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Mural Paintings of Kerala

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 | Author:

kerala muralsKerala is also known as ‘Gods Own Country’ because of its charming beauty. One of the most popular tourist destinations in India, Kerala attracts huge numbers of travelers from all over the world. Famous for its land waters, spices, greenery and hospitality, Kerala has also contributed significantly to the world of Indian art. The traditional mural paintings of the state have always attracted art aficionados. These paintings are primarily frescos of the prehistoric era. The murals depict mythology characters and legends of Indian history. One can find many such frescos on the walls of the temples and churches in South India.


Mural paintings of Kerala have contributed greatly to the cultural heritage of the state. No wonder, these paintings have acquired a legendary reputation. The mural paintings took their inspiration from Dravidian art of Kalamezhuthu. As far as origin is concerned, these artworks began their journey during 8th century AD. Not many people know but Kerala is second only to northern state of Rajasthan when it comes to rich collection of archaeologically important mural sites in India. These mural paintings can be categorized into wall paintings. The oldest relics of Kerala’s own style of murals are found in Tirunandikkara cave temple. These murals depict themes of Hindu mythology. Buddhist influence can also be seen on the murals.


Perumkadavil in Thiruvananthapuram, Anjanad Valley of Idukki and Edakkal in Wayanad are shining examples of prehistoric cave paintings. If you are curious about some of the most famous mural paintings of the state then, take a note of these names; Vadakkumnatha Kshetram, Ramayana mural of Mattanchery Place, Gajendra Moksham painting in Krishnapuram palace and Shiva temple in Ettumanoor. Renowned ancient sites having these unique mural paintings in Kerala are, Thruprayar, Padmanabha Swami temple, Ettumanoor,  Kottakkal, Panayannarkavu, Pundareekapuram and Thotteekkalam Lokanarkavu.

Kerala murals

Saturday, June 20th, 2009 | Author:

Our God’s very own country has a rich tradition of murals and they are quite well known in the art industry through the history. Kerala has a rich and varied tradition of art and painting and much to the evidence of this are the murals in temples, churches and palaces in Kerala which the tourists and the art enthusiasts visit.

The murals of Tirunandikkara and Tiruvanchikulam are marked as the earliest specimens of Kerala painting. These have been assigned to the period from the 9th to the 12th century A.D. All most all the murals that are now seen in Kerala temples belong to the period from 15th century onwards. It is said that the tradition of painting on walls began in Kerala when the pre-historic rock paintings were found in the Anjanad valley of Idukki district. Rock engravings dating to the Mesolithic period have also been discovered in two regions of Kerala namely Edakkal in Wayanad and at Perumkadavila in Tiruvananthapuram district.

Art was highly regarded during the Dravidian period in the district and hence it is no difficult to trace the root of the Kerala mural style of paintings on the walls. These can be traced to the more ancient Dravidian art of Kalamezhuthu. Art was almost considered sacred and was connected to the religious rituals as portrayed in so many murals. People would sketch, border and then fill colours with the powder that was available to them.The oldest murals in Kerala were discovered in the rock-cut cave temple which is now in the Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu.