Cheruthuruthi, a small beautiful riverside village near Thrissur is famous worldwide for the Kathakali Training Center. A journey to Cheruthuruthi opens the door to the tradition and cultural heritage of Kerala in various art forms.
The worldwide fame Kathakali has achieved is mostly because of Cheruthuruthy the home of the internationally acclaimed ‘Kerala Kalamandalam’, the training school for ‘Kathakali’ and other indigenous performing arts of Kerala. The location of Cheruthuruthi made it unique among other places. It lies at the west end of the renowned Palakkad Gap.
The Kalamandalam situated in an aesthetically designed campus of 32 acres is the citadel of learning for ‘Kathakali’, a dance-drama, and other performing arts of Kerala like Mohiniyattam, Koodiyattam, and Ottamthullal. Apart from Kathakali Cheruthuruthi is famous for the Pottery and art work.
Places to Visit in Cheruthuruthi
1. Kerala Kalamandalam Arts Academy
Kerala Kalamandalam is one of the most reputed place for the traditional art forms of Kerala. Kalamandalam is known as the cradle of Kathakali in India. Kerala Kalamandalam leter renamed as Kalamandalam Deemed University of Art and Culture. It was founded in 1930 by Vallathol Narayana Menon and Mankulam Mukunda Raja.
Kalamandalam offers training in classical dance as well as theatre forms including Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Koodiyattam, Thullal, Kuchipudi,Nangiar Koothu and Bharatanatyam. Apart from these there is training for Panchavadyam, traditional orchestra, Chenda, Maddalam and Mizhavu. Kalamandalam follows the ancient teaching method of Gurukula.
The simplicity and ethnic atmosphere of Kalamandalam is inspiring. If you want to see the whole Kalamandalam go for ‘A Day with the Masters’ cultural tourism package. The students of Kalamandalam will take you through the Koothambalam, the Kalari and costume gallery.
2. Irunilamkode Temple:
Just a few kilometers away from Kalamandalam sits the Irunilamkode rock cut temple. Irunilamkode is a small scenic village in Thrissur district. The temple is famous for so many things.
The idol is carved on a rock at the bottom edge of a small hillock inside a cave. The structure of the deity is very special and rare. Lord Dakshinamurthy sitting on a pedestal one leg mounted on the the other, head a title lifted up, body leaning towards back and with a charming look.
All the four hands are bearing the traditional symbols. A shining silver crown is also mounted on the head. The idols of Vishnu, Sivalinga, and Devi are also sculptured in the Shrine.
For thousands of years this temple was unknown to the public. About three hundred years ago some villagers located this temple accidentally. Now this ancient temple is under the protection of the Archaeological Department of Kerala government.
Where To Stay in Cheruthuruthi
Cheruthuruthi has some good stay options. The River Retreat hotel was once the summer palace of Kochi Raja’s. The hotel have a swimming pool, Ayurveda centre and health club. You can dine in The White Sand Restaurant which has bar and multi cuisine restaurant.
Cheruthuruthi Eco Gardens, a traditional Kerala style hotel set in the scenic ambiance is another option to stay in Cheruthuruthi. Nilayoram Resort set along the serene ambiance of River Nila is another best place to stay. There is an indoor auditorium in here where one can watch performances of Kalamandalam artists.