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 History of Ammannur Gurukulam

The Ammannur family that had carried on the classical art form as a hereditary  profession, had arrived at Irinjalakuda in 1874 to settle  down their Journey started from Koppam , a village near Pattambi (Now in Palakad District in Kerala) after  a brief sojourn in Muzhikulam in Eranakulam district , the came to Irinjalakuda where the Ammannur chakyar Madhom was set up near
Koodalmanikyam temple .The recorded history of the family begins only from  Muzhikulam.

In those days Kutiyattam enjoyed high royal patronage. We cannot forget the importance of  The Adiyandrakoothu (performing by Chakyar and Nambiar families as part of their occupation in temple), which had ensure its survival.

 Through 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 others families as well especially for the higher level of learning.

We do not have any documentary data regarding where and when the ancientís Kalari -s of Kutiyattam Where the meticulously drawn up Kramadipika-s (Stage Manuals) and Attaprakaram-s (Acting Manuals) of the art form. So we can only understand that In ancient Kalaris where scholars of divers discipline interacted and engaged in aesthetical and theoretical discourses, did exist.

Ancient Ammannur Kalari was started in A.D.1918, and continued for almost 23 years which had started with the exclusive purpose of giving advanced training to todays Kutiyattam exponents Paimkulam Rama Chakyar, Ammannur Parameswara Chakyar and great Ammannur Madhava Chakyar by Ammannur Chachu Chakyar. After the completion of their training, in 1940 Ammannur Kochukuttan chakyar (Muzhikulam Kochukuttan chakyar) has started training in this kalari and continued at the end of 1960. In 1966 Ammannur Parameswaran(Kuttan Chakyar) became a disciple in Amannur Kalari and now he is working as chief Acharya(Trainer) of Gurukulam. In 1976 Ammannur Ramachakyar(Margi Ramachakyar) and Nalini Nangiar had joined here.

In 1979 activities of Gurukulam was started with two Young Girls Usha(Usha Nangiar),
and Rathy , hoary (So old as to inspire veneration (respecting)) tradition of Ammannur Kutiyattam kalari  began to reach women performers as well. 1985 Pothiyil NarayanaChakyar and in 1991 Paimkulam NarayanaChakyar and Kalamandalam Raveendran also joined here as trainee for two Years for their higher studies.

Mizhavu Exponent Chatakkudam Krishnan Nambiar was the guru of Mizhavu. Shri. V.K.K Hariharan also leading mizhavu artist of Gurukulam. Gopinathan Nambiar, Margi Madhu, Margi Narayanan  were also associated with the activities of Gurukulam for several years.

In late 1980ís Rajaneesh (Ammannur Rajaneesh Chakyar), Sooraj (Sooraj Nambiar) were also Joined in Gurukulam as disciples and then a few years  later Renjith(Pothiyil Renjith Chakyar), Kapila, Aparna(Aparna Nangiar) and Saritha were joined as the fifth generation. This younger generation of artistes are the professional artists of Gurukulam now.

 As Ammannur Madhava Chakyar and G.Venu wanted to preserve the best of the traditional aspects of the gurukulam system simultaneously making all of them compatible for a modern context, it was decided that the training period of the Ammannur Gurukulam would be 15 years. The old masters had received training for 20 years and more, but this had to be reduced given the changed circumstances.



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