Kalaripayattu, the martial art form from Kerala adds on to the rich Indian heritage of age old traditions and a vibrant culture. Along with the art forms of dance, music, theatre and literature, Kalaripayattu was also encouraged as an art form by its exponents. Art for entertainment has always thrived, even in tough economic times. But with Kalaripayattu the story has been different. It is slowly losing its original structure, due to lack of application in the present world.
Kalaripayattu can be traced to Sage Parasurama, the 6th Avatar of Vishnu who is believed to have reclaimed the state of Kerala from Arabian Sea. The art form has developed its tacts and techniques by closely imitating nature. Kalaripayattu was extensively used in the battlefield, and it reached its historical peak in the 100year war between the Chola, Chera and Pandyans. The British imperialism was revolted with by the kalari masters, and the threatened British brought about a ban in the practice of Kalari. This was a severe blow to the art form.
Some kalari masters defied the ban and secretly trained the students in the art form. Threads of this tradition are hence still alive in small pockets. Kalari Gurukulam aims to revive the original practices of this art form, based at Chikkagubbi on the outskirts of Bangalore.
A long awaited dream come true for all enthusiasts of Kalaripayattu, the Gurukulam, as the term implies, is designed to provide the students of Kalari with a total learning experience of Kalaripayattu. This would be done by being amidst teachers and other students and imbibing the essence of this martial art form. Apart from conducting regular classes, the institute also aims at providing to be a resource and research centre for anything related to Kalaripayattu. Set in very serene surroundings, the Gurukulam derives its name from the ancient Indian practice of students learning and residing at the abode of the teacher. The hands behind the Gurkulam believe in borrowing some of the best practices from the past to enrich the present. A lot of thought and subsequent planning has gone in to designing this centre of learning. The experience gained at the Gurkulam would last the student throughout and enables him to make use of the learning in his own life.
Objectives of Kalari Gurukulam Society
Kalari gurukulam aims to preserve, nurture, develop and promote one of the India's most ancient, rich and splendid forms of martial arts 'Kalaripayattu' by:
1. Creating awareness about Kalaripayattu as an effective tool for body and mind.
2. Functioning as a research centre for Kalaripayattu by creating a pool of knowledge on the art form
3. Conducting workshops, seminars, lectures and live performance of Kalaripayattu to create awareness on the effects of mental and physical fitness in performing various exercises of Kalaripayattu
4. Blending the movements and techniques of Kalaripayattu with Yoga, meditation, other forms of martial arts and sports.
5. Popularizing various medicines, modes of treatments and massages conventionally used in Kalaripayattu with the help of Ayurveda as well as modern medicines
6. Publishing books, periodicals, research documents, documentaries and feature films relating to Kalaripayattu through print, electronic and digital media.