Cherthala Thankappa Panickar was
born on Nov 7, 1927. His father is Vasudeva Panickar and mother is Nani Amma.
After the primary education in Gurukula style and Malayalam Middle school exams and Sanskrit education he started learning Kathakali music at age of eighteen under Thakazhi Kuttan Pilla for 5 years. Then he became the disciple of Cherthala Kuttappa Kurup for many years and practiced as 'Sinkiti' for 5 years. After that he joined Gandhi Seva Sadanam for 2 years under Kalamandalam Neelakandhan Nambeesan in Vadakkan style. And practiced in 'Cholliyatta Kalari' of Kunchu Kurup and in Gandhi Seva Sadanam. Also learned Carnatic Music under Maruthol Ramachndran Potti, Ezhikkara Ramadas and K.G. Marar.
Has worked as main Kathakali Music teacher in Gandhi Seva Sadanam from 1956-61. Joined R.L.V. School, Thripunithura in 1962 as Kathakali Music Teacher and from 1972 worked in R.L.V. College and retired in 1983. Has participated in Kathakali Performances all around Kerala and India (not in foreign countries due to health problems). Has performed with famous artists like Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair, Mankulam Vishnu Namboothiri, Pallipuram Gopalan Nair, Kudamaloor Karunakaran Nair, etc. He is an artist in All India Radio for last 43 years.
Received Medal from Delhi International Kathakali Centre, Award from Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy, Junior Fellowship from Central Cultural Centre, Awards from Kathakali Clubs like Cherthala Kathakali Club, Eranakulam Kathakali Club, Thripunithura Kathakali Club, Moovattupuzha Kathakali Club, etc., Award from Varanad Devi Temple, Poornathrayeesa Award and Gold Medal, etc. Now he is taking rest and participating in very few performances.