Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala


The art form Krishnanattam (literally knwon as Dance of Krishna) was composed by King Manavedan of Kozhikode. King Manavedan wrote Krishnageethi based on the renowned poet Jayadeva's Gitagovinda. This work in Sanskrit presents the story of Lord Krishna and the art form Krishnanattam originated from this.

Krishnanattam combines artistic elements of Ashtapadiyattam, a dance form evolved in Kerala based on Jayadeva's Gitagovinda.  (However, Ashtapadiyattam ceased to exist almost a century ago.)

In Krishnanaattam the story of Krishna right from his birth to his ascent to heaven is presented in eight parts. In the olden days, it was performed in eight days. There is no dialogue. The actors render in accordance with the songs from background. Chengila, maddalam and Elathalam are the accompanying musical instruments. The make up and costumes are colourful and vibrant.

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