (the koothus which are assigned to the family from ancient
times) in large number of temples stretching entire Malabar to
Thrissur. It consist of all devotional ritualistic Koothus and
including Anguliyanka, Mattavilasa Prahasana,
Mantranka, Ezhamanka ( seventh act of
Ascharyachoodamani) about eight decades continuously in
temples of Kerala. It includes ancient Kerala temples such as
Matayikkavu Bhagavathi Temple of Kannoor, Taliparamba Rajarajeshwara Temple, Kottiyoor Perumal Temple,
Lokanarkavu Temple of Vatakara, Thali (Tali) Siva Temple of Kozhikkode, Thirunavaya Navamukunda temple, Thiruvegappura
Sree Mahadeva Temple, Pandamangalam Krishna temple of Kottakkal, Kotakkal Vishwambhara (Shiva)
temple, Kallekkulagara Emoor Siva temple, Triprayar Sri Rama temple, Peruvanam
Shiva temple of Cherpu, Avittathur Shiva Temple
etc. Chakyar won high renown for the artistry of his performance in
these temples, as well as in many others.
He married his uncle, Mani Parameshwara Chakyar's daughter, P.K
Kunjimalu Nangiaramma, She was a great exponent in
lady characters of Kudiyattams and Nangiǎr
Kūthu and various Ragas and Shlokas used for the art form.
She used to accompany him in the performances.[9
He is considered as the all time great master of
Rasa-abhinaya (enacting sentiments in their perfection)
with special reference to Netrābhinaya (enacting
sentiments, etc. through the beautiful and masterly movements of
eyes only). He was exceptionally well in the field of
Satwika-Abhinaya. He is considered as "one of the most
wonderful theatre actors of the last century".
He was well known for his roles ( which has importance of
Satvika-Abhinaya in Koodiyattams ) like Ravana (Katti vesha), Arjuna (Pacha vesha), Udayana
(Pacha vesha), Jeemootavahana (Pazhukka vesha)
His abhinaya of Kailasoddhārana (lifting of Kailasa) and Pārvatī Viraha
(separation of Pārvatī),
enriched with the Netrabinaya and Pakarnnaattam - Abhinaya
(actor playing the role of another or more than one character
shifting constantly without changing costume), were widely
He was well known for the abhinaya of the slokas like
"sikhinishalabham.." of the play
Subhadradhananjayam by playing it with mere eyes. He was
able to act in detail the Moths
falling in and out of the lamp fire by evoking his acclaimed
Netrabhinaya, with assigning different rasa's for female moth, male
moth and the fire.
Guru's Abhinaya of the shloka smaramyavandhyadhipateh
sutayah ( स्मराम्यवन्त्यािधपतेः सुतायाः ) from Bhasa's Swapnavasawadattam is also widely acclaimed
He was considered a reference to Abhinaya and his
ability to perform the same was considered as "perfect" by art
critics. His ability to perform Netrābhinaya is considered
one of the wonders of the art world, ranking alongside the
symphonies of Beethoven.
Noted art critic, renowned scholar of Sanskrit dramaturgy and
former director of Samskritaranga- Chennai, Dr. V. Raghavan, had
highest regard for the maestro and his Abhinaya -
"Mani Madhava Chakyar when he portrayed Arjuna on the
first evening and Ravana on the second, showed himself a
master of the expression of the eye".
Kathak maestro Birju Maharaj
considered him one of the finest dancers of the millennium -
"He had his own style. He could convey his thoughts through
expressions. His eye movement was superb!"
Mehta (Executive Director, National Center for Performing Arts-
Bombay, acclaimed Indian theatre personality) about her experience
of watching 72 year old Guru's Abhinaya of
"(Guru Mani Madhava Chakiar) began playing the dual role of
Parvati and Shiva... he sat on a wooden chair...I have never ever
seen a Parvati so exquisitely beautiful. I have never seen a Shiva
so handsome and so cunning. I sat there and wept as if I were alone
in the presence of God. I then realized what theatre was all about
— the falsehood of that old man made me arrive at a state where
inhibitions and convictions, all became so fluid and beautiful. And
this vision has remained with me always" Art
critic Stella Kramrisch ( Curator of Indian Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art
), after seeing his Netrābhinaya, described him as
"the greatest eye-wizard of the world."
Famous Bharatanatyam dancer Balasaraswati remarked about the
"When i say Abhinaya, oh, I can't do the abhinaya like what the
great man did here yesterday"
next day after Chakyar's lecture-demonstration at Madras
Music Academy in 1973. One of the leading scholars of classical
Indian dances, Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan thought
"Mani Madhava Chakyar was the personification of all the
greatness of this rich Indian classical art tradition" and "his
Netraabhinaya is simply incomparable."
Dramatist Kavalam Narayana Panicker, remarks
"Mani Madhava Chakyar's forte was Satwikabhinaya. Endowed with
expressive eyes; that can speak a thousand moods and a countenance
that can reflect the range of human emotions in its entirety, Mani
Madhava Chakkiar was the master at work" and "The many faces of
Mani Madhava Chakyar were indeed the many faces of Kutiyattam. But
whatever the costume and whatever the roles, the ability to
transform himself from a mere actor to charged character was unique
He was known for his extraordinary ability for expressing the NavaRasas
(nine Rasas) to its supreme extent and the photos of the same are
and being archived in art institutions, academies such as Sangeet Natak Academy of India, and museums
all over the world.
Other peculiarity of the maestro was his perfectness while
reciting the shlokas in corresponding Raagas.
the art form
Guru Mani Madhava Chakyar and his troop performing
Koodiyattam (1962- Chennai). It was the first ever Koodiyattam
performance outside Kerala. Mani Madhava Chakyar as Ravana
, Mani Neelakandha
Chakyar as Hanuman
& PK.G Nambiar as
He brought Chakyar Koothu and Koodiyattam outside s of Hindu
1949 he performed Chakyar Koothu for All India Radio, which created history
since that was the first time the art was performed outside Koothambalam. In
1955, under the leadership of the Guru, Kutiyattam was performed
outside the temple for the first time
in his village Killikkurussimangalam. For performing the art forms
outside the temples he faced lot of problems from the hardline
Chakyar community. In an
interview Guru remembered
"My own people condemned my action (performing Koothu and
Kutiyattam outside the precincts of the temples), Once, after I had
given performances at Vaikom,
they even thought about excommunicating me. I desired that this art
should survive the test of time. That was precisely why I ventured
outside the temple"
In 1962, under the leadership of Dr. V. Raghavan- noted art and
Sanskrit scholar; Sanskrit Ranga of Madrass, invited Guru
Mani Madhava Chakyar to perform Kutiyattam in Chennai. Thus for the first time in the history
Kutiyattam was performed outside Kerala by his tropue.   They
presented at Madras on three nights, Kutiyattam scenes from three
plays Abhiṣeka, Subhadrādhanañjaya and Nāgānda. The
performance of the maestro Maani Maadhava Chakyar made great impact
on the people and art critics so that, Kutiyattam and Mani Madhava
Chakyar became famous outside Kerala also. People outside Kerala
was able to witness the extraordinary talent of the maestro.
Then Mani Madhava Chakyar was invited and performed Kutiyattam at
various places of North India like New Delhi and Banaras (1964). It
made the critic to accept his authority in Rasa Abhinaya,
Natyasastra and Kutiyattam.
After Mani Madhava Chakyar's first tour to New Delhi, he was
awarded immediately with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
in 1964 for his contributions to Chakyar Koothu and
Kutiyattam, which became the first national recognition to the
maestro and the art form. His supremacy in Rasa-abhinaya
and Netrabhinaya and Kutiyattam became very famous and
attracted lot of people towards the art form.
He performed Kudiyattam all over India and popularized the same.
He along with his troop did Koodiyattam performance in places like
Madras (1962, 1973 &
1977), Madhura (1962), New Delhi (1964, 1966,
1974, 1979 & 1983), Varanasi (1964 & 1979), Bombay (1973), Ujjain (1982), Bhopal (1987) etc.
The President of India, scholar and
philosopher, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
invited him to perform Kutiyattam at Rashtrapati Bhavan in 1964 and was
impressed by the Guru's exceptional acting skill. His Kutiyattam
performances, lectures and demonstrations at well known centres
like Madras Music Academy in Chennai, International
Centre for Kathakali in New Delhi, Experimental
theatre in New Delhi and Bombay, National Centre for
the Performing Arts in Bombay fetched wide popularity and
recognition for his Abhinaya and Kutiyattam.
He choreographed and directed acts of the plays like Kalidasa's Abhijñānaśākuntala, Vikramorvaśīya and Mālavikāgnimitra ; Bhasa's Swapnavāsavadatta and
Pancharātra; Harsha's Nagananda for the first time in the
history of Koodiyattam. He along with his troupe performed these
Kutiyattams all over India.
When his guru, His Highness Darsanakalanidhi Rama Varma Parikshith
Thampuran wrote a new Sanskrit champu prabandha called
Prahlādacharita and requested
senior artists to study and perform the same on the Chakyar Koothu
stage, they said it was impossible for them to stage such a new
prabandha. Then the guru asked Mani Madhava Chakiar, who
was then a comparatively young artist, to try. He agreed and
studied a part of the prabandha within one night and
performed the same on the next day at Tripunithura - the
then capital of Cochin state (1962). The incident made the
scholars to accept his mastery over both Sanskrit and the classical
art form. After some months, he performed entire
Prahlādacharita at the same stage.
He performed Chakyar Koothu and Koodiyattam for All India Radio
and Doordarshan for
the first time, which helped to attract thousands of listeners to
these traditional art forms. It was he who started demonstrations in
Kudiyattam to popularise the same.
He is considered the greatest guru of Kutiyattam of the modern
times, producing many accomplished disciples.
He taught Koodiyattam for the first time to a non-Chakyar - Nambiar caste member. He was a Polish student named Maria
(currently at Department of Indology, Warsaw
University), who was then a research student at Banaras Hindu University, came
to study the only surviving ancient Sanskrit drama Koodiyattam, from Guru
around early 1960s. He stayed at Guru Mani Madhava Chakyar's home
and studied Koodiyattam in its traditional Gurukula way. Lot of
research scholars came to study the Sanskrit drama from the ultimate
exponant of Kutiyattam and Abhinaya Mani Madhava Cakyar. Dr. Farley
Richmond (University of Georgia, USA), noted
Sanskrit drama scholar also studied about the ancient Sanskrit art
form under Mani Madhava Chakyar by staying at his home at Killikkurussimangalam. He had
filmed Rasa Abhinaya and Kutiyattam of the maestro. Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay of
All-India Handicrafts Board came to Guru Maani Madhava Cakyar's
home to do research about the costumes used in Kutiyattam
(Ahāryābhinaya) (1967). Indian theatre scholar Goverdhan Panjal (National School of Drama)
studied about Koothambalams and Kutiyattam under the Guru
When Kerala Kalamandalam (a school for
the performing arts) was founded by Vallathol Narayana Menon, he
invited authority of Rasa-abhinaya, Mani Madhava Chakyar
as the master trainer for Rasa-abhinaya to the Kathakali students. Later
Kathakali Yogam- Katathandu, Kerala Kalamandalam, PSV Natyasangham-
Kottakkal and Gandhi Seva
Sadanam Kathakali Academy- Perur used his services as visiting professor of
Rasa-abhinaya and taught advanced students in Kathakali
and Kutiyattam.   
He is known as “the master who gave eyes to Kathakali”.
His influence on the classical performing arts of Kerala is famous.
Many Koodiyattam, Kathakali, Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam artists were trained by this
great master. 
Kathakali artists including legendary Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair,
Nair, Guru Anand Shivram, Guru Kalamandalam Madhavan, Guru Gopinath, Sadanam
Krishnankutty are his disciples.  
Guru, who was an eminent teacher and performer opened a
Gurukulam (training centre) in 1982 for teaching
Kutiyattam, Chakyar Koothu, Nangyar Koothu and related art forms at
Killikkurussimangalam (Lakkidi). After
Guru's death it was named as Padmasree Mani Madhava Chakyar
Smaraka Gurukulam in memory of the Guru. This institution
still keeps its tradition and plays a major role in Kutiyattam
teaching, revival and performance. 
Guru, who had dedicated his life to Kutiyattam was concerned
about the fate of this classical art form. Māni Mādhava Chākyār's
conversation with famous Bharatanatyam dancer Rukmini
Devi Arundale, when she visited Guru at his residence a year
before his death, reflects his anxiety
||At least Bharatanatyam
is now world famous, with thousands of new votaries. What about
Koodiyattam?.....I have done what I can. It has not been easy. One
has to sacrifice a lot to learn Koodiyattam. How many persons will
be ready for it these days? Will there be an audience capable of
Awards, titles and
Mani Madhava Chakyar received many titles, awards and degrees.
He is one of the most felicitated artist from Kerala. His first
major recognition came from HH Bhattan Thampuran
(Bhatta Raja) of Kodungallur
Kovilakam Kodungallur_Kovilakam himself at
the age of 22. Bhattan Thampuran awarded him with a
Mudramothiram (signed ring) (1921). Mani Madhava Chakyar
considered this Mudramothiram as the prestigious award that he ever
He received the most prestigious sacred Vīrasringhala
or Veerashringhala (It’s a kind of Golden Bracelet, given
to the greatest artist/scholar of that era) from Taliparamba Rajarajeshwara Temple (1923). He
is the youngest one to receive this award, which is being given to
the scholars of the supreme rank, only by the unanimous approval of
a special body of temple consisting of eminent scholars. Till date
no one else has received a Veerashringhala from there after Mani
Another major Vīrasringhalas that he received are; from Valiya
Thampuran of Kottakkal
Kovilakam (1952), from
Urpassikkavu of Thalassery, from His Holiness Jagadguru Shri Shankaracharya of
Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham (1961), from Samoothiri Raja of Kozhikkode, given at the
eve of Koodiyattam performance at Guruvayur
Sree Krishna Temple (1964) and from Tripunithura Kovilakam
He was honoured with ponnada (a kind of silk cloth given as a gesture of honour and
respect) from Maharani (Queen) Of Travancore, presented through
Mahakavi Ulloor S. Parameswara Iyer
at Vaikom Mahadeva Temple. He was honoured by HH. Rajah of Palakkad
with a Keshabharam Kireetam at
Hemambika Temple of Kallekkulangara (1962). He has received Gold
Medals from Valiya Raja of Katathanadu, Pallikkunnu Bhagavathy Temple of Kannoor, Avittathur (1962), Delhi
Experimental theatre (1964)
In 1930, he was awarded the title Nātyāchārya (Guru
of Natya) by Kadathanadu Valiya Thampuran
(Raja of Kadathanadu). He received the title
Vidūshakaratna, again from the Taliparamba Rajarajeshwara
Temple (1954) for his excellence in performing “vidūshaka” in
Koodiyattams. He was honoured by Fine Arts Society of Kochi by giving the
Government of India conferred Padma Shri (1974) and Emeritus Fellowship (1982) on him. He was conferred by an
honorary degree from Banaras Hindu University in
He has received major National and International Awards and
Fellowships such as
He was the first Chakyar Koothu and Koodiyattam artist to
He has received numerous Honours and Certificates from
distinguished institutions and individuals such as Akhila
Bharata Sanskrit Sammelan (World Sanskrit Conference) - New
Delhi, Samskrita Ranga - Chennai, Fifth World Sanskrit Conference -
Dr.S. Radhakrishnan, Dr. Vibhuti Narayan Singh ( Maharaja of Kasi ), Satyanarayana Sinha,
Bishnu Ram Medhi (Chief Minister of Assam), Sir C.P. Ramaswami Iyer, Maharaja of Kollengode, Vallathol Narayana Menon, Dr.
V. Raghavan, Rukmini Devi Arundale, Dr. V.K
Narayana Menon, Dr.Kapila
Vatsyayan etc. etc.
Even though Guru Mani Madhava Chakkiyar received lot of national
recognitions art critics widely believe that he truly deserved a
lot more and recognitions came very late. RKG
(Editor, The Illustrated Weekly, Columnist for Times of India)
||..I felt angry when I
learnt that a great artist like Mani Madhava Chakyar was awarded a
mere Padma Shri. A man of his artistic genius and erudition deserved to be
decorated with the highest state honour
He has written an authoritative, award winning book (in Malayalam) on Koodiyattam called Nātyakalpadrumam (1975). This
work is being used as a reference by scholars and students.
Natyakalpadrumam deals with all aspects of Koodiyattam in
a scientific and critical manner. This book is considered the
encyclopedia of Koodiyattam. It
won the prestigious Kerala Sahitya
Academi Award (1976). This
book is translated into Hindi by
Sangeet Natak Akademi of New Delhi.  
One of his other book is Matha Vilasam (Mattavilasam
1968), the choreography and play part ( actor's manual -
Attaprakara) used in Mattavilasaprahasana
wrote the Attaprakaras of Abhijñānaśākuntala,
Swapnavāsavadatta, Vikramorvaśīya, Mālavikāgnimitra, Pancharātra
and Nagananda (Not
His biography (in Malayalam), Mani Madhaveeyam (1999) was
published by Department of Cultural Affairs Publications of the Government of Kerala. The
book gives the picture of astonishing accomplishing and momentous
life of the Guru. It gives an excellent account of his struggles
and his lifelong devotion towards the art form. The book includes
Guru's memoirs of his illustrious stage life spanning about 80
golden years. Book contains a lot of rare photos giving us an
insight to maestro's both personal and theatre life.
Guru has written articles in various journals and
presented number of papers in conferences on various aspects of
Koodiyattam, Abhinaya, Raagas, Natyasastra, Chakyar Koothu,
Rasābhinaya in Kathakali etc.
The Master At Work
- A biographical film about Guru Mani
Madhava Chakkiar by Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi.
There are several films and documentaries
featuring legend Māni Mādhava Chakyar's Rasa-Abhinaya, Koodiyattam
performances, illustrious life etc.
- Mani Madhava Chakyar: The Master at Work ( 1994, Kavalam Narayana Panikar,
Central Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi) is a biographical film on
the life and work of Mani Madhava Chakyar. Film
shows Movie contains interview with the maestro where he explains
the difficulty he had to face from hardliners when he took the
traditional art forms outside temple for the first time in 1949.
The film contains a session focussed on Rasa abhinaya by the
maestro, where he enacts various Rasas.
- Parvati Viraham: Mani Madhava Chakyar as Ravana (1993,
Central Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi) features Mani Madhava
Chakyar as Ravana in the Pārvatī Viraham
(separation of Pārvatī) in Koodiyattam form. Movie
shows the famous Pārvatī]] Viraham part of the
Ascharyachodamani Kutiyattam, one of the masterpieces of
the Guru. It includes the famous Pakarnnattam abhinaya of
- Kutiyattam- Sanskrit Theater of India
Farley Richmond (University of Georgia), The University of Michigan Press,
USA) contains rare videos of the
maestro's Rasa Abhinaya including glimpses of his world famous
CD also contains the audios of recital of Shlokas and play parts by him in his unique
- Mani Madhava Chakkiar (English, Classic Films) is a
documentary film about the maestro. It shows the famous Abhinaya of
the maestro in different Kutiyattams, his Chakyar Koothu
performance etc. It also gives a picture of his personal life. A
movie directed by Aziz (in Malayalam) about the life of the Guru
also stands out.
- Guru Mani Madhava Chakyar (2009, Krishnan Unni, Govt.
of Kerala) is a
documentary about the guru. This project by Information and Public
Relations Dept. of Govt. of Kerala as part of capturing the eminent
personalities in Kerala and to highlight their rich contribution
made to the State.
- Chakyar Koothu performance of the prabandha Prahlādacharita,
Prahladacharitham Chakyar Koothu (1986, audio, Harisree
Audios, Kerala) gives unique feeling of the maestro's ability in
narration and recital. It is unique since he hasn't performed
Prahlādacharita after the death of his guru HH Rama Varma
Parikshith Thampuran in 1964, except for this recording.
Many of his Koodiyattam, Chakyar Koothu performances,
demonstrations, interviews etc. were documented by Doordarshan centres of
New Delhi, Bombay, Bhopal, Madras, Thiruvananthapuram etc. and All India Radio
and is still being broadcast all over India. Documentation of
Guru's Kutiyattam performance by Doordarshan Centre Bombai with English
commentary of noted art critic and scholar Dr. V. K Narayana Menon
is widely acclaimed one.
(August 1991) issue dedicated to Guru Maani Maadhava Chakyar.
The memorial to the Guru at his residence, that marks the spot of
Guru Mani Madhava Chakyar died at the age of 91 on 14 January
1990 in a private hospital
at Ottappalam due to natural causes. His body
was cremated with full honours at his Killikkurussimangalam
residence. There is a memorial to the Guru at the spot of his
His birth and death anniversaries are celebrated by various
cultural programmes, commemorative sessions and Kutiyattam
festivals by various cultural organizations and institutes.
He is one of the most felicitated artist from Kerala and was the
first recipient of all major awards for Chakyar Koothu and
Koodiyattam. Kerala Sangeet Natak Academy's annual Koodiyattam
Award is known as Maani Madhava Puraskaram as a
tribute to the maestro.
Many of his films are still screened regularly at art theaters
across and outside India.
Guru's Kutiyattam and Chakyar Koothu performances and other
documentaries are broadcast from major Doordarshan and All India Radio stations regularly
(Guru himself had initiated performance of these art forms for
these media for the first time).
Art and cultural festivals are organized by various associations
as a dedication to the Kuddiyattam maestro regularly.
p. 77, (1982), Cultural News from
India, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Govt. of India, 77
"Spectrum". The Sunday
Tribune, 16 April 2006. http://www.tribuneindia.com/2006/20060416/spectrum/main2.htm.
- ^ a
p. 75-76,, Ananda Lal (Editor)
(2004), The Oxford Companion to Indian Theatre, Oxford University Press, USA,
75-76, ISBN 9780195644463
Akavur Narayanan, Shatam Jiva Sharadah, Mathrubhumi weekly,
March (15-21) 1987, p. 20.
enacting different sentiments in their perfection
enacting different sentiments, etc. through the beautiful and
masterly movements of eyes only
On a mission of a cultural sort, "The Hindu", 17 June 2005 
supreme state art academy of Govt. of India
- ^ a
p. 28, Shivaji, Bharati
(1986), The Art of
Mohiniyāttam, Lancer International, 28, ISBN
India's premier Music and Dance magazine, Chennai, March 2008 
- ^ a
Dr. V Raghavan, p.21 Natya,
Bharatiya Natya Sangh, 1962.
- ^ a
p. 311,, New
York Public Library (1990), Bibliographic Guide to Dance
1989, New York Public Library, 1150,
- ^ a
"Films of Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi". http://www.sangeetnatak.com/film.htm.
Indigenous Sanskrit theatre
form, The Hindu, Tuesday, 31 July 2007
- ^ ;Dr. V. K Narayana Menon;
Illustrated Weekly of India, Vol. XCIX- 37, Oct. 1-7,
1978, New Delhi,
p.21 Dr. V Raghavan,
Natya, Bharatiya Natya Sangh, 1962.
Birju Maharaj- the Kathak maestro on the ten finest dancers he has
known, rediff.com: The
Theatre is a great lie that
gets us to arrive at a great truth- Dr.Vijaya Mehta
Kapila Vatsyayan, Gurupuja, Mathrubhumi weekly, February (11-17) 1990,
- ^ a
Mani Madhava Chakkyar: The Master at Work, K.N. Panikar,
Sangeet Natak Akademi New Delhi, 1994
Kutiyattam: Sanskrit Theatre of India, Asian Theatre
Journal - Volume 21, Number 2, Fall 2004, pp. 224-225
p. 157,, Clifford Reis Jones, V.
Raghavan (1984), The Wondrous Crest-Jewel in
Performance: Text and Translation of the Ascaryacudamani of
Śaktibhadra, Oxford University Press,
A part of Bhasa's play Abhiṣeka Nataka based
on the epic Ramayana.
p. 10, 89 (1963), The Samskrita Ranga
Annual, Samskrita Ranga, Madras, 89
p. 240 (1968), Bibliography of the Books,
Papers & Other Contributions of Dr. V. Raghavan, New
Order Book Co., India, 370
p. 77 (1967), The Samskrita Ranga
Annual, Samskrita Ranga, Madras, 77
p. 11, Narayanan, Dr.
Akavoor (2006), Vyakthivivekam (Essays), Poorna
Publishers, 75, ISBN 8171808581
p. 176 (1987), The Samskrita Ranga
Annual, Samskrita Ranga, Madras, 176
- ^ a
"New life for Koodiyattom
act". The Hindu, 25 March 2005. http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/fr/2005/03/25/stories/2005032502310300.htm.
He later became Polish Government Ambassador to India. Now at Warsaw
University. He has written numerous articles about Sanskrit drama
traditions, and Kutiyattam
"Bowled over by
Koodiyattam". The Hindu, 16 December 2006. http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/mp/2006/12/16/stories/2006121601660100.htm.
"Searching the soul of Indian
theatre". New Indian Express, 4 August 2006. http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IEX20060803235248.
Gurus, Perur Gandhi
Gandhi Seva Sadan, Kerala
"The Statesman, 24
July 2006". http://grass-roots.in/cache/index.php/7791.
Kathakali Sadanam, - Kathakali
and Classic Arts Akademy in Ottapalam Taluk, Kerala,india
Interview - Smitha Rajan – A
Journey in Mohiniyattam…. by Anu Chellappa
pp.80, K. L. Gupta, Ravi Bhushan,
Anurag Gupta (1976). Reference India: Illustrated
Biographical Notes on Men & Women of Achievements and
Distinctions. Tradesman & Men India.
Obituary, Guru Govindan
magazine, February 2007
"Abhinaya, his forte".
The Hindu, 16 February 2006. http://www.hindu.com/fr/2007/02/16/stories/2007021600800300.htm.
Kutty, Kalamandalam Govindan (2004).
Kathakali: The Dance-Theatre. The Asiatic Society,
"Training centres of Kerala,
Kerala Govt.". http://www.keralatourism.org/Training%20Centres%20of%20Kerala/centre_details.php?id=112.
Folk Dances Of India-
P.T. Narendra Menon, Kulapati of Koodiyattam, Sruti-
India's premier Music and Dance magazine, August 1990 issue (71),
greatest Sanskrit scholar of Kerala in this century
K. A. Chandrahasan, In pursuit of excellence (Performing
Arts), "The Hindu", Sunday 26 March 1989
Kind of Crown used in Kutiyattam. See the
crown in Image:Mani Madhava Chakyar as Ravana.jpg
Sangeet Natak Akademi
official list of awardees
Govt. of India, Padma Shree Awardees http://www.india.gov.in/myindia/images/ps_awards.pdf.
official list from Sangeet
p.156 Malayalam Literary
Survey, published by Kēraḷa Sāhitya Akkādami, 1984
Kalidasa Academy, Ujjain http://ujjain.nic.in/kalidasa_academi/kalidasa_samaroh.htm
Sunil Kothari, M.P. Government's cultural awards, Sruti. Issue 31,
Apr 1987, p. 4-5 OCLC: 79366285
Manorama Year Book
Leela Venkatraman, An index of merit?, "The Hindu", 27 December
p. 95,, M. Prabha (2000), The
Waffle of the Toffs , Oxford
& IBH, 271, ISBN 8120413598
p. 256, RKG (2000),
India : A Nation in Turmoil, Vedam
Books, New Delhi, ISBN 81-7476-268-X
Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy and
Venkateswarier Subramaniam, "The Sacred and the Secular in India's
Performing Arts: Ananda K.
Coomaraswamy Centenary Essays"(1980), Ashish Publishers, p.
see section Miscellaneous http://www.dcbooks.com/Kerala.htm
"Books and films". Sangeet
Natak Akademi, New
"Nāṭyakalpadruma : Kerala
kī Kūṭiyāṭṭam nāṭyakalā kī rūparekhā(Hindi) in WorldCat". http://worldcat.org/oclc/44811805&referer=brief_results.
Mani Madhava Chakyar
Publications of Dept. of Cultre, Kerala Govt. http://www.kerala.gov.in/dept_culture/books.htm
First published as a series in the Malayalam weekly - Kalakaumudi in
Mani Madhava Chakyar, "The Training Methods of
Kudiyattam", Sangeet Natak, (special issue), no.
1971."Mani Madhava Chakyar".
Kalamandalam Annual. 33-34.
play writer, director, poet
and fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi and former secretary of Kerala
Sangeet Natak Akademy
"Asia-Pacific Database on
Intangible Cultural Heritage". http://www.accu.or.jp/ich/en/links/O_IND4-more.html.
Mani Madhava Chakyar the master at work, http://worldcat.org/oclc/70799359&referer=brief_results
L. Erdman, JSTOR
Ethnomusicology, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Sep., 1983), pp. 577-579
"Mani Madhava Chakkiar, British Film Institute". http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/individual/210250?view=credit.
"New York Times, 19 December 2007". http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/157082/Manifestations-of-Shiva/overview.
"Kutiyattam Sanskrit Theater
of India, Farley Richmond,University of Michigan
"Mani Madhava Chakkiar",Classic Films, CS Krishnakumar, IA
"State’s stalwarts captured on
screen, The Hindu, 31 March 2008". http://www.hindu.com/2008/03/31/stories/2008033154320600.htm.
"Nangiarkoothu alive and
kicking". The New Indian Express, Kochi, 20 January
"Honouring ritual arts".
The Hindu, 11 March 2002. http://www.thehindu.in/thehindu/lf/2002/03/11/stories/2002031101480200.htm.
The recognition of Kutiyattam,
the Sanskrit theatre form of Kerala, as a remarkable example of the
oral less-known art under the spotlight of global attention, and
made the world citizen responsible for the protection and promotion
of this art
"Gems from the dust".
Anjana Rajan, The Hindu, New Delhi, Friday, 19 August
The Indian Express, 10 August 1998. http://www.expressindia.com/news/ie/daily/19980810/22251144.html.
References and further
Bhargavinilayam, Das (1999),
Madhaveeyam(biography of Guru Mani Madhava Chakyar),
Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala, ISBN
India's premier Music and Dance magazine, Chennai, August 1990 issue (71)
dedicated to the Guru
- L.S Rajagopalan, Mani Madhava Chakyar- A Titan of A
Thespian, Sruti, August 1990 issue (71)
- L.S. Rajagopal, The Wizard of Eyes, Journal of Madras
Music Academy, 1974
- P.T. Narendra Menon, Kulapati of Koodiyattam, Sruti,
August 1990 issue (71)
- Nayar, M.K.K (1990), Classical Arts of
Kerala, Current Books, Thiruvananthapuram, ISBN
- K. A. Chandrahasan, In
pursuit of excellence (Performing Arts), "The Hindu", Sunday 26 March
- Mani Madhava Chakkyar: The Master at Work (film-
English), Kavalam N. Panikar, Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi,
- Natyacharya Mani Madhava Chakyar, Attendance - The Dance Annual of India 2009
- Vijay Shankar, Mani Madhava Chakyar, Bhavan's Journal,
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, v.30,
p. 67, 16 June 1984
- (Hindi)Chākyār, Māni Mādhava (1991),
Nātyakalpadrumam, Sangeet Natak
Akademi, New Delhi
Dr. Akavoor Narayanan,
Arangaaliyavar, Poorna Publications, Calicut
Manjusha - A tribute to Mani Madhava
Chakyar, Mani Madhava Chakyar Smaraka Gurukulam, Killikkurussimangalam,
Dr. Akavoor Narayanan
(2006), Vyakthivivekam, Poorna Publishers, 75, ISBN