Govindan Kutty was born on the 13th November 1927 in the little village of Kuruvattur in Palghat, Kerala. His maternal grandfather Kandappa Kurup and his father Kuruvattur Meletil Kunhan Nair were both established Kathakali artists. At the persistent request of Vallathol Narayana Menon (famous poet and founder of Kerala Kalamandalam), Govindan Kutty was allowed to enroll in Kerala Kalamandalam at the age of 13. He stayed in Kalamandalam for seven years and graduated in 1949.

For five years he performed and travelled extensively,all over the globe.

In July 1955 Govindan Kutty went to Calcutta. His roots in Kolkata became stronger when he joined Rabindra Bharati University in 1962 as a teacher of Kathakali. He retired as a Reader in 1992.

His achievements are numerous and immense. Kalamandalam –Calcutta, especially, brought about a change in the classical dance scene in the metropolis. in recognition, The Government of West Bengal conferred the “Uday Shankar LifeTime Achievement Award” on him.