Chakyar Koothu is a performance art from Kerala, South India. It is primarily a type of highly polished speech where the actor describe episodes from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The Chakyar tell the story based on the Sanskrit style of “Champu Prabandha” a blend of prose and poetry. He begins with a prayer to the goddess of the temple. He then goes on to tell a verse in Sanskrit before explaining it in Malayalam. The narration uses cleverness and humor to draw mirror with current events and local state.
Koothu means dance … the facial expressions of Chakyar are highlight and there is minimum choreography. It is performed in the Koothambalam, a place inside Hindu temples specifically plan for performing Kutiyattam and Chakyar Koothu.
koothu has been performed only by the Chakyar community. Two instruments have been used for the performance a mizhavu and a pair of ilathalam. And it is different from Nangiar Koothu,
which is performed by women called Nangyarammas .
Mani Madhava Chakyar is the person who made Chakyar koothu and Koodiyattom art forms popular among the public. Mani Madhava Chakyar was later honoured with Padmashree.