Est. 2000
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Kadathanadan Kalari Sangam (sangam is the Malayalam word for school) was established in 1949 at Vadakara, Kerala, India. The Kalari sangam was established by Sri V. Sreenivasan Gurukkal, Raghavan Gurukkal, Dhamu Gurukkal, and Valappil Karunan Gurukkal. Sreenivasan Gurukkal brought the Kalari sangam to Wayanad in 1962, and it has stayed there since. The sangam has been in its current location since 2000, when K. F. Thomas Gurukkal became Chief Master Trainer. From this lineage, the knowledge of Kalaripayattu was passed on and still lives on in the Kadathanadan Kalari Sangam that we practice in today. Kadathanadan Kalari Sangam is one of the oldest training center in Kerala, India.


V. Sreenivasan Gurukkal arrived in Wayanad from Vadakara in the year of 1962. At this time, Kalari training was not available in Wayanad, and he started several Kadathanadan Kalari Sangam centers in various areas. He was responsible for the spread of kalari fighting skills, kalari healing treatments and kalari marma (pressure point) therapy. His knowledge of Ayurvedic science was vast, and he was able to identify many Ayurvedic herbal plant medicines as well as being versed in the preparation of these plants into medicines.

Kalari master
M A Vijayan Gurukkal Kalari master


M. A. Vijayan Gurukkal was a pioneer in the field of Kalaripayattu in Wayanad. He originally trained under the guidance of V. Sreenivasan Gurukkal, and was also trained by eminent teachers such as V. P. Rakhavan Gurukkal and Valappil Karunan Gurukkal. He became a kalaripayattu Master in 1977 and established Kadathanadan Kalari Sangam at its current location in the year of 2000. He is a skilled healer and a great practitioner of Indian spirituality.


K. F. Thomas Gurukkal is the current Chief Master trainer and proprietor of Kadathanadan Kalari Sangam. He was trained by M. A. Vijayan Gurukkal, the founder of the Sangam. He furthered his knowledge and skills with respected masters Sri V. Sreenivasan Gurukkal, V. P. Rakhavan Gurukkal Vadakara, Manoj Gurukkal Vadakara and Sajeevan Gurukkal. He also traveled to Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu to learn kalari from a well-known Master, Mani Gurukkal. Along with his kalari training, Thomas Gurukkal has also studied the spiritual practice of Kriya Yoga from his teacher, Soryanda Baba of the Himalayas. He studied for 5 years under Guru Soryanda and continues this practice today. He is also very proficient in Kalari marma massage therapy, gathering and preparing the Ayurvedic medicinal herbs himself from which the oil for this treatment is made.

Kalari India

T N Nishad Gurukkal
T N Nishad Gurukkal
MS Ganeesh Gurukkal
M S Ganesh Gurukkal
E A Anoop Gurukkal
E A Anoop Gurukkal
C K Sreejith Gurukkal
Sreejith Gurukkal

C. K. Sreejith Gurukkal, T. N. Nishad Gurukkal, M. S. Ganeesh Gurukkal and E. A. Anoop Gurukkal are the present Kalari masters of Kadathanadan Kalari Sangam. They have been thoroughly trained over many years, some since childhood, by the Master K. F. Thomas Gurukkal himself.


Our location

Kadathanadan Kalari Sangam is located very close to the Kabani River in the small locality of Kammana in Wayanad, the central-north district of Kerala. Wayanad is part of the Western Ghats, the mountain range separating Kerala from its neighbouring states, and it enjoys a cooler climate than other parts of South India, making it a popular holiday destination for coast-dwellers and foreigners alike.

Our property

The sangam is located on Kalari Gurukkal Thomas’ small organic family farm, typical of those in Kerala. The property is in a rural farm setting only 4km from the larger town of Mananthavady. We are on 2.5 acres which means most of our neighbours are not that close, and it is mostly very peaceful. The Kabani River is only 200m walk from the edge our property, and is a lovely large river. You can often find locals washing and fishing in the river, and enjoying the surrounds.

Kalari self defense

On the farm we have a mix of crops, including coconuts, jackfruit, areca nuts, coffee, bananas, many different spices and a variety of vegetables. We also have dogs, goats, chickens, Indian Murrah water buffaloes, a cow and an Indian Marwari horse. As an organic farm, we use all the resources that we have available, including animal manure and food scraps. You will have an opportunity to see the workings of the farm during your stay, and learn about the different plants, including the medicinal plants that we use for kalari medicine.

During your stay, you will be made to feel like one of the family and will be welcome in the home, even though your living quarters are separate. We follow the traditional Indian format of an extended nuclear family, which includes your host Kalari Gurukkal Thomas K F Vinod, his wife (who prepares the delicious, nutritious meals), his mother and father, and his two lovely sons (13 and 7 at the time this was written) who are also students of kalaripayattu. His brothers, sister, and a myriad of cousins who are always dropping by. The feeling of community is strong here and is a magical part of the experience.

Getting here


There are three airports within reasonable distance of Kadathanadan Kalari Sangam: Calicut (112km), Bangalore (300km) and Kannur (80km). These three airports are both international and domestic.


There are no trains in Wayanad, you must catch a bus from the coastal line. The closest stations that are easy to get a bus from are Calicut, Kannur and Mysore. This is only convenient if you are already travelling within Kerala – if you are come by air it is better to catch a bus directly from the airport.


Bus is the cheapes way to reach Kadathanadan Kalari Sangam. It takes about 3 hours (depending on traffic) from both Calicut and Mysore. Kannur is a little more difficult as you have to change buses, but it will also take about 3 hours. It is 6.5 hours from Bangalore, normally taken as an overnight bus.


Taxi is the quickest and most convenient mode of transport. If you wish to come by taxi, we will arrange it for you in advance.

Kalari training with food and accommodation

Kalari training with accommodation

Your stay at the Kalari training center includes a comfortable bed in a dormitory style room with the capacity to sleep 14 students in bunk beds. There is a small covered deck attached to the dormitory which has seating and an area to hang clothes. Also available are two single rooms in the main house. All rooms come complete with fully functioning conventional Western style toilets and stand-up showers. There is also a washing machine to keep your clothes clean and fresh after a hard day’s training. Please note that the access to the dormitory has two flights of stairs.


Each day you will receive three healthy, delicious homecooked meals in the Kerala style of South India. This is a wholefoods mostly plant-based diet, normally consists of rice, different flat breads of wheat and rice flour, and different types of wet and dry curries (normally mild) consisting of spices, coconut, mostly vegetables and different types of legumes. Althought there is sometimes meat, we can definitely cater for vegetarians and vegans. All cooking is done with coconut oil, and eggs are not included as part of vegetarian diets in India. Dairy is occasionally part of a meal and is easy for us to exclude, and there is normally more than one dish available. For those with dietary concerns, or if you simply wish to cook your own meals, there is also a fully functional separate kitchen available to the students. Chai (spiced tea) or coffee is available once in the morning and once in the evening if so desired.

Kalari Kerala

Things to see during your stay

Pazhassi Raja Tomb

It located 4 kilometers from our Kalari training centre. Pazhassi Raja, born in the year 1753, was one of the first great freedom fighters in India and is remembered for leading a successful guerilla war, using the battle skills and knowledge of Kalaripayattu, against the British controlled East India Trading Company. This was known as the Cotiote War. This war began due to the East India Trading Company imposing an exorbitant tax in areas whose independence had already been recognized. The military prowess and fighting skills of Kalaripayattu warriors forced the Company to sue for peace.

Veerahuthi of Pazhassi Raja

Refusing to surrender and surrounded by British troops, Pazhassi Raja took his own life in the warriors way called Veerahuthi, he was 52 years old. In this case that consisted of Pazhassi Raja taking his sizable diamond ring from finger and swallowing it thus bringing about his death. His body was brought to Mananthavady and placed in the tomb that we may still visit today. The tomb also has a small historical museum commemorating his life and death.

Valliyoorkavu Temple

This temple located 1.5 km away from our Kalari school. It is dedicated to the goddess Durga. There is a two week annual festival here beginning mid march. On the last day of the festival local folk art and dance with native percussion instruments is held. This festival is very important to the tribal people in Wayanad. The temple is very close to the banks of the Kabani river.

Kadathanadan Kalari Sangam

Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary

Kalari Wayanad

About 24 km away from our kalari centre, is home to many amazing and beautiful species native to Kerala. One of the main attractions, the elephant, can often be seen wandering the park peacefully. Other animals one might see include tigers, and bears often found in large groups as well as wild boar, wild buffalo, monkeys and the picturesque peacock. As always, an amazing variety of wild bird species can be observed.

Anywhere in the area you may simply take a walk for your pleasure. The many beautiful homes, exotic plants and flowers and lush landscape will not disappoint. The locals are curious and extremely friendly, many of whom speak enough English to hold pleasant conversation as you trade ideas and cultures with each other.

Other Nearest Tourist Points

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