Shri Sankara Pillai Gangadharan was born in 1936 at Velinalloor in Kerala. He received his initial training in Kathakali from Kalamandalam Sivaraman Nair and later joined the Kerala Kalamandalam at Cheruthu- ruthy. Here he specialized in the Kalluvazhi Chitta and Kaplingadan Chitta under Kalamandalam Neelakantan Nambeesan. He studied Kathakali music under Kadakkavoor Velukutty Bhaga- vathar, and is known today as the leading vocalist and teacher in this field. Shri Gangadharan joined the teaching faculty of Kerala Kalamandalam as a Lecturer in 1961. He later served as the Professor and Head of Department of Kathakali music and finally as Vice-Principal of the institution. He has gained wide respect as a teacher and trained a large number of professional Kathakali singers. He also travelled extensively during these years, conducting workshops and attending seminars in India and other countries including Japan, America, Indonesia, Fiji, and China. For his dedicated service to Kathakali, Shri Gangadharan has been honoured with a Fellowship from Kerala Kalamandalam. He is also a recipient of the Guruvayu- rappan Award, the Kerala Kalamandalam Award, and the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi Award. Shri Kalamandalam Ganga- dharan receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to music in Kathakali.