Preparing the next Generation (Training)

Like any other ritual and traditional art forms of Kerala, Ayyappan Thiyyattu also had its bad days when other avenues opened up for employment of the communities performing the art forms. Very few of the present generation took up the art form seriously.

It was at this juncture that Mulankunnathukavu Thiyyadi took up the art form seriously. With their knowledge of other temple arts and classical art forms, they could elevate the quality of thiyyattu performance to such a level that even Kerala Kalamandalam treated it at par with other art forms popularized by them.


With a view to pass on the batten to the next generation Mulankunnathukavu Thiyyadi came forward to train the youngsters of the community in the art form. Mulankunnathukavu Thiyyadi Raman Nambiar thus started “Summer camps” at his house at Tripunithura for youngsters of the community. Such camps were in operation for more than 15 years. The younger ones were trained in all the departments of thiyyattu including kalamezhuthu, paattu, koothu and komaram.

Till now, six youngsters have been trained under this camp. Out of them, four are from Mulankunnathukavu Thiyyadi (Neelakantan, Vasudevan, Narayanan and Vishnunarayanan) and one each from Malamakkavu (Vasudevan) and Perumpilavu (Sandeep) Thiyyadis. All the six have performed their arangettam after the initial training and one of them is being groomed for udayastamana koothu also. In addition to the above thiyyadi nambiar boys, a member of Kallattu Kurup (a community traditionally doing kalamezhthu and Pattu for Bhadrakali) has also been given training in the field, who is now capable of doing the art form independently.

Though thiyyatu is an art form performed only by menfolk, two ladies viz. Aryadevi Kaleshan (daughter of Raman Nambiar) and Niranjana Varma have come forward to learn the drawing portion of the art form, i.e. kalamezhuthu. Being well-trained in painting and animation, both of them could easily learn the intricacies of kalamezhuthu and are now capable of drawing any kalam of Ayyappan Thiyyattu of their own.


Acrylic painting of Moonu Roopam Kalam by Aryadevi Kaleshan. This is a blend of both traditional Kalamezhuthu and Kerala Mural Painting styles.