Kalamandalam Unnikrishnan was
born on March 18, 1944 in Panjal, Trichur District. His father is V. Sankaran Nair.
Late Thamattur Sankaran Nair gave initial training to him. Later he joined the Kerala Kalamandalam, as a student and successfully completed 5 years of trining in Chenda in 1962 under the tutelage of Late Kalamandalam Achunni Poduval and Kalamandalam Krishnan Kutty Poduval. Before joining the International Kathakali Centre for Kathakali (ICK), New Delhi in 1968, he had a good exposure during his sojourn with other two Kathakali Schools, Unnai Warrier Smaraka Kalanilayam, Irinjalakkuda and Muthappan Kathakali Yogam, Parassinikkadavu. At ICK, further exposition to his talaents was make possible especially under Keezhpadam Kumaran Nair. Presently he is the Vice Principal of the ICK.
Participated in many Kathakali and other Classical Dance Programmes almost throughout India. Besides India, participated extensively at prestigious International Dance Festivals, throughout the world, like Athens Festival, Berlin Fesival, Indian Ocean Festival etc. in Kathakali and Mohiniattam.
Also participated in Kathakali and other Classical Dance Programmes for All India Radio and Dooradarsan.
Played 'Chenda' and 'Edakka' for well known Kathakali Gurus, for example, Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair, Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair, Kalamandalam Gopi, K.R. Kumaran Nair and provided percussion support to great Mohiniattam and Bharathanatyam dancers like Indrani Rehman, Bharathi Sivaji, Sonal Mansingh, Raja&Radha Reddy, Deepty Omcheri, etc. Is also an exponent of Thayampaka and a good Edakka Player for Panchavadyam.