Born in 1937 in the village of Kothachira, Kerala, Kalaman- dalam Gopi (Vadakka Manalath Govindan) was initiated in Kathakali by Guru T. Ravunni Nair. He later trained at Kerala Kalamandalam with Gurus Ramankutty Nair. Padmana- bhan Nair, Kumaran Nair and others. Over a thirty-year career Kalamandalam Gopi has established himself as an outstanding Kathakali actor. He has played all major Kathakali roles, excelling as Bhima, Arjuna and Nala. The most notable representative of the Kalluvazhi school today he has enriched the northern Kathakali style in many respects. He has been on the teaching faculty of Kerala Kalamandalam from 1958. For his eminence in dance and his contribution to its enrichment Kalamandalam Gopi (Vadakka Manalath Govindan) receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Kathakali.