Ottan Thullal


Garuda Garva Bhangam from Ramanu Charitham is being enacted here today. Krishna, one of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu, the Preserver of Life, decides to temper the pride of his carrier Garuda, the King of birds. The Lord commands Garuda to bring Hanuman to Him. Hanuman, the monkey god and ace warrior, is a devotee of Lord Rama, another incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He resides in the Kadali Groves, constantly chanting the holy name of his master. When Garuda calls out to him, Hanuman immediately realizes Krishna’s aim in sending the King of birds to him. He tells Garuda that he cannot accompany him, as he has no respect for Krishna. The angered Garuda challenges Hanuman to a duel and promptly suffers a humiliating defeat in his hands.

Thullal, an art form nearly 300 years old, which yet continues to throb with vitality and vigor in the cultural history of Kerala. A solo performance combining dance, music, acting and narration. The performer enacts all the characters of the story. Humor, satire and social criticism are the hallmarks of this art form. The most mundane subjects are presented steeped in humor, thus often satirizing society’s evil ways. There are three types of Thullal viz., Ottan Thullal, Seethankan Thullal and Parayan Thullal. They differ mainly in costumes and style.

Kunchan Nambiar
Kunchan Nambiar(1705-1770), one of the great doyens of Malayalam language, master satirist, poet and pioneering genius of Thullal. Originally he played the ‘Mizhavu’ during Chakkiar Kuthu, a ritual art form of Kerala. Kunchan Nambiar crafted the unique art form of Thullal weaving songs, satire, colour and attire. His creative ingenuity helped him compose verses, which set to tune in accompaniment to musical instruments and rich costumes produced one of the most popular art forms of Kerala.

Kalamandalam Geethanandan
Kalamandalam Geethanandan, a leading exponent of this art form is also the Head of the Department of Thullal, Kerala Kalamandalam. He has been performing this art form for over three decades. He presents a portion of ‘Garuda Garva Bhangam’ (The Vanquishing of Garuda’s Pride).

Kalamandalam Gopinatha Prabha
Kalamandalam Mohana Krishnan

Shornur Janardanan Master

Kalamandalam Hari Krishnan
Sanal Kumar

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