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Kerala Religious Architecture

Temple architecture in Kerala is different from that of other regions in India. Largely dictated by the geography of the region that abounds in forests blessed with the bounties of the monsoons, the structure of the temples in Kerala is distinctive. The roofs are steep and pointed, and covered with copper sheets. The Kerala roof resembles those found in the Himalayan regions and those in East Asia.
The shape of the roof is in accordance with the plan of the sanctum below. With a circular plan, one sees a conical roof, while with a square plan the roof is pyramidal. The roof is constructed with wood and is covered with copper plates. Most of the temples seen in Kerala today, have undergone several phases of renovation, given the perishable nature of the construction materials.
The central sanctum of a Keralite temple is referred to as the Sree Kovil. It is surrounded by a cloistered prakara, pierced at one or more cardinal points with a gopuradwara. The cloistered prakaram has a namaskara mandapam located directly in front of the sanctum. This prakaram also houses subsidiary shrines. A kitchen is located in the south eastern corner of ths cloistered prakaram. The mukha mandapam is integrated with the gopura entrance. The flagstaff or dwaja stambham is located outside of the dwajastambham. The balipitham may be located in the mukhamandapam or in the outer courtyard. The outer prakaram or courtyard houses other subshrines, and optionally a temple tank.

Cheraman Juma Masjid

Cheraman Juma Masjid in Kodungalloor is the first mosque in India. It was built in 629 A.D. and resembles a temple in appearance. It is situated. This was rebuilt recently

St. Sebastian Church

Portuguese missionaries established one of the most important pilgrim centres of the Christians in Kerala, popularly known as St. Sebastian Church, 22 kms; north of Alleppey. This church is near Sherthallai. The feast of St. Sebastian is held here every January.


Thrissur is a good base for a pilgrim trip to Guruvayur, 32 kms away. It is among India's most important pilgrimage centres and is also known as the Dwaraka of the South. The Sree Krishna Swamy Temple, which attracts thousands of pilgrims is said to date prior to the 16th century. Tradition has it that Guru-the preceptor of the Devas, and Vayu-the Lord of the Winds created the temple. The temple is dedicated to Krishna known here as Guruvayurappan or the Lord of Guruvayur, the extreme grounds of Punnathur Kotta near Guruvayoor houses the elephants of Guruvayoor temple.The building was once the palace of a provincial chieftain Punnathur Nambidi

The Churches ar Muttuchira

Situated on the MC Road, between Vaikom and Kaduthuruthi, Muttuchira has an interesting conglomeration of three churches of different periods built in the same compound. These churches display distinctive features of the evolution of Church architecture in Keraa, the oldest of which is a typical example of Neo-Boroque style.

Aranmula Temple

Located at a distance of 16 km from Tiruvalla, the Arnamula Temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The temple is believed to be built during the Mahabharata era. The annual snake boat race conducted here is not just a competition, rather it is a an attempt to recapture the cultural glory of the past.

Palace and Jewish Synagogue

It was built in 1568 AD, the great scrolls of the Old Testament, the copper plates in which the grants of privilege made by the Kerala rulers Bhaskara Varma in A.D 1000 and the exquisite Chinese hand painted tiles are of interest. No two tiles are alike and are two hundred years old. There are also several finely wrought gold and silver crowns gifted to the synagogue by various patrons.

Kaviyoor Stone temple

The Kaviyoor Stone temple, located in the banks of River Manimala is of great historical and archeological significance as the stone figures here are considered to be the earliest specimen of stone culture.

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Kerala Insights

Thrissur Vadakkunathan Temple
is one of the most ancient temples in the state, the Vadakkunathan temple contains many decorative wall paintings and historically important pieces of art. The temple itself, with its thick mansonry walls and lofty gopurams is a classic example of the Kerala style of architecture. Exquisite wooden carvings can also be seen in the central shrines. The Pooram Festival here, is celebrated in April- May, on a grand scale.

Kerala Top Attractions

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Kochi City
Eravikulam National Park
Kovalam Beach
Munnar Hill Station
Backwater Cruise