Born on 2 July 1935 in Guruvayur, Kerala, Shri Guruvayur Dorai received his training in Mridangam
under Shri Palghat Subba Iyer, and later trained under Shri Narayana Pisharody and Shri Palani
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, the Soviet Union, Hungary, and Poland. He has lectured widely as a visiting Professor in many Universities in the United States, Australia and Malaysia.
Guruvayur Dorai has been honoured with many awards and titles including the Kalaimamani given by the Tamil Nadu Eyal Isai Nataka Manram, Government of Tamil Nadu in 1990, the Asthana Vidwan title conferred by the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham in 1991, the Mridangam Maestro Palghat Mani Iyer Award in 1996, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1996, and the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi Award in 2005.
Shri Guruvayur Dorai is elected Tagore Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi for his overall contribution to the field of Indian music.