Indira Bhai Thankachi


Royal danseuse Indira Bhai Thankachi belongs to the descent of Irayimman Thampi the court poet of His Highness Chithira Thirunal and veena expert Kuttikunji Thankachi. Even though she is in her eighties, she carriers herself with grace and elegance and her eyes sparkle her passion for dance. The last palace dancer of the Travancore era, Indira Bhai Thankachi spends her evenings near the abode of Sreepadmanabha in the West fort, Trivandrum.

The great granddaughter of Irayimmen Thampi, Indira Bhai was born to M.L. Ponnamma Thankachi and Narasimha Thampi. Her mother laid down the first music school in Kerala; ‘Swathithirunal Music School’ at Poojappura. Indira Bhai’s father recognized her flair in music and dance and encouraged her to become an artist. She then went on to specialise in Kuchippudi, Mohiniyattam, Bharathanatyam, Kathakali, Manipuri dance, classical music, veena, thabala and so on from her early teens. At the age of twenty she was offered to share screen space with Sathyan in his first film ‘ Thyagaseema’ , however she was denied permission from his majesty to act. Even today she cherishes her memories of Satyan, who was her best friend. Indira Bhai was married to Jayapalan Nair, the main power behind her success from then on. She was a teacher to Princesses Pooyam Thirunal Gowri Parvathy Bayi and Aswathy Thirunal Gouri Lakshmy Bayi. Currently she runs a music school ‘Meenakshi Bharathanatyam Academy’ for all age groups in West Fort.




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