Kolyur Ramachandra Rao



Born in 1932 in Karopadi Grama, Karnataka, Shri Kolyur Ramachandra Rao received his training in Yakshagana from Guru Kuriya Vittala Shastry for twenty years. Shri Rama- chandra Rao has been per- forming in Yakshagana plays for the last sixty-odd years and has thousands of performances to his credit. He has travelled far and wide giving performances. He has been fondly called Queen of Yakshagana for his matchless female roles like Sita, Draupadi, Chandramati, Kai- keyi, Mandodari, Damayanti, Satyabhama, Devayani, Ambe, Dakshini, Shashiprabha, Pra- mila, Menaka, etc. He has served at Lalita Kala Yakshagana Training Centre in Dharmasthala for seven years where he has trained a number of students. He has also been the instructor for several Yakshagana troupes including Yaksha Manjusha. The Government of Karna- taka has recognized Shri Rao’s contribution to Yakshagana and awarded him the Rajyotsava Prashasti in 2002. He has been bestowed the Sadhana Award by the Akhila Karnataka Rajya Sahitya Kala Sammelana. The Karnataka Janapada and Yakshagana Academy honour- ed him in 1996 while the Tulu Academy awarded him its membership in 1999. Shri Kolyur Ramachandra Rao receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Yakshagana of Karnataka.