Born in 1935 in Guruvayur, Kerala, Shri Guruvayur Dorai received his training in the
Mridangam under Palghat Subba Iyer and Palani Subra- manya Pillai.
A soloist as well as a distinguished Mridangam accompanist in Carnatic music, Guruvayur Dorai is noted for his poised and dignified style. He has accompanied many eminent musicians in prestigious events including the Festivals of India in the United States and the Soviet Union. He has lectured widely as a visiting professor in universities in the United States, Australia and Malaysia.
Guruvayur Dorai has been honoured with the title Kalaimamani by the Tamil Nadu Eyal Isai Nataka Manram in 1990 and was made Asthana Vidwan of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham in 1991.
Shri Guruvayur Dorai receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Carnatic instrumental music.