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Culture of kerala  >>  Handicrafts of Kerala

Kerala is one of the wonderful and most crowded tourist destinations in India. Besides its natural beauty, beaches and backwaters, Kerala is famous for its incredible handicrafts. The tourists to Kerala are floored with choices for shopping, that ranges from golden bordered white silk sari to colourful wall hangings, from decorative lamps and coir products to beautiful gold and silver jewellery in traditional designs. Handicrafts of Kerala are the most popular face of its glorious cultural heritage.

The handicrafts of Kerala also have religious manifestations. The idols of Goddess Sarswati, Lord Ganesh, Lord Krishna, Goddess Lakshmi and the

Natraj are carved in the sandal and rose wood. The masks of the Kathakali dancers, and the models of Kerala's popular snake-boats are geared to inspire awe and amazement.

Brass and Bell Metal Works
Kerala is also well known for its bell metal art. Having religious and cultural roots, the bell metal is used for casting numerous mythological events such as the 'Tandava Dance', popularly known as the 'Gaja Tandava' or 'Gajasamhara' in intricate art forms. We can find these Kerala trademarks at Payannur, Tiruvananthapuram and Kasargod. Bell metal is the alloy of tin, copper and brass. Besides making the idols of deities, it is used for making beautiful lamps and household utensils.

Coir and Cane Products
Along with Tripura, Kerala is popular for rattan and coir mattresses, floor furnishings, adorned mats and other colourful, eco-friendly goods made of coir and cane. The exquisite coir products have developed one of the most important cottage industries of Kerala. Calicut and Kollam are well-known for the coir products.

Ivory Works
The ivory carving is one of the traditional handicrafts of Kerala. The carving of mythological characters is predominant. Besides that, you can find a large variety of ivory carved showpieces. The craftsmen generally use the buffalo horns for the art of ivory carving. A group of highly talented artists showcase their skills in the wood, which is borrowed from the music and dance tradition.

Lacquer Ware
The combination of woodcraft and metal gives rise to some intense lacquer ware. The sandal wood and rose wood are carved out in various sizes and shapes. Later on, they are given the lacquer finish and the final showpiece is decorated with the precious metals. The Ernakulam district is popular for this type of art.

Sandalwood Carving
The beautiful products like decorated boxes, figures of elephants, ashtrays, Kathakali dance postures, candle stands and rhinoceros are carved out from the fragrant sandalwood. Just like the Rosewood industry, this sandalwood carving industry is also predominant in Cochin, Trichur, Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam.

Kerala, the land of coconuts and Kathakali, has established itself on the world's map for its distinct collection of textiles. You must buy the wedding cards, Kancheepurams and the flowing silks, where textiles is manifested as exquisite art forms.

Wooden Toys
The wooden carvings not only give rise to mythological characters, but also to magnificent wooden toys. You can't prevent yourself from buying these fascinating wooden toys as your mementos from Kerala.


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