Great K V Kathakali Center
Great K V Kathakali Center
4.5
About
The Kerala Kathakali Centre, based in Fort Kochi, is one of the last sanctuaries for ancient art and culture in India. Daily Schedule (500rs per show): 6:30-8am Rooftop Yoga 8-9am Raga Music Meditation 5-6pm Kathakali Make-up 6-7pm Kathakali Performance 7.15-8pm Kalaripayattu Martial Arts 8-9pm Indian Classical Music 9-9:45pm Indian Classical Dance (8-9pm on Sat) [monthly] 9-10pm Full Moon Raga Tickets always available on the door; no booking required. The centre also offers private performances on request, as well as private lessons in the traditional arts (including singing, drumming, dancing, yoga and more). Since 1994, performances have run daily, 365 days a year, with different artists performing each night. The centre is an integral part of the local artist community, and plays an important role in preserving and cultivating these ancient arts for future generations. NB: Our name has recently changed to Great KV Kathakali Centre
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • James H
    Latham, New York142 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A great cultural experience in Fort Kochi
    I went on a Saturday night to see all 3 shows. I arrived at 5:30, while the makeup was being applied to the performers on stage. I had a front row seat (perhaps from reserving online?). The emcee started explaining the performance around 5:45 and it started promptly at 6:00 with demonstrations and explanations, followed by the actual Kathakali performance. There is no speaking - all communication is done via sign language and facial expressions, accompanied by music. It was very well performed. After a short break, I enjoyed about an hour of Kalaripayuttu (martial arts) demonstrations. The four men giving the demonstrations were all excellent. Because actual weapons are used in the demonstrations, it was a little scary sitting in the front row, as the fighting gets very close! The final part of the night was an Odissi dance demonstration by one female and two male dancers - all very talented and wonderful to watch.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 24 July 2023
  • mivaki
    Canada, Kentucky22 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing Kathakali recital
    Watched this show today on our 1 day stop in Fort Kochi to finish off our trip to Munnar & Kumarkom. Definitely this Kathakali performance was the highlight of our trip. One can witness the artistes demonstrate the make up application process where they paint the Kathakali face masks prior to the start of the actual performance, The performance started off with an introduction of this art form alongwith a demonstration of the basic eye movements, facial expressions and hand mudras. The recital that followed was beautiful performed by really talented dancers. This is a must see show if you happen to be in Fort Kochi.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 7 September 2023
  • Ganesh
    Pune District, India5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing talent and performance
    We wanted to experience Kathakali in God’s Own Country and a quick search brought up Kerala Kathakali Centre, located bang in the most fascinating Kochi Fort area. We attended the Kathakali (make up and performance), Martial Arts and Classical music shows. We missed the Classical dance due to our flight schedule. The Centre is doing yeoman service in keeping these arts alive and promoting artistes who are highly skilled and have devoted years to studying and honing their expertise. Kathakali make up and performance is truly stunning, and it is hard to imagine the impact it would have had on ancient audiences when even today it makes a deep dent in your consciousness. Attending these shows helped us derive a great insight into the cultural heritage of Kerala, not to mention meeting such dedicated and talented professionals in an intimate environment within a personalised theatre. Lastly, kudos to Mr Suchindran who managed the entire show beautifully right from guest interaction, decoration, announcements and playback singing for the Kathakali performance! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED 👍👍👍
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 14 September 2023
  • Kavina Arasu
    Seremban, Malaysia20 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best kathakali show
    Such a great experience. Enjoyed every single minute. We called in early to book seats at the front row and the front desk lady secured out seats without any upfront payment. The artists were very talented and professional. The coordinator of the show was very good in explaining the details about kathakali, it's origins and the bhavana( the expressions and the movements). Thank you for making my visit to Kerala memorable.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 10 November 2023
  • Jonas d
    11 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing classical Indian music performances not to be missed
    Most reviews here seem to be about kathakali. But I want to add a note that the classical indian music performances are also incredible! Top tear artists from around south India performing beautiful raga improvisations, every night except Saturdays 8-9pm. Each day is different (me my partner and my friends have already been to 3 amazing performances, and we’re not done), and definitely recommend checking this out too!
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 11 November 2023
  • Abishek V
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful cultural experience
    The place is quite small and not very visible to spot, however following the google maps location to the T will help you sufficiently. It is a small center run by a small team of very experienced artists - be it for Kathakali, Kalaripayattu, classical singing and dancing. Do not miss experiencing a Kathakali and a Kalaripayattu show - these are usually 45mins-1 hour long and definitely worth your time and money. Each show is priced at 500 rupees and the experience is truly wonderful. You can even converse with the artists post the show and even click some pictures with them. Do not miss this place if you are visiting fort Kochi.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 18 November 2023
  • Tim F
    8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must experience the Beauty
    The Kerala Kathakali Centre in Fortkochi is a "must see". Here you can experience magnificent Kathakali theatre - classical Indian music - Kerala Martial Arts and the exquisite Nirod Kumar Dehuri Odissi dancer and teacher. The Host at the centre is loving and informative - he also offers a morning Raga Meditation which I am so fortunate to have taken part in. Whilst there I took 3 private dance lessons with Nirod which filled me with joy and convinced me that I must make a return visit as soon as possible.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 22 November 2023
  • Anna&Thomas
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Authentic and good Material Arts
    Per coincidence we fell into this authentic and good theatre. Today we watched the Material Arts of Kerala and I have to say it was really interesting- lots of authentic information, good artists and also a short workshop made it to an experience that you should not miss. Highly recommended!
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written 10 January 2024
  • prakashmehta
    Kolkata (Calcutta), India165 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Close look of our Ancient Culture…and Dance Form..
    It was a mind blowing performance and one will be hooked to it, till last. We reached 10 mins early to see how each character is been decorated with colour and other ornaments. The explanation of this Dance form, from the colour they use to different expressions and to the short history of this culture, was very impressive. Each and every character, from their performance to their dress up and the way they present each character, all was so unique, that one will will just admire the whole process. One should not miss it, if one is in Kochi.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 18 January 2024
  • ketan p
    174 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unforgettable and unmissable
    Visited the Kerala Kathakali Centre on Xmas eve 2023. And what an experience. We were there for the traditional theatre including the section where the performing artists are made-up. The entire show including the prep was two hours. This was the perfect length for an introduction to this amazing art form. The theatre is tiny is wonderfully atmospheric. As well as the performance there is an opportunity to buy souvenirs, all at very good prices. You can also buy soft drinks etc. Only point about the place is that it is incredibly popular and you are advised to book in advance. We found this was a bit difficult. In fact there were many people trruning up who thought they had tickets only to find at the door that the reservations had not been confirmed.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 18 January 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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PaesFerns
Colombo, Sri Lanka56 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Family
So glad I booked this show and the makeup session. It was enthralling and informative. One hour of dance was just the perfect duration. My 10 year old and me left mesmerized by the performance. I have a much better understanding of this dance form now.
The only thing jarring was a couple of power outages that disturbed the flow, but otherwise it was fantastic.
The theater was badly hit by COVID so they desperately need more funds and I hope they get plenty of patrons so they can keep up the good work.
Written 7 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hugues S
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
From the makeup, to the theatre performance and martial arts, this was a truly enriching cultural experience. This provoked thought, and was inspiring to see how much can be expressed without words. We returned the next day for a another dance performance which was also beautifully prepared and executed.
Written 14 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

preethiraghu08
Chicago, IL23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
It was a beautiful introduction to kathakali. First you see the patience of makeup. Then we explain the facial expression and hand movements. There is live music with dance. It is a long performance(30 min of demonstrations and 45 min of dance) but a beautiful art form. If coming to Kochi, a must see. Can reserve in advance and pay cash if have international credit card
Written 11 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Elena B
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Friends
Once you have seen the Kathakali and ticked this box, do come for a classical Indian Odissi dance performed by the artists of exquisite skill and talent. They are top-level professionals, and you will be stunned by the magic they create on the stage. The dance concerts at the Kathakali Art Centre are advertised to take place daily from 9 - 9:45pm with a special Saturday performance from 8 - 9pm. However, sadly, very few people come to these evenings, which is a big mistake. Odissi is not to be missed if you are a thoughtful traveller with a genuine interest in India's art and history. You can see one or two Kathakali performances and be probably satisfied, whereas you can come and watch the dance magic over and over again.

Of equal interest and charm are the musical concerts that showcase classical North and South Indian music: these include raga recitals or music without the vocals. The concerts are scheduled daily between 8 - 9pm.

To ensure the concert does take place, you can signal your interest by "booking" your visit at the Centre's website. You will not be required to pay at this stage (you can pay Rs 500 at the door) but the staff will know that someone will be coming for the concert.
Written 11 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Leonora
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Family
An oasis for arts and dedicated, hardworking artists. A place well worth supporting and visiting. Do try out the odissi classes when avaliable!
Written 30 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Janice J
Mumbai, India15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
It was surreal! Such amazing artists I had so much fun with my family. My dad is not really interested in dancing but he had a gala time! It was exciting, interesting A MUST VISIT!
Written 21 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jason B
New York City, NY115 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Bought our inexpensive tickets in the morning for an evening show. The show was interesting and certainly very different from what I normally see. Gave us a glimpse into local culture via this mime play/dance. I would recommend it as you have to see it if you are in Kochin but you will tire of the performance.
Written 31 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Huw O
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Booked out show with Viator for a total of £345 for a family of 3. We felt ripped off to say the least. Upon arrival we found out that tickets on the door for performance only were only 500 indian rupees (approx £5).
We got transfered to the theatre by taxi which we found out we didn’t need as the theatr was only a 5 min walk from our accommodation and pick up point. The show was very amature and the audience sat on plastic patio furniture seats.
After the show the taxi took us around the corner to an empty reaturant for a very disappointing 3 course meal. The whole experience left us feeling short changed and taken advantage of as tourists.
Avoid booking with Viator if you plan this activity, save money by buying a ticket on the door, rent a tuk tuk to take you there and back for a few pounds and find your own place to eat near the theatre (there’s plenty of nice places to eat around there) and save yourself at least £300.
Written 29 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

5678PamS
Dallas, TX109 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Solo
I attended the Saturday night Special Dance Forms performance and the Martial Art performance. Both were very good. The center offers classes and performances in many arts of Kerala. Next time I plan to take advantage of the other classes and performances the center offers.
Written 26 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Film G
New England1,053 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
We attended a performance (lasts an hour) and it was great. Much different from the theatre I know. Outstanding make-up and costumes. Arrive early and you can see the cast sitting on stage putting on their make-up.
Written 13 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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GREAT K V KATHAKALI CENTER (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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