This book presents, in a creative
English translation, the Malayalam
classic by Unnayiwarrier. The Nala
charitham is the playscript, as it
were, of the Kathakali rendering of
the story of Nalaand Damayanthi.
Since it's first performance in 1751,
it has established itself as a classic
not merely of astonishing literary
value but a rich source-test for
Kathakali as it exists to a day. The
text is supplimented by a detailed
introduction to the work, and by a
critical commentary on each of the
The historians generally considered that Unnayi Warrier was born in 1674
at Akattutt Warriam, Irinjalakuda in Thrissur District, Kerala State. His mother
was warrier lady and father a Namboothiri whose name is not recorded. He
achieved deep insight in Vedantham, Ayurveda and Music. Warrier is widely
cherished for his immortal work Nalacharitham. And also some scholars have
imputed two works to his credit Ramapanchasathi- a Sanskrit piece and Girija
Kalyanam- an epic poem in Manipravalam. In Ramapanchasathi on Sreerama
stated that the author was a flower garland maker at Koodalmanikyam temple,
lrinjalakuda. He died at the age of Sixty One.
Mr.V.Subramania Ayyar, B.A.L.T., served the Education Department of
Cochin and Tranvancore-Cochin States in various capacities, -Teacher, Deputy
inspector. First Assistant in the training institution and High School Head Master.
During this period he wrote extensively for periodicals and his contributions in
English for the teachers magazine won a gold medal for him. He retired in
1951when he completed 55 years of age.
Born and brought up at Tripunitura, the seat of the royal family he had, even
as a boy, plenty of opportunities to witness the various performing arts of Kerala
like Kootiattom and Kathakali. While as Headmaster of Cheruthuruthi High
School on the eve of his retirement he came in close contact with poet Vallatho!
and Kerala Kalamandalam. This association gave a new impetus and creative
turn for his love of Kathakali. He wrote many articles on Classical Arts with
special reference to Kathakali in English and Malayalam. And also he translated
several major Attakkathas.
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