Chengannur Raman Pillai

Chengannur Raman Pillai born in 1885, was a kathakali artist who was renowned for his anti-heroic, kathi roles, and was a celebrated dancer to the Travancore Maharaja.

Raman Pillai joined kalari started by Thakazhi Kesava Panicker at the age of 13. He later continued his training under Mathur Kunju pillai Panicker and Ambalappuzha Kunhikrishna Panicker.

He was a specialist in thesouthern style fo kathakali - Kapplingad which gave importance to Abhinaya. He also wrote Thekkan chittayilulla Abhyasa Kramangal, a training manual on this style. A documentary film, Chenganoor Raman Pillai, traces his artistic journey and his contributions. Raman Pillai was appointed as the Palace Dancer by the Maharaj of Travancore in 1926. He was also the principal of the Kathakali school attached to the palace. Raman Pillai is the recipient of  the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for Kathakali for the year 1963.