The south Indian state of Kerala is admired worldwide for its scenic backwaters, beaches and hill stations. Besides the enchanting scenic beauty, Kerala is also revered for its rich cultural heritage, which has been kept alive through the Arts and Crafts of Kerala.
The arts and crafts of Kerala portray the cultural heritage of the land which is a fine blend of Dravidian and Aryan influences. The various art forms in Kerala are known worldwide and they can be categorized as Performing Arts, Ritual Arts and Martial Arts. These arts of Kerala are vibrant, and performed immaculately to the accompaniment of vocal and instrumental music, captivating viewers with an ethereal experience.
The arts and crafts of Kerala, be it the oldest Sanskrit theatre - Kutiyattam, the classical dance form-Kathakali, the rustic Theyyam, or the unique martial art form-Kalarippayattu, they will all leave viewers spellbound with a never-ending fascination.
Kerala is renowned worldwide for its performing art form - "Kathakali". This is an enchanting mix of dance, drama and music that has been revered by connoisseurs of the art world as a total art form of immense sophistication and power´. Some of the other well-known arts of Kerala include Bharata Natyam, Mohiniyattam, Kalaripayatt, Chakyar Koothu, Theyyam, Ottam Thullal, Loodiyattom, Chavittunadakam, Poorakkali, and Theyattu.
The classical and ritual arts of Kerala have always been patronized by the rulers, from the erstwhile kings who ruled the state to the later democratic governments.
Kerala is a land where the `coconut´ grows in abundance. Hence, many of the crafts of Kerala are woven and carved around the coconut. Coconut Shell products, polished Coconut Ashtrays, Coir Carpets, Floor Mats and wall hangings are some of the coconut products available in the markets.
Some other beautiful craft items including Cast Bell Metal Work, Jewelry, Granite Idols, Pillars, Carvings in Wood, especially Rose Wood or Sandal Wood, Snake Boat models, Lamp Stands, Flower Vases, Reed Mats, Purses, Bags and Carved Wooden Furniture indicate the excellent craftsmanship of the local artisans. A whole range of souvenirs and trinkets made of polished coconut shells and coconut wood are also fine examples of the rich crafts of Kerala.
Kerala's beautiful oil lamps and the Aranmula metal mirror-a unique metal craft of Kerala, are some of the finest specimens of the rich art and crafts of Kerala.