Kerela Kalamandalam Deemed University of Art and Culture, is a major centre for learning Indian performing arts, especially those that developed in the Southern states of India, with the special emphasis on Kerala. It is situated in the village of Cheruthuruthy in Thrissur District on the banks of the Bharathapuzha river.
The inception of Kalamandalam gave a second life to three major classical performing arts of Kerala as Kathakali, Kudiyattam and Mohiniyattam were, by the turn of 20th century, facing the threat of extinction under various regulations of the colonial authorities. It was at this juncture, in 1927, that Vallathol Narayana Menon and Mukunda Raja came forward and formed a society called Kerala Kalamandalam. They solicited donations from the public and conducted a lottery in order to raise funds for this society.
Kerala Kalamandalam was inaugurated in November 1930 at Kunnamkulam, and was later shifted to the village of Cheruthuruthy, just south of Shoranur in 1933. The Maharaja of Cochin donated land and a building. Subsequently, a dance department was started to revive Mohiniyattom.Kerala Kalamandalam has been functioning as a grant-in-aid institution under the Cultural Affairs Department, Government of Kerala. In 2006, the Kalamandalam was accorded the status of ‘Deemed University for Art and Culture’ by the Government of India. In 2010, University Grants Commission (India) has given ‘A’ category status for Kalamandalam Deemed University of Art and Culture. Kalamandalam is the only deemed university in Kerala state accorded the prestigious status.