K K Ramachandra Pulavar

Born on 25 May 1960 in Shoranur, Kerala, Shri K.K Ramachandra Pulavar belongs to a family of traditional puppeteers. The eighth generation puppeteer in his family, he was initiated into the art of Tolpavakoothu - the shadow puppet theatre of Kerala - by his father, the renowned Tolpavakoothu artist, K.L. Krishnan Kutty Pulavar. Today, Ramachandra Pulavar performs the ritualistic art form Tolpavakoothu in around 40 temples all over Palakkad, Trichur and Mallapuram district.
Acquiring high proficiency in the art, Shri K.K Ramachandra Pulavar has been training teachers at CCRT workshops for the past 10 years and has been giving regular demonstrations in schools. He has performed extensively in India, and has given performances in Russia, Sweden, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Greece, Singapore, Japan, Holland, Poland, Israel, Thailand, Muscat and China. His troupe, Krishnan Kutty Pulavar Memorial Tolpavakoothu and Puppet Centre founded by his father, Krishnan Kutty Pulavar, is the major troupe in Kerala to preserve the art form and train the new generation artists. The troupe has started to explore the aesthetics of the art form outside its ritualistic context by introducing new plays like Jesus Christ, and new characters based on contemporary issues. Shri K.K Ramachandra Pulavar has received a Junior Fellowship in 1991 and a Senior Fellowship in 2004 from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, and has authoured a book titled Tolpavakoothu in Malayalam.
For his outstanding service in the field of puppetry, Shri K.K. Ramachandra Pulavar has received many honours such as the Lifetime Achievement and Excellence Award Dakshina Chithra Virudhu from the Madras Craft Foundation in 2008; the Thailand Government Puraskar in 2011; the Dr B.R. Ambedkar Kerala State Award in 2011; the Kerala State Folklore Academy Award in 2012; and the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy Kalasri Puraskar in 2013.
Shri K.K. Ramachandra Pulavar receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Tolpavakoothu – Shadow Puppet Theatre of Kerala.