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One aspect of the state's rich cultural heritage is manifest in its varieties of religious architecture: ancient Hindu temples with copper-clad roofs, later Islamic mosques with "Malabar gables," and colonial Portuguese Baroque churches. Splendid paintings, especially murals, exhibit distinct local traditions and styles.

The land is a flourishing center of the Kathakali dance form. The state has also a rich theatre tradition: the only surviving Sanskrit drama, kudiyattam, is still performed by the Cakkayars of Kerala.Some principles of the Natya-shastra are evident in their presentations.

Religion : The population of Kerala is roughly 60 % Hindu, 20 % Muslim and 20 % Christian.In 52 AD.

There is a legend that Kerala was carved out of the sea by Sri Parasuram. Kerala has given birth to great philosophers and outstanding artists, and the philosophy of Shankaracharya stands supreme even in the present atomic and rocket age.Kerala is a store house of music, art and Indian Classical dancing. Kathakali, the world's most famous Indian Classical dance in which the artists speak with eyes and mudras has won world fame.

An intrinsic part of traditional Kerala is its handicrafts. A flourishing coir industry exists because of the bountiful coconut palms. In Cochin on the Gundu island, the entire process of mats and carpets being made, can be watched.

Kerala is also famous for intricate rosewood and sandalwood carvings, ivory work, brass and bell metal lamps (Aramula is the center of bell metal, mirror craft). Besides coir and cane products, a number of interesting horn products, wooden toys and laquerware are also made. Kerala's local weavers from Calicut still make exceptionally soft polished cotton, so tightly woven and delicately coloured that they can easily pass for silk.

Parikshith Thampuram Museum
The museum is situated near the famous Siva Temple, Ernakulam. It houses a treasure of archaeological findings and relics including old coins, sculptures, oil paintings and murals. St. Francis Church It is the oldest church built by European in India.On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco da Gama, the Portugese trader who reached India from Europe by sea, fell ill and died in Kochi. He was buried in the St. Francis Church. Later his remains were taken back to Portugal. In spite of that the exact place where he was buried has been marked out inside the church Collections of 19th century oil paintings, old coins, sculpture in stone and plaster of paris, copies of mural paintings, etc. Collections from Cochin royal family are also among them. Timings : 0930 to 1200 hrs and 1500 to 1730 hrs. Closed on Mondays and national holidays. Admission is free.

Cheruthuruthy (Kerala Kalamandapam)
North of Thrissur, 29km away near the Shoranur Railway Junction is Cheruthuruthy, home of the renowned repository of the tradition of the Kathakali dance form. It is in this academy that the best of Kerala's Kathakali performers get their rigorous training. The institution also offers training in music, drama, and other dance forms including Mohiniyattam, Koodiyattam and Ottam Thullal.

Chitra Art gallery
This art gallery has an excellent collection of paintings done by artists from all over the country as well as abroad. It has paintings from the Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools as well as works from China, Tibet, Japan and Bali. It is also an excellent place to check out some contemporary Indian Art, with one of India's most expensive painters, Raja Ravi Varma being displayed here. There are also works by Russian painter, Nicholas Roerich on display here.

Napier Museum
This museum is a peculiar and quaint little place which has a theme surrounding it. It is built on the pattern of ancient Kerala family homes. It also has an interesting collection of bronzes, historical and contemporary ornaments, temple carts, ivory carvings and life-size figures of Kathakali dancers.It is a colorful and attractive structure standing on the crest of the popular public gardens near Observatory Hill. It has a good collection of Bronzes. The model of the Nair Joint family house (Tarawad) is interesting.

Art Museum(Anakkayam)
Within the zoo compound is the small Art Museum which has a good collection of wood carvings metal sculptures, Kathakali figures, and ancient jewellery. There is also a wonderful collection of traditional Kerala lamps.

Kaudiyar Palace
This palace is worth visiting for it's architectural beauty.

The main festival of all Kerala is Onam around August, and though it is essentially a Hindu festival, the Muslims and Christians also join in the fun.

Onam is a 4-day national harvest festival in Kerala, which falls during August- September, when Snake Boat races are held mostly in connection with temple festivals of Kottayam-Arunmulla-Alleppy area.

Vishu is the new year day which comes in March-April.

Pooja Eduppu in October is connected with Vinayak Pooja.

Kerala is also known for the Pooram festival in Trichur.

The Shivaratri festival at Alwaye is also a major occasion for fanfare.




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