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Culture

Vyloppilli Samskriti Bhavan
This building at Nalanda near Nandancode possesses the personal belongings of Vyloppilli Sreedhara Menon, famous Malayalam poet. The atmosphere of the memorial is calm and soothing, with a well-designed landscape. A Multi Purpose Cultural complex also functions as part of the institution.

Asan Smarakam
Asan Smarakam is memorial to Kumaran Asan, a great poet who was largely responsible for the renaissance of Malayalam poetry. It is located at Thonnakkal, the birth place of the poet. The small, thatched home in which Kumaran Asan was born has been protected as part of the monument. The memorial has also a fine collection of the manuscripts of some of Kumaran Asan’s finest poems and the awards he had received. The memorial also serves as a venue for many literary get-togethers.

Tagore theatre
Tagore Centenary Hall, popularly known as Tagore Theatre, is an indispensable name in the cultural life of Thiruvananthapuram. The theatre, founded in 1965 and owned by the State Government hosts many cultural events like plays, film shows, dance and music performances and seminars. The theatre, located on an area of six acres, can house about 1200 people.

Nishagandhi Open air auditorium
This fine, spacious open air auditorium set in the sprawling green surroundings of the Kanakakkunnu palace is one of the major cultural venues in Thiruvananthapuram.

Rangaprabhat Childrens’ Theatre
A theatre for children to express themselves- it was an idea of G. Sankara Pillai, a doyen of Kerala theatre, got a concrete form in the founding of Ranga Prabhat, the first ever theatre for children in India. The institution, which is located in a village known as Venjaramoodu, is now more than 35 years old. Apart from presenting children’s plays in front of child as well as adult audiences, the group is also keen to popularize the idea of a theatre of the children, by the children and for the children.

Bhasabharati
Bhasabharathi is the new name for the already established name ‘Sopanam’ in the dramatic arena of Kerala. Sopanam is largely responsible for bringing about a major change in the performing language of the dramas in Kerala. Started under the patronage of Kavalam Narayana Paniker, this theatrical group combined the folk, tribal and classical elements to create a style of its own. Bhasabharati is designed with a vision to further the achievements of Sopnam in an international level.

Margi
An organization dedicated to the learning and performances of the classical art forms of Kerala, Margi’s is a name that an art lover in Kerala can never overlook. Art forms like Kutiyattam, Koothu and Kathakali are taught here in a Gurukula manner. Started in 1970, Margi strives for the revival of the unique classical art forms of Kerala.

CVN Kalari
CVN Kalari Sangham, a martial art training centre in Thiruvananthapuram, was established in 1956 under the initiatives of C V Narayanan Nair, C V Balan Nair and Kottakkal Karunakara Gurukkal, who did a commendable job by rejuvenating the almost extinct art of Kalarippayattu. Located at East Fort, CVK Kalari is world-renowned and has learners from around the world. The training here begins at a very young age and the centre focuses on the physical, mental and spiritual development of the disciple, which is well reflected in the performing of the martial art, Kalarippayattu.

Shivananda Yoga Vedanta centre
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta centre in Thiruvananthapuram is a pioneer institution in the training of Yoga, an ancient Indian tradition of physical as well as mental exercise. The centre started functioning in 1987 under the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres. Apart from offering classes on this age-old tradition, Sivananda centre has also contributed much in popularizing the philosophy of Yoga.

Kerala State Chalachitra Academy
Founded in 1998, Kerala State Chalachitra Academy promotes cinema as a means of cultural expression and transformation. The Academy undertakes many programmed towards this end, the most important in them being the organizing of the annual International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK). The Academy also promotes film societies to spread film literacy among people, produce publications and periodicals, conduct film appreciation courses, seminars and workshops. A film archive with a fine collection of international celluloid classics is another venture by the Academy.

Indian School of Martial arts (ISMA)
Established in 1983, Indian School of Martial Arts (ISMA), is a prominent institution in Thiruvananthapuram which imparts training in Kalarippayattu, the martial art of Kerala. ISMA houses a traditional Kalari, the arena for practicing Kalarippayattu and a centre for Kalari Chikitsa, a unique style of treatment. The roof garden is a treasure house of herbs used for the preparation of medicines. ISMA also offers simple accommodation and food for guests and visitors. But what attracts students of history to this place are the ancient palm leaf manuscripts (Olagranthas).

Cultural Events

Onam
Onam is one of the most widely celebrated festivals of Kerala, and it commemorates the legendary rule of King Mahabali, during which time the people were so happy that it aroused the jealousy of the gods. 

To mark the Onam festivities, the Tourism Week is celebrated in the State especially in Thiruvananthapuram during which the streets in the city are illuminated and a unique package of traditional and cultural programmes are staged at the Kanakakkunnu Palace and other landmark points. It culminates in a colourful carnival, which the vast majority of the populace turn out to watch.

Arattu
The vetta and arattu processions are held twice a year from the Padmanabhaswamy Temple to Shankhumugham Beach, led by the members of the royal family of erstwhile Travancore. The idols from the temple are subjected to a ritual purification in the sea. Cultural performances, including Kathakali, are staged during the occasion. 

Attukal Pongala
The ten day Pongala festival held at Attukal Bhagavathy Temple, 2 km from Thiruvananthapuram, attracts thousands of female devotees from many parts of the country. Men are not allowed in the vicinity of the temple during the Pongala. Pongala is a kind of sweet porridge, considered to be the goddess' favourite offering. It is cooked by each devotee in a clay pot on an open fire and the long line of women making the ritual offering extends up to East Fort and beyond.

Chandanakudam Mahotsavam
This colourful Islamic festival is celebrated to commemorate Bee Umma, a saintly lady, whose tomb is in Beemapally near Thiruvananthapuram. Devotees bring money in pots decorated with flowers, incense sticks and sandalwood paste, as an offering during the festival.

Nishagandhi Dance and Music Festival
This festival of Indian classical dances and music is held at the Nishagandhi open air theatre, Kanakakkunnu Palace grounds, Thiruvananthapuram. Bharathanatyam Kathak Kathakali Kuchipudi Manipuri Mohiniyattom Odissi Specially choreographed ballet combining one or more of these classical dance forms Classical music (instrumental and vocal) Jugalbandi (concertos) are performed in the evenings.

Feast of Christ at Madre Deus Church, Vettukadu
Highlights: Special devotional rites Eucharistic procession (Third week of November)

Flower Show at Kanakakkunnu Palace grounds 
Highlights: Floral decorations Cultural shows

Swathi Sangeethotsavam at Kuthiramalika Palace
Annual classical music festival organised in honour of king - Swathi Thirunal. 
Highlight: An august gathering of eminent musicians from across India

Utsavam at Paripally Kodimootil Sree Bhadrakali Temple 
Elephants offered as ritual offering. Highlights: Cultural programmes Gajamela (elephant pageant)

Utsavam at Sreekandeswaram Temple
Highlights: Kodiyettam Ezhunallathu Pallivetta Kathakali Ottanthullal

Utsavam at Janardhana Swamy Temple, Varkala 
Highlights: Rituals Pallivetta Arattu procession, Kathakali

 

 

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