Arakkal has a Diploma in Painting from the Chitrakala Parishath College of Art, in Bangalore, Karnataka. He has held over 38 shows in Bangalore, Madras, Hyderabad, Calcutta, Mumbai and New Delhi. Internationally he has shown his works in London, France, New York, Honk Kong and Singapore. He received the Lalit Kala Akademi Award in 1979 and in 1981, the Shiromani Kala Puruskar from the Government of India, in 1983, and the award of the Third Asian Art Biennale, Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1986. He currently lives and works in Bangalore.