Attractions of Kerala - God's Own Country

Wildlife of Kerala


Culture of Kerala


MONUMENTS IN KERALA

Kerala has a rich repertoire of historic and cultural monuments. In regions like Fort Kochi which was a trade centre for centuries, the architecture is a curious mix of typical Kerala, European, Chinese, Jewish and Arabic styles. But the most prevalent architectural style is the traditional Kerala style ­nalukettu or ettukettu (four or eight sided structures with a central courtyard and verandah opening out to it). The low sloping roofs and brick walls were designed to match the climatic conditions and texture of the land.


Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) District

Padmanabha Swamy Temple : Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple is a blend of the Kerala and Dravidian styles of architecture. It is known for its mural paintings and stone carvings.

Kuthiramalika (Puthenmalika) Palace museum : The palace was designed and built by Maharajah Swathi Thirunal Balarama Varma, the poet king, musician, social reformer and statesman. This rare specimen of workmanship in the traditional Travancore style has exquisite wood carvings and displays priceless paintings and other articles.

The Napier Museum : (Open 1000 - 1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays & Wednesday forenoons) The Indo - Saracenic structure dating back to the 19th century, boasts a "natural" air conditioning system, houses a rare collection of archaeological and historic artifacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. The use of plastic is banned in the museum premises.

Sree Chithra Art Gallery : (Open 1000'- 1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays & Wednesday forenoons) Located near the Napier Museum, this art gallery displays select paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich and exquisite works from the Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools of art in India. The collection also includes paintings from China, Japan, Tibet and Bali.

Padmanabhapuram Palace (63 km - 2 '/2 hours. Closed on Mondays) : The seat of the erstwhile rulers of Travancore, this splendid palace is situated at Thuckalai, on the way to Kanyakumari. This is a well preserved wooden palace, a glorious testimony to the traditional Kerala School of architecture. The extraordinary murals, exquisite floral carvings and the black glossy granite floor have withstood the test of time.

Alappuzha District

Krishnapuram Palace : The palace museum is known for its collection of antique sculptures, paintings and bronzes. The 18th century mural Gajendramoksham is the largest mural in Kerala.

Ernakulam District

St. Francis Church : Built in 1503 by Portuguese Fransciscan friars, this is India's oldest European church. Vasco da Gama's mortal remains were buried here in 1524 before they were removed to Lisbon.

Santa Cruz Basilica : Dating back to 1558, this church has beautiful murals on the ceiling.

Mattanchery (Dutch) Palace : Built in 1557, the palace has on display murals depicting scenes from the Indian epics and legends, Dutch maps, period furniture and royal collections.

Jewish Synagogue : The oldest synagogue in the common wealth, this was constructed in 1568. Hand painted willow patterned floor tiles, Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs, scrolls from the Old Testament, ancient scripts on copper plates etc. are the attractions here.

Bolgatty Palace : Built by the Dutch in 1744, this palace is today a hotel run by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation.

Hill Palace Museum, Thripunithura : The palace complex built in 1865 houses an ethno archaeological museum and Kerala's first ever heritage museum.

Chinese Fishing Nets / Vasco da Gama Square

These huge cantilevered fishing nets are the legacy of one of the first visitors to the Malabar Coast. Erected here between 1350 and 1450 AD by traders from the court of Kublai Khan, these nets are built of teak wood and bamboo poles. The best place to watch the nets being lowered into the sea and catch being brought in is the Vasco da Gama Square, a narrow promenade that runs along the beach. The Square is an ideal place to idle, with stalls serving fresh delicious seafood, tender coconut etc.

Palakkad District (Palghat)

Palakkad Fort : This fort was built by Hyder Ali of Mysore in 1766.

Kozhikode District

Thali Temple : Dating back to the 14 th century, the temple is a fine example of the total integration that can exist between wood and laterite.

Ambalavayal Heritage Museum : One of the best heritage museums in Kerala, this one houses artifacts that belong to the various tribes of the land.

Kannur District

St.Angelo Fort : Built by the Portuguese Viceroy, Don Fransiscan De Almeda in1505, this fort became one of the important military centres of the Dutch and later the British in Malabar.

The Thalasseri Fort : This fort was constructed in 1708 as the military centre of the British.

Thodeekulam Siva Temple : Believed to have been built about 2000 years ago, this temple is famous for it mural paintings.

Kasaragod District

Bekal Fort : The 300 year old fort is one of the largest and best preserved forts in Kerala.This imposing circular laterite structure rises 130 ft above sea level and stands on a 35 acre headland that runs into the Arabian Sea.

Ananthapura Lake Temple : This 9 th century monument is the only lake temple in Kerala.


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