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Kerala tourism Guide



It is said that the creator of Krishnanattam the renowned poet Manadevan had a vision of flute playing Krishna which prompted him to create Krishnagiti a Sanskrit text full of slokas and padams. Text contained details of Krishna’s life from Srimad Bhagavatam, Mahabharatam and Harivamsam. The Zamorin composed it by adding songs, dance and acting with musical instruments like, ilattalam, shuddha maddalam, toppi maddalam and itakka.

History of Krishnanattom

Krishnanattam or the dance of Lord Krishna was created by poet Manaveda during the 16th century and composed by the then Zamorin of Calicut in Kerala. Krishnanattam is barely known outside Kerala because it is performed only in Guruvayur temple and only Hindus audiences are allowed to watch. In Krishnanattam the actors do not sing or speak and they concentrate on the acting and dancing. The background song is sung by two singers.

How to perform

Krishnanattam contains eight plays like Avataram, Kaliyamardanam, Rasakrida, Kamsavadham, Svayamvaram, Banayuddham, Vividavadham and Svargarohanam which is played in eight days and on the ninth day the Avataram play is repeated. The play is performed wearing custom made dresses and gilded wooden ornaments and they use three basic colors for their makeup.

Famous artists from kerala

  • Krishnanattam is performed by a troupe based in Guruvayoor temple only.

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