Born on 2 June 1910 in Vechoor village in Kottayam district of Kerala, Shri Vechoor Thanka- mani Pillai is a renowned master of Thullal, the traditional dance- theatre of Kerala. He was trained in the art by Shri Kuttan Menon of Parippu village near Kottayam. Living with his guru, he mastered all the three styles of Thullal — Ottan, Parayan and Seethangan — and gave his first performance at the Edayazham Subramania Temple in 1930. Shri Thankamani Pillai is regarded as the pre-eminent guru of the art of Thullal, based on traditions laid down by Kalakkatu Kunchan Nambiar. For years he has performed at various temples all over Kerala. Apart from performing Thullal, he has trained a number of disciples who are now carrying on the tradition. Shri Pillai has been conferred the title Thullal Acharya and has been honoured by the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi in 1980. Shri Vechoor Thankamani Pillai receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Thullal.