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Kerala's unique selling point is its rich culture which was mellowed by centuries-old rich heritage. Culture and heritage are pervasive presence across the state and are kept alive through the state's performing arts.

Performing arts, a slice of culture.

Kerala’s performing arts are feast to the eyes of tourists. A sheer variety of art forms, when performed by consummate artistes with the requisite paraphernalia make watching them worth. Legends and legendary characters resurrect from the dog-eared pages of history books and make their apparitions on the stages leaving the audience in ecstasy. The attire, roves and facial expressions of the artistes are a sumptuous treat for eyes.

Centuries down, Kerala’s performing arts had enjoyed the patronage and pats from successive rulers. Besides, the now defunct feudal system had also contributed for the nourishment of art and culture. The Northern region of the state is a repertoire of arts and culture.


Many of these performing arts are enmeshed with the cultural history of religious communities. While classical art forms such as Kathalkali and Bharathayatyam were the stronghold of upper class, those from lower strata of the society performed dance forms such as theyyam and padayani. If the former class performed in the temple premises and specially erected stages, the later had to venture on streets to show their artistic prowess.

Besides, the aborigines of the state have their own art forms. Cherumarkali, a harvest dance is one among them. Dancers, men and women, with hands entwined, waltz rhythmically to the drumbeats. They will send you into trance. Rapturous moments for audience. Dainty world of performing arts. Engrossing ensemble of dance and folk arts.

Flamboyant cultural procession is an integral part of any festival here. In temple fests, deities adorned with glittering jewels and colorful garlands are shouldered in the procession to the accompaniment of chanting of hymns, blowing of conches and playing of nadswaram.

Thrissur Pooram, the spectacle of splendour, is the greatest cultural extravaganza in Kerala. Celebrated on First May every year, this is also the stage for the biggest show of pyrotechnics.

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The important performing arts are Kathakali, Kalaripayattu, Mohiniyattom, Chakyar Koothu, Theyyam, Ottam Thullal, Koodiyattom, Bharathanatyam, Chavittunadakam, Poorakkali and Theyattu.

Kerala’s architecture is an ensemble of simplicity and elegance. Simple and all embracing, it is tailored to suite Kerala’s climate and culture.

The time-tested dexterity of Kerala’s master architectures is ostensible in the construction of umpteen temples, mosques and churches bestrewn across the state.

The temples structures have intricate details that are breathtaking, which never fails to fascinate an observer. Agraharams, the conglomeration of Tamil Brahmin houses, at Kalpathy in Palakkad show the fulgent face of aesthetic sense of a generation.

Bypore Khalasees, a microscopic group in Kozhikode, have devised their own method of construction. This endangered Muslim group had construction several bridges in stultifying pace. This team had done yeomen service in several rescue missions in Kerala.

Idols and curios, manufactured in several parts of the state, are a fusion of dexterity and technical know-how. Aranmula mirror, a unique mirror being manufactured at Aranmula in Pathanamthitta, has taken the fame of Kerala’s architecture overseas.

Temples, churches and mosques abound in Kerala, signifying a glorious history and representing the eventful political, cultural and religious life of the state. History is a pervasive presence here. Many Christian churches were built with the help of Hindu Kings. However, the post-independent development spree, bereft of little concern for culture and tradition, has left our traditional knowledge system bear the brunt. Even amid the onslaught of modernism, a few embers glow that can fan up the Kerala consciousness.

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