Karthikathirunal Utthara Unni Raja aka Utthara Unni is the one and only daughter to Urmila Unni and A R Unni. She graduated in Bsc. Visual Communication from SRM University and completed her master degree in MA. Communication from MOP Vaishnav College under Madras University. She also holds a degree in Bfa. Bharathanatyam from Sastra University under the special guidance of Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam.
As a Dancer
Being the daughter and disciple of Urmila Unni, Utthara started learning Bharatanatyam at a very young age from her mother. Later she was also trained under various gurus such as RLV Prashob Warrier, Kalamandalam Yamini, Dakshayini Ramachandran and Saikripa Prasanna. She holds a degree in B.F.A. Bharathanatyam from Sastra University under the special guidance of Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam and is currently doing her M.A. in Bharathanatyam from Trichy University and also learning Nattuvangam from Kalakshetra Hari Padman.
She has performed in more than 300 stages in and around India. She has also performed in the Natyanjali festivals held at Chidambaram, Kumbakonam, Thirunallar, Nagapattinam, Mayavaram, Thiruvarur and Thanjavur. Some of her significant stages include Soorya Dance Festival - Parampara, Mylapore Fine Arts - Chennai, Nishagandhi - Trivandrum, Ernakulam Shiva temple, Guruvayur, Mookambika temple, Vyloppilli Samskriti Bhavan - Trivandrum etc.
Utthara has also made a name for herself by giving solo concerts in other countries such as Nepal, Thailand, UAE, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Bahrain and Kuwait.
She is also the director of the dance school “Temple Steps” situated in Cochin,  She is a member of the UNESCO International Dance Council.
As a Film Maker and Singer
Utthara's directorial debut was through a horror short film Randaam Varavu featuring her mother Urmila Unni. The film won her five awards for best direction. She later directed a supernatural short-film featuring Urmila Unni and Devan called Ninth Month. She was praised about her writing and film making skills in her next short film Paw Prints featuring Siddique. The short film is about canine love and explores the special relationship between a man and a dog. Utthara is a well known animal welfare activist.
She has also created music videos and documentaries. Utthara Unni is also an acclaimed singer and has released a music album titled Pathirapontheril.
As an Actor and Model
She made her debut in the Tamil film Vavval Pasanga (2012) directed by Suresh. Her first Malayalam film Edavappathy directed by Lenin Rajendran and shot by Madhu Ambat also featured Manisha Koirala and Siddharth Lama. Utthara portrayed dual roles of Vasavadatta (a famous character from Kumaran Asan's poem Karuna) and a modern girl Yamini in the parallel story of the film. Her performance was critically acclaimed and won her the Kerala Film Critics Association Award for the best upcoming actor (debut).
Utthara started modelling during her school days and has worked with many Indian brands such as Dhathri Real Slim Oil, SriKumarans, Bhima Jewellers, Emmanuval Silks, Asianet Broadband, Golden Lotus and many others. She has also modelled for a German brand Ground Zero which used to be represented by John Abraham.
As a TV Show Host
Utthara started her TV career in 2015 with a show called Mambazham in Kairali TV. Later, she hosted Valampirishanku on JaiHind TV in 2016. Currently, she is hosting a brand new reality show on Amrita TV called Autumn Leaf to find the best music band in Kerala.
Having finished her schooling from Bhavan's Vidya Mandir, Girinagar and Mar Thoma Public School, Cochin, Utthara graduated in Bsc. Visual Communication from SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai and did her master's degree in M.A. Communication from M.O.P. Vaishnav College for Women, Chennai under Madras University. Utthara also graduated in B.F.A Bharathanatyam from Sastra University and is currently doing her M.A in Bharathanatyam from Trichy University.
Utthara Unni is the daughter of famous Malayalam actress Urmila Unni. She was born into the Royal family of Thiruvalla Nedumbarath Palace to Ankarath Raman Unni and Urmila Unni . Malayalam film actors Samyuktha Varma and Biju Menon are also her family members.
- Natyavilasini award from Bhilai Nrithyanrithyathi dance fest
- Natyamayoori title from Guntur dance fest in Andhra Pradesh
- Nrithya Shiromani title from theatre Olympiad at Odisha for excellence in Indian Classical dance
- Drishya award for best direction for the Short Film Randaam Varavu
- Monisha Unni award for best direction for the short film Randaam Varavu
- Shanthadevi award for Best Direction for the short film Randaam Varavu
- K.P Ummar award for Best Direction for the short film Randaam Varavu
- Lions film and TV award for best direction for the short film Randaam Varavu
- Padmavati Pratibha Puraskar from Odisha for promoting Indian classical arts
- Sukumari Memorial award by True Indian Federation
- Kerala Film Critics Association Awards 2016 for Best debut actress female for Edavappathy
- Guru Gopikrishna National Award for Bharatanatyam in 2016
- N. P Abu award for best dancer of the year 2017
- Best direction, Best screenplay and Best film award at the Mumbai Short Film Festival for Paw Prints
As TV Show Host
|Autumn Leaf||2018||Host||Amrita TV|
Utthara hails from the Royal family of Thiruvalla Nedumbarath Palace and is the niece of former Malayalam actor Samyuktha Varma and Mollywood's leading actor Biju Menon. Her mother Urmila Unni is also a famous dancer, actor, poetess and designer. Panchalika Collections is the brand opened by Urmila Unni and Utthara Unni.