Painkulam Damodara Chakyar



Born on 22 February 1934 in Painkulam village in Thrissur district of Kerala, Shri Painkulam Damodara Chakyar hails from a traditional family of Chakyars. He received training in Kutiyattam under his uncle Painkulam Rama Chakyar at his ancestral home, the Chakyar Madham. He was also a student of Painkulam Narayana Chakyar. He studied Sanskrit literature under Poomulli Neelakantan Namboothiry and was guided in the discipline of Tarkashastra by Cherukulapurathu Krishnan Namboothiripad. Over the years, Shri Painkulam Damodara Chakyar has established himself as a leading performer and teacher of Kutiyattam. He was a member of the first ever tour by a Kutiyattam troupe abroad led by his guru in 1980. With this troupe of artists from the Kerala Kalamandalam , led by Rama Chakyar, he has performed in Poland , France, Germany, and Thailand besides making appearances at major festivals in India.
He has received critical acclaim for his roles as Rama, Arjuna, Ravana, Hanuman, and Sugriva among others.
After the demise of his guru in 1980, he embarked on a second phase in his career, performing Chakyar Koothu at various temples in Kerala including the Sabarimala shrine. He has conducted workshops in this art at temples as well as secular institutions in Kerala. Besides, he has imparted training in Kutiyattam to young artists at the Koyappa Chakyar Madham in Painkulam.
Among other honours, Shri Damodara Chakyar has received the Painkulam Rama Chakyar Smaraka Award (1963), the Kerala Kalamandalam Award (2004), and the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi Award (2006) for his devoted work in the field.
Shri Painkulam Damodara Chakyar receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Kutiyattam.