||Tholpavakoothu is a form of shadow puppetry unique to central Kerala, in southern India. It is performed in permanent temple theatres as a form of ritual primarily honouring the Goddess of Bhadrakali. It enacts the Hindu epic Ramayana in a version based on the Tamil Ramayana of Kambar. A highly flexible narrative allows a typical cycle of Tholpavakoothu to extend between seven and twenty-one nights, depending on the performance commissioned and sponsored locally. After remaining largely unknown to the West, until the twentieth century, recent scholarship has established its ancient beginnings, while also highlighting the absence of a detailed account of the art in performance over centuries of its existence.
Mr. Vipin V was born into a traditional family with a rich historical background. With his father for Guru/ teacher, he started a dedicated study of Pavakoothu. He soon achieved extraordinary skills in all aspects of the art form within a short span of time. It is believed that Chinnathambi Pulavar who lived 2000 years ago was the first prominent performer of Tholpavakoothu.