Born in 1917 in Irinjalakuda, Kerala, Shri Ammannur Madhava Chakyar hails from a family of Chakyars — the traditional performers of Koothu and Kutiyattam. He received training from his uncles Ammannur Chachu Chakyar and Madhava Chakyar and from Bhagavatar Kunjunni Thampuran of Kodungallur Kovilakam. Guru Ammannur Madhava Chakyar is the most illustrious representative of the Kutiyattam theatre tradition practising today, and has made a significant contribution to the art both as actor and teacher. He is a master of all the major roles, and has also prepared Attaprakarams for some acts and plays which were lost to the Kutiyattam repertoire. He has taught at Kerala Kalamandalam and at Margi, Thiruvananthapuram, and has subsequently set up the Ammannur Chachu Chakyar Smaraka Gurukulam at Irinjalakuda. Sangeet Natak Akademi’s programme aiming at the preservation of Kutiyattam has been developed around him as the main guru. During a lifetime of dedicated service to the art, Shri Madhava Chakyar has received many honours including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1979), the Padma Shri (1982), and the Kalidas Samman (1992). For his outstanding contribution to Kutiyattam, Guru Ammannur Madhava Chakyar is elected Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi.