Indian Panorama Travel Blog

Kathakali is one of the oldest theatre forms in the world. Katha means “Story” & Kali means “Play”, so it’s also called as “Story – Play”. Kathakali was originated in Kerala at 17th Century and has its root in Hindu Mythology. Kathakali is famous for its unique combination of Literature, Music, Painting, Acting, Song & Dance. Usually the play is based on the Two Great Epics – “Ramayana & Mahabharata”. Kathakali consists of pure dance (nritya) as well as mime (abhinaya). Initially Kathakali has its sole domain of men but now women also performing.




Theppu: It is the first stage of make up where basic fasical painting are applied. Chuttikkaran:- Chutti is the second stage of Make-up, it differentiate the character and their personality in the play.

The characters can be classified in 05 Main categories:
Pacha [Green] , Kathi [knife], Thadi [beard], Kari [black], Minukku
The divine heroes can be identified by their predominantly green make up, anti-heroes are identified by green make up with red slashes on their cheeks, Evil characters are identified by red makeup, hunters are identified by black make up & Women & ascetics were identified by yellow colour.




Usually Kathakali costumes are large and heavy. There are: Sathwika (the hero), Kathi (the villain), Minukku (females), and Thatti. The magnificent looking head dress is profusely embellished with multi-colored beads, spangles, shells and glass pieces. The head dress triumphantly demonstrates quite a lot of intricate, elaborate and delightful carving, cunningly executed by master craftsmen. The head dress is after the pattern of a crown, set with gleaming glass pieces. Its shape, colour and decoration vary to suit the attire of the actor.

by Indian Panorama

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