Aatmalaya academy, previously known as Kalpataru Kalavihar was the vision of Sri Chakyar Rajan, carried out further by his daughter Padmaja. This great legendary artiste had over 2000 shows of Koothu, Bhagvatam, lectures, Saptahams to his credit and was 74 when his illness took its toll. Yet he was his customary cheerful and motivating self almost regaling like a Vidhooshak-Chakyar (court jester) even when his breath was arrested. A non-Chakyar by birth, belonging to a Palghat Iyer clan, he took this up as his most devoted pursuit, almost taking up equal time or more of his active years as Management Consultant and cost accountant. Born in Trichur, he shifted base to Mumbai and involved himself in Malayalam and Tamil theatre.
It took him many years of hard work to gain the recognition as Chakyar Koothu had been the prerogative of a small community and he belonged to a different social group. When Chakyar Rajan received the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi award in 1994, he felt that at last, he was recognized for his contribution to the field of creative activity.
Smt. Devika hails from a renowned family of Maddalam Sri Vengichaswamy and has been a pillar of support to all the Aatmalyans.
Dr Padmaja Suresh receives Karnataka Kalashri and Stri Shakti award in 2021.