Ottamthullal - an art form of Kerala, struggling to survive

The art form created by the great poet Kunjan nambiar 400 years ago, now dying a slow death. Nowadays it is very rare to see an ottamthullal performance in Kerala and the sad thing is, a very few people even know about this art form.

Despite all, Kalacharya P S Maraar and his son Balakrishna marar keeping this art form alive by performing various stage shows. Father and son striving to rescue this art form, hopes a new life for this art form.

Watch the video news in ibnlive.com

Kerala B.Ed course admission, 2007 - Submit your options

Start submitting your options for admission in 140 Government, aided and self financing colleges for B.Ed course, 2007 . Students, included in the rank list published by the Commissioner of Entrance Examinations can give options online from october 19, 2007 to october 25, 2007.

For the convenience of students Information, Guidance and Option Facilitation Centres (IGOFC) and Institutions function as Help desks, started from october 19, 2007 till october 25, 2007 in selected centres of all Districts. Students having difficulty in the availability of computer and Internet can submit their options online in these centres free of charge.

For the list of Guidance and Option Facilitation Centres (IGOFC) click here

For the list of Institutions function as Help desks click here

To submit your options click here

Ottamthullal

Ottamthullal is a performing art of Kerala. The great malayalam poet Kunjan Nambiar created Ottamthullal as an alternative of Chakyar koothu (performing art of Kerala) and is known as poor man's Kathakali.

Ottam thullal is replete with humour, sarcasm and social criticism. The actor establishes powerful communication with spectators through verbal acting which is interspersed with humour and social references. Ottamthullal became popular because of its simplicity and it is easily understandable comparing to Kathakali for ordinary people. The stories from hindu epics are retold in simple malayalam poetry.

Ottamthullal is a solo performance. The performer will act and dance while singing thullal poems. Simple costumes similar to Kathakali and percussion instruments like Mizhav(a big drum made of copper) and cymbal are used.

Kerala kalamandalam, founded by the great poet vallathol narayana menon, intended to promote kerala arts offers course in Ottamthullal.

Watch the video clip of Ottam thullal.....

Mohiniyattam

Mohiniyattam is the classical dance form of Kerala, performed by women. Literarily, Mohiniyattam means the dance of enchantress. The slow, soft and graceful movements, expressions, the traditional costumes etc. of this classical dance, really enchants the spectators.

Mohiniyattam has the influences and elements from other dance forms like koothu, koodiyattam, Bharatanatyam, Kathakali etc.

In Mohiniyattam, more importance is given for gestural and facial expressions. The hand gestures used are almost same as in Kathakali.

The costumes used by Mohiniyattam artists are cream or off-white colour sari with golden borders, Gold ornaments and a traditonal hairstyle includes white colour floweres.

The song of mohiniyattam are based on carnatic music and the language used is Manipravalam (a mix of Malayalam and Sanskrit). Instruments used are veena, flute, maddalam, edakka etc.

Watch the video of famous Malayalam film actress Divya unni's Mohiniyattam performance.....



Happy Eid-ul-fitr

After the end of one month long Ramzan fasting, Purity, freshness and the power gathered by the 30 days old fasting of holiness and tolerance, Muslims all over in Kerala are celebrating Eid-ul-fitr.

Yesterday was a busy day for all muslims, preparing for the Eid-ul-fitr.

Muslims assembled in Eid gahs and mosques in the early morning for prayer meeting all over in Kerala. Celebrations of Eid-ul-fitr will be there throughout the day.

Happy Eid-ul-fitr to all...

Nelliyampathy

Nelliyampathy is an amazing hill station on the western ghats mountain ranges in Palakkad district of Kerala, 60km from Palakkad town, is one of the best places for ecotourism in Kerala. The green lush forests covering the whole hill area, coffee, tea, cardamom, vegetable and orange plantations, water falls and the misty and cool climate of Nelliyampathi offering a delightful vacation for the tourists.

Nelliyampathy is situated at a height of 467 m to 1572 m above sea level. Journey to Nelliyampathy itself thrilling. There are about ten hairpin curves on the way. The road is narrow and it is recommended that one who drives the vehicle should be experienced to drive in such roads.

Pothundi Dam is one important picnic spot near, in a distance of 21 km away from Nelliyampathy. Pothundi Dam is an irrigation Dam. The speciality of this Dam is that, it is built without cement or concrete. A mixture of jaggery and quick lime is used in place of cement to construct this dam. This Dam, built in late 1800 AD is a real wonder for the new technology. Boat services are there in the reservoir of Pothundy Dam. The sight of Nelliyampathi mountains from here is quite spectacular.

Seetharkundu is one important spot of attraction in Nelliyampathy. There is a waterfall about 100m in height. It offers a fantastic sight of the valley below. We can see one-third of the entire Palakkad area from here.

Nelliyampathy is the paradise for nature lovers and trekkers. Several species of birds and animals including some rare species are found here. The tea plantation and coffee plantations of Nelliyampathy are famous.

Nearest town Nenmara is about 30km away from here. Thrissur town is 48 km away from Nenmara.



Malampuzha

Malampuzha is one of the important tourist places in Kerala, located in Palakkad district just 12kms away from Palakkad town. Malampuzha is situated on the lower hills of Western ghats. Major tourist attractions are Malampuzha Garden, Malampuzha Dam, Fresh water aquarium, Children park, Snake park, Telescopic tower, Rock garden,Passenger ropeway etc.

Malampuzha Mini Hydro electric project built across Malampuzha river (A branch of Bharathapuzha River) is also the biggest irrigation project in Kerala with a large network of canal systems. Malampuzha Dam reservoir is ideal for boating and fishing. Rowboats, Pedalboats, water scooters and motorboats are available here.
Malampuzha Dam
Main attraction of malampuzha is the lush green garden near the Dam. Well laid out flower beds, pools, fountains, fresh water aquarium and the childern park with a toy train here gives extreme pleasure for the visitors. There is a road train for amusement ride on wheels and the
Telescope tower in the garden providing a terrestrial view upto 40 miles.
Malampuzha Garden

Fountain
The Passenger ropeway, the first of its kind in South India, offers a delightful air journey of 20 minutes across the gardens, giving an amazing view of the garden and Dam. The ropway equipped with 64 chairs, each can carry 2 persons and it is specially designed for the safe ride of the passengers.

Passenger Ropeway

Another tourist attraction in the garden is the Sculpture of "Yakshi" created by the renowned sculptor Kanayi Kunhiraman. The first rock garden of South India, sculpted by the famous Padmashree Nek Chand Saini of Chandigarh is also at Malampuzha. The most interesting feature in the making of this garden is that, the whole place is made of unwanted things like broken pieces of bangles, tiles, used plastic cans, tins and other waste materials.

Sculpture of Yakshi

It is quite thrilling, crossing the river through the hanging bridge across the river, connecting two sides of the garden.

Hanging Bridge

The Snake Park located close to Malampuzha Bustand, Started in 1984, is a major attraction for tourists and Snake lovers. The park consists of several rare species of snakes like King cobra, Forsten Cat snake and Brown vine Snake. Other species of snakes in the park are Indian Rock Python, Trinket snake, Kraits, Monocled Cobra, Common Cobra, Spectacled Cobra, Rock pit Viper, Wolf snake and a variety of Vipers like Saw scaled viper, Humb nosed pit viper, Rock pit Viper and Russel viper. Some varieties of water snakes, American Green Iguana (Only one in Kerala) and crocodiles are also housed here.

The first amusement park of Kerala, named FANTASY PARK is at Malampuzha. Established in an 8 acre site on the main road and very close to the Malampuzha Gardens.

Nearest railway station is Palakkad and Airport near is Coimbatore Airport about 55km away.

Earthquake in Kerala

Mild earthquake in Shoranur, Desamangalam, Thalassery, Varavoor, Tirumittakode, Arangottukara, Pattambi, Vavanoor, Koottanad, Peringode and chalissery in Palakkad and Thrissur districts of Kerala, today early morning.
Vibrations lasts 5-7 seconds along with loud noise frightened the residents. No serious damages are reported yet. A few houses in this area has crack on the walls. Magnitude of the earthquake was 2.4 on the Richer scale.
Again one tremor occured at 10 am. The reports are yet to come. Last earthquake in this area was 7 months before. Meteorological department sources said that, there are chances of major earthquakes in this area.

Gandhi Jayanthi - October 2


Gandhi jayanthi - Birthday of Great Mahatma gandhi, the father of our nation is celebrated every year on October 2.

October 2 is national holyday in India. Prayer meetings and other programs will be held all over India. In Kerala, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthananthan will inaugurate the one week long Gandhi jayanthi celebrations.

United Nations General assembly announced on 15-06-2007, that it adopted a resolution which declared that October 2 will be celebrated as The International Day of Non-violence.

Athirappilly and Vazhachal water falls

Athirappilly and Vazhachal are popular tourist places of Kerala, located in Thrissur District.

Athirappilly water falls, approximately 80 feet in hight, situated in Chalakkudy river, originates from the Western ghats mountain ranges. Vazhachal water falls is just 5km from Athirappilly.

Athirappally and vazhachal are the most famous water falls in Kerala. The surrounding thick green Sholayar forest adding beauty to this tourist place. Sholayar forest is home to many endangered species of flora and fauna.
Many Indian film makers chose Athirappilly as their location because of the scenic beauty of this place.
Millions of tourists are visiting this beautiful tourist place yearly.
The amusement parks, Dream World Water Park and Silverstorm water theme park are just a few kilometers away.

Nearest railway station is Chalakkudy(35km) and Kochi International Airport, Nedumbassery is 55km away.




Kerala Kalamandalam

Kerala Kalamandalam is the place for indian arts and culture lovers located at Cheruthuruthy, Thrissur district, Kerala along the banks of beautiful Nila river.

Kerala Kalamandalam is a public institution of Kerala, founded in 1930 by the great poet Padmabhooshan Vallathol Narayana menon for the preservation and promotion of the Classical arts of Kerala. Now this institution is well known all over the world. The artist teachers and students of kerala kalamandalam represented india in many international dance and theatre fesivals and participated in arts and culture programs in many foreign countries.


Kerala Kalamandalam offers training in performing arts of Kerala like Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Koodiyattam, Thullal, Panchavadyam, Classical music (Vocal), Mridangam and other famous Classical arts of India like Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi etc.

Kerala kalamandalam is following the traditional Gurukula vidyabhyasam(education system where students residing and learning in teacher's house so that the relationship between the teacher and student will be deep). Several foreign students are training performing arts here. Students visa is a must for foreign students. Kerala Kalamandalam is a Deemed University for arts and culture approved by UGC (University Grants Commission).

Kerala Kalamandalam is home to many famous performing artists of India.

Kerala Kalamandalam and Kerala tourism department offers A Day with Masters Cultural toursm package to the Kerala arts and culture lovers from India and outside India.Read more... The Vallathol-Museum, Portrait-Gallery inside Kalamandalam, The art gallery, Koothambalam (the traditional temple-theatre), library and research centre are the treasures of Kerala Kalamandalam.

There are so many Star Hotels and Resorts nearby. Nearest railway station is Shoranur Junction(3km) and Kochi International airport, Nedumbassery is 85km away.


Visit kalamandalam.org to read more

Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari - A beatiful sea side tourist place, in the southern end of India. Kanyakumari is not only a tourist place, a popular pilgrim destination too. This is the only place in india where you can watch both sunrise and sunset because, the three oceans - Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian sea meets here.

Kanyakumari takes its name from Goddess Kanyakumari Amman and the temple of the presiding diety is on the edge of the ocean at the confluence of three oceans.

Important tourist attractions of Kanyakumari are Vivekananda rock memorial and Thiruvalluvar Statue, both are situated on two giant rocks reached out of the sea, looks like two small islands in the sea.

Vivekananda memorial is on the rock named Sreepada parai (means the rock blessed by the touch of feet of the goddess). You can see the footprint of the goddess Kanyakumari there. Swamy Vivekananda(one of the most famous philosopher and spiritual leader of india) is said to have sat in deep meditation on Sreepada parai. There is a meditation hall inside the Vivekananda memorial monument. Spending some time there would be an amazing experience.

Thiruvalluvar Statue built in the memory the great Tamil poet-saint Thiruvalluvar on the adjescent rock of Sreepada parai is one of the biggest statues in Asia.

Regular boat services are available here.

Kanyakumari was formerly a part of Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. When the agitation of larger tamil population of Kanyakumari for the merger with tamilnadu intensified, the States reorganisation commission also recommended the same. In 1956 Kanyakumari district formed and merged with Tamilnadu state.

Kovalam beach of Kerala is 87km away from Kanyakumari. There are somany interesting tourist spots in and around kanyakumari.

Vivekananda Memorial


Thiruvalluvar statue

Vivekananda Memorial


Sreepada mandapam

Vivekananda Rock

Vivekananda Rock

Kanyakumari amman temple

Kanyakumari amman temple seaside view




Mattupetty

This beautiful hill station is situated 1700m above sea level, just 13 km away from the famous tourist place, Munnar in Idukki district of Kerala on the way to Top Station(tourist spot located in the border of Kerala and Tamilnadu offers a spectacular view of western ghats). If you are on a trip to Munnar, don't miss this heavenly tourist place.

Main tourist attractions are Mattupetty Dam made in 1940's and Mattupetty Lake. Boating services on speed boats and slow motor boats, provided by DTPC(District Tourism Promotion Council) Idukki are available here. Cruising through the lake in speed boat is an amazing experience.

Shola forest nearby mattupetty is ideal for trekking and birdwatching. Streamlets and waterfalls here and there adds more attraction for this place.

Echopoint is another tourist attraction nearby Mattupetty, got its name from the natural echo phenomenon here. Lake view from here is quite amazing.

Mattupetty is also known for the Swiss livestock project farm established in 1961, where over 100 varieties of highly yielding cattle are reared. Visiters are alowed here from 9am to 11am and 2pm to 3.30pm(Rupees 5 per head for pass).

Kundala tea plantations and kundala lake here are also very nice picnic spots.

See a few nice pictures of Mattupetty...



Kovalam Beach

Kovalam beach, the paradise of south India. A fine sandy beach on Arabian sea backed by lush coconut trees attracts thousands of indian and international tourists weekly. Kovalam has been one of the most popular beaches in India among tourists, especially europeans since 1930's. Over the past years Kovalam has been well developed and now figures prominently on world tourism map.

Kovalam is located 16 km away from Thiruvanathapuram, the capital city of Kerala. Thiruvanathapuram international airport is just 10 km away and Thiruvanathapuram central railway station is about 16 km away.

Kovalam beach consists of three crescent shaped beaches seperated by outcrops projected out to the sea. Light house beach, Hawah beach and Samudra beach. There are many private beaches also, owned by Hotels and Resorts. Light house beach is the longest and most popular among tourists. The Light house belong to the British period on the high promontory at the southern end of the beach offers a spectacular view of the sea.

A massive rock promontory on the beach has created a beautiful bay of calm waters ideal for sea bathing. There are plenty of leisure options and activities here. Sun bathing, swimming, surfing, catamaran cruising, special cultural programmes etc. The local fishermen provides cruises in fishing boats. Many Hotels and resorts here offers Ayurvedic body toning massages, Ayurvedic rejuvenation treatments and Yoga(Indian way of meditation).

There are several restaurants provides Indian and Euoropean style delicious food. Kovalam is famous for grilled seafood items like Lobster, King prawns and Kalamari which are got fresh from the sea.

The main tourist season is from September to May. The best time to visit here is November to february.


Kovalam beach photos

Kumarakom Backwaters

Kumarakom village is a cluster of little islands on Vembanad lake and is a part of Kuttanad region, famous for its mangrove forests, green paddy fields, coconut trees, etc. Cruising through the Kumarakom backwaters is an amazing experience of a lifetime.

Cheap small rowing boats to luxurious houseboats(Kettuvallams) are available here for backwater cruising. Kettuvallams are the houseboats of kerala previously used to transport goods. Now these houseboats are well modified, using as luxury houseboats having all the facilities like well furnished luxury rooms, toilet, kitchen etc. You can spend the whole day in these houseboats and enjoy the beauty of this place.

Kumarakom Bird life Sanctuary spread across 14 acres is on the banks of Vembanad lake. This Bird sanctuary is a favorite haunt of migratory birds. You can watch the birds while cruising round the islands.

Vembanad lake is habitat for several marine species like Karimeen(Pearl spotted fish), Prawns and Shrimp. Kumarakom is famous for Karimeen and Toddy(an alcoholic beverage made from the sap of palm trees)

There are several lakeside resorts here offer comfortable accommodation and exclusive leisure options like Ayurvedic massage, meditation, yoga,boating, fishing and swimming.
Alapuzha is the nearby backwater tourist destination. You can journey right upto Kochi through the backwaters.

Nearest railway station: Kottayam(16km)

Nearest airport : Kochi(85km)







Onam - Festival of Kerala

Onam is one of the most famous festivals in Kerala, celebrated in the malayalam month "chingam", usually comes in August or September(This year Thiru Onam is on 27th August).

Onam is celebrated in the memory of a Golden era when the King Mahabali ruled kerala(Mythical). It believes that during the reign of Mahabali people of Kerala were lived with happiness and prosperity. Every people were considered as equal. No robbery, nobody says lie, no poverty and diseases..... Every people were happy under his rule.

It believes Maveli(Mahabali) will come to visit the people of Kerala every year on The "Thiru Onam" day.

Onam celebrations will start from "atham" day of "Chingam" month(Malayalam month) and lasts 10 days. From Atham to Thiru Onam everyday morning every houses will prepare a "Pookalam"(A beautiful arrangenment of flowers) in the courtyard in front of the house.

Thiru onam day is the important day of Onam celebrations. People will wear new dresses, prepare Onam Sadhya(A Feast including more than 10 delicious of Kerala) to welcome Mahabali and enjoy several special Onam games throughout the day.

Several cultural programs would be conducted all over in Kerala during the Onam days. Visit keralatourism.org

Kerala tourism department also conducting several cultural programs throughout onam days.


Onam Sadhya


Pookalam

Happy Onam to all........

Want to know more about Onam?

Onam - Find information on onam, onam festival, onam 2007, onam festival india, onam in india, onam kerala, onam in 2007, onam festival of kerala, ...

www.onamfestival.org/

Red rain again in Kerala

Red coloured rain in Kozhikode district of Kerala yesterday surprised the residents.

A few people had collected the water. The Centre for earth science studies(CESS) and the centre for water resources development and mangement(CWDRM) are collecting the samples for tests. Yet to wait for the analysis results.

This is the second time Red rainfall occurring in Kerala. Last time it happened in Kottayam district of Kerala in 2001.

Read more about Red rain in wikipedia.org

Nokia Batteries blasts!!!

If you are a Nokia cell phone user please check your Battery...

A few cases reported that Nokia mobile phone battery exploded while charging. The official source of Nokia also admitted that the Battery model BL-5C manufactured by Matsushita Battery Industrial Co. Ltd. of Japan has the potential risk of "dislodging" because of the overheat produced by the short circuit while charging.

Nokia has several suppliers for BL-5C batteries that have collectively produced more than 300 million batteries. Nokia says that the problem is with the BL-5C batteries manufactured by Matsushita between December 2005 to November 2006. Nokia and Matsushita now offering a free replacement of BL-5C batteries.

BL-5C Batteries are using with the following models of Nokia mobile phones.

Nokia 1100, Nokia 1100c, Nokia 1101, Nokia 1108, Nokia 1110, Nokia 1112, Nokia 1255, Nokia 1315, Nokia 1600, Nokia 2112, Nokia 2118, Nokia 2255, Nokia 2272, Nokia 2275, Nokia 2300, Nokia 2300c, Nokia 2310, Nokia 2355, Nokia 2600, Nokia 2610, Nokia 2610b, Nokia 2626, Nokia 3100, Nokia 3105, Nokia 3120, Nokia 3125, Nokia 6030, Nokia 6085, Nokia 6086, Nokia 6108, Nokia 6175i, Nokia 6178i, Nokia 6230, Nokia 6230i, Nokia 6270, Nokia 6600, Nokia 6620, Nokia 6630, Nokia 6631, Nokia 6670, Nokia 6680, Nokia 6681, Nokia 6682, Nokia 6820, Nokia 6822, Nokia 7610, Nokia N70, Nokia N71, Nokia N72, Nokia N91, Nokia E50, Nokia E60


If your battery is BL-5C then remove your battery and check for the 26 digit identification number on the back side of the battery. Go to the Nokia Site and submit your 26 digit identification number of your BL-5C Battery there....
You will get your battery replaced for free...

Note: Nokia will not replace all the BL-5C Batteries. Batteries manufactured by Matsushita between December 2005 and November 2006 only...

Thekkady - Kerala tourist place

Thekkady is an important tourist place of kerala located at an altitude of 900 to 1800 meters above sea level.
Main tourist attractions of Thekkady are Periyar National Park, Thekkady Lake, Boating, The evergreen forests, Wild animals etc.
Periyar wildlife sanctuary is very dense evergreen forest spread 777 squire kms area declared as Tiger reserve in 1978.
Periyar wildlife sanctuary is famous for its evergreen forests, savannah grass lands and wild animals elephants, sambar, gaur, Nilgiri langurs, tigers, wild boars, lion tailed macaques....
The sanctuary is situated around an artificial lake formed by Mullaperiyar Dam accross the Periyar River.
The herds of elephants playing in Lake is a wonderful sight while boating through the Periyar lake.
Thekkady is also known for plantations of various natural spices like black pepper,clove,cardamom,cinnamon,chilly,tamarind etc.

Forest department,Kerala tourism development corporation(KTDC) and many private agencies offers many programs to promote adventure tourism in Thekkady.

Nearest railway station: Kottayam (114 km)

Nearest airport : Madhurai (140 km), Kochi(180 km)

See the pictures of Thekkady below...









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