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Temples of Kerala

The major art forms of Kerala are Aivar Naatakam, Bhagavathipaattu, Chaakyaar Koothu, Kaakkaarissi, Naatakam, Kalaripayattu, Kathakali,Koodiyaattam, Kothaamooriyaattam, Krishnanaattam, Kummatti, Maargamkali, Mohiniaattam, Mudiyettu, Oppana, Patayani, Pulikali, Pulluvapaattu, Theyyam, Thirayaattam, Thullal, Velakali

Ambalapuzha Temple: The ancient Sree Krishna Temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna is situated 8 miles south of Alappuzha. This temple is famous throughout Kerala for the milk porridge, 'Palpayasam' served here.

Chottanikkara Temple: Chottanikkara temple, located near Ernakulam enshrines Bhagawati - the mother Goddess, one of the most popular deities in Kerala. Enroute is the Poornatrayesa temple at Tripunittura. The Devi is worshipped along with Lord Vishnu. Together, they are known as Lakshminarayana.

Guruvayoor Temple: Guruvayoor, where the famous Sree Krishna Temple is situated, is one of the most sacred and important pilgrim centres of kerala. The walls of the sanctum sanctorum are inlaid with exquisite mural paintings and carvings.

Kalpathy Temple: The Vishwanatha Swamy shrine, the oldest Shiva temple is situated 3 kms from Palakkad. The annual chariot temple is a gala event. The annual 'Ratholsavam' or Chariot Festival at Sree Viswanantha Swamy temple lasts for seven days.

Mangla Devi Temple: Mangala devi temple, the ancient temple is located 15 kms from Thekkady. It lies hidden in the dense woods at the top of a peak 1337 m above sea level. The temple is built in the traditional Kerala style of architecture.

Oachira Temple: Oachira is unique place of worship with neither a structure to house an idol nor an idol around which temples are usually built. The presiding deity at this sanctum-sanctorum is the abstract principle of the 'Parabrahmam' or the 'Divine Omnipresence' or 'Universal Conciousness'.

Thali Temple: Thali Temple, located downtown is an important temple of the erstwhile Zamorin Kingdom of Kozhikode. The temple is famous for the 'Revathi Pattathanam', an annual competition of pedagogic skills.

Thirunavaya Navamukunda Temple: Thiruvanaya Navamukunda Temple, near Ponnani in Malappuram district is situated on the banks of the river Bharathapuzha. Holding immense historical importance, this is the place where 'Mamangam', a grand assembly of the rulers of Kerala was held here once every 12 years, in olden times.

Thiruvalla Temple: Thiruvalla Temple is one of the largest temples of Kerala and a fine specimen of its traditional style of temple architecture. The temple has many shrines though it is mainly dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

Vaikom Temple: Parasurama, the mythical founder of Kerala, is said to have built a temple here dedicated to Lord Shiva. The twelve-day festival of the temple falls in November -December, and is celebrated with classical dance and music performances.


A ritual dance form of Kerela, glorifying the goddess. Themes revolve around the triumph of the goddess over the demon Daruka and other evil characters. Always performed by men, they also enact female roles wearing exotic make up and colorful costumes.

Theyyam also known as Kaaliyattam, it is a ritual dance popular in north Kerala or the erstwhile Kolathunadu. Theyyam incorporates dance, mime and music and enshrines the rudiments of ancient tribal cultures which attached great importance to the worship of heroes and the spirits of ancestors. Of the over 400 Theyyams performed, the most spectacular ones are those of Raktha Chamundi, Kari Chamundi, Muchilottu Bhagavathi, Wayanadu Kulaveni, Gulikan and Pottan. These are performed in front of shrines, sans stage or curtains, by persons belonging to the Vannan, Malayan and other related castes.

'Thudangal' (the beginning) and 'Thottam' (the invocation) are the introductory rituals of the Theyyam or the Thira, as it is known in south Malabar. The headgear and other ornamental decorations are spectacular in sheer size and appearance. Karivalloor, Nileswaram, Kurumathoor, Parassini, Cherukunnu, Ezhom and Kunnathoorpadi in north Malabar are places where Theyyams are performed annually from December to April.

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