The murals of Kerala - A living history of the region

September 12, 2023

The murals of Kerala - A living history of the region

It’s truly an unforgettable experience walking into a temple and being immediately captivated by the intricate designs and vibrant colours adorning every inch of the walls. 

Witnessing Kerala’s murals is like travelling back in time and getting to experience the pre-historic era. They transport you to an era of old legends, epic battles, and ancient traditions that have stood the test of time. So immerse yourself in this world that that was created decades ago.

The origin and evolution of Kerala murals

The murals of Kerala are simply awe-inspiring and act as a window into the rich cultural heritage of this beautiful south Indian state. These murals originated in the 9th century when temples were built during the reign of the Chera rulers. At that time, these murals were painted on walls as a form of decoration and storytelling. 

Over the years, the Kerala murals have evolved into a unique style of their own. It became easier to distinguish them by their intricate detailing, vibrant colours, and use of natural pigments. It's fascinating to see how the artists incorporated elements from various religions and mythologies into their paintings to give them a universal appeal.

Whether you're an art lover or just someone who appreciates beauty and culture, these four popular murals are sure to captivate and delight you:

The Shiva Temple of Ettumanoor

As breathtaking as ever! The minute you step into this Shiva temple, you will be transported to a world of calm and beauty. The temple's intricate architecture features stunning murals over 400 years old, each telling a unique story from Hindu mythology. 

Every inch of the temple is a visual delight, from the brightly painted figures of gods and goddesses to exquisite patterns and motifs. The murals have stood the test of time, surviving several centuries, and are still shining in all their glory. Their detailing and creativity are truly remarkable and reflect the skill and craftsmanship of the artists. 

Ramayana murals from Mattancherry Palace

When you step into Mattancherry Palace, a world of enchanting tales and mythical beings engulfs you. It’s covered in murals that are works of art, depicting scenes from the epic Ramayana with intricate details that are sure to leave you astounded.

Each mural tells its own story from the epic Ramayana, from the birth of Lord Rama to the epic battle between good and evil. What makes these murals beautiful is the way in which the artists have captured the emotions and expressions of the depicted characters. From the fierce warrior goddess Durga to the noble prince Rama, each character is brought to life with their own unique personality shining through.

Vadakkumnathan Temple

The first thing that strikes you when you enter the Vadakkumnathan Temple is the sheer size of the murals. They are enormous, covering entire walls with their vibrant colours and mesmerising patterns. But it's not just their size that makes them so breathtaking; it's the incredible level of skill and artistry.

Every inch of the mural is filled with intricate details, from tiny flowers and geometric shapes to majestic elephants and mythical creatures. The colours used are bold and bright, with shades of red, blue, yellow, and green standing out distinctively in this stunning display of beauty.

The Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple

Walking through this temple is like stepping into a dream world. Everywhere you look, you will find vivid depictions of gods, goddesses, animals, and humans- all beautifully depicted in an ethereal and realistic way.

The artists who created these murals are nothing short of true craftsmen. They’ve made use of natural pigments made from locally sourced materials such as flowers, leaves, and minerals, and turned it onto something that inspires generations to come.

It's wonderful how art has the ability to capture the essence of an era and make it come alive right before your eyes. Kerala murals do exactly that, and they're the perfect way to experience a piece of history in an alluring and colourful way.

To witness the art and culture in these murals, visit Kerala and stay at The Leela Kovalam, A Raviz Hotel and The Leela Ashtamudi, A Raviz Hotel. The property will give you a taste of the state, from its local ceremonial rituals, cultural discovery, healing ayurvedic treatments, and unexplored culinary journey.