Kerala Architecture

Kerala Architectural Style

Paliam NaalukettuKerala has a distinctive architectural style which has evolved through years. It is a graceful mix of simplicity and elegance and a blend of local style and foreign influences. Like the style of dressing the architecture is also designed and adapted to suite Kerala’s climate and culture. The influence of non Kerala style can be mostly seen in the architectural styles of temples, churches, mosques and palaces. One can see structures which bear influence of Dravidian, Chinese and Tibetan styles in Kerala. Though the evolution of Kerala style of architecture closely follows the temple architecture priority and preference has been given to functionality Traditional houses known as ‘Nalukettu’ and ‘Ettukettu’ were built in accordance with scientific architectural principles illustrated in ‘Manushyalaya Chandrika’ an ancient work which deals with the ‘vaastushastra’ of domestic architecture. This style of construction was meant for convenience, as the joint family system was prevalent then. Temples in Kerala have a distinct architectural style.

Famous Architectural Work

Sri Padmanabha Swamy TempleThey are among the most ancient monuments of the State and are architectural and historical treasure troves. The earliest known temples are the rock cut ones. But many temples have their walls made of wood. The Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple at Thiruvananthapuram with its lofty tower and rising tiers is an impressive structure and a supreme specimen of Dravidian style in Kerala. Temples built in the indigenous style are characterized by low elevation. In the earlier days, Christians also modeled their churches after temples. But the Portuguese influence changed it. A massive arch and stained glass windows became the important features of churches. Later other styles like ‘Roman’ influenced the construction of churches. Mosque architecture drew inspiration from Persia and Turkey. But the traditional Kerala mosque is a simple two-storied building with tiled roof and a central hall meant for prayers. But modern day Malayali seems to have abandoned these traditional styles and turned to modern day concrete structures. Apartment complexes have become so popular among upper middle class whereas the upper class have gone for luxury villas and farmhouse type villas.

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