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Gajendra Moksha Of Krishnapuram 8

KrishnapuramÂ’s history is pregnant with faded memories of a bygone era. This unpretentious village near Kayamkulam was once the abode of the heirs apparent of the Kayamkulam royal house. Near the old temple of Krishna from which the area got its name, is an old but well-kept palace. Though much […]


Padmanabhapuram Murals 1

Even a casual tourist to the Padmanabhapuram Palace will be affected by a hard sense of the past. History, to use a cliche, slumbers here, brooding over the past. This palace-complex was once the nerve centre of the Venad kingdom, later the kingdom of the rulers of Thiruvithamkur, whose family […]


Kerala Paintings – Historical Context 4

From Indian Painting: The Great Mural Tradition, by Mira Seth The Cheras ruled in Kerala in the third century BCE. They seemed to have been the most prominent kingdom here until the sixth century CE. The Chalukyas of Badami are reported to have conquered north Kerala during the sixth and […]


Kerala Murals – Perspectives

The colors selected by the artists had a direct bearing on the characters portrayed. According to ancient texts, there are three broad qualities assigned to superhuman, human, and sub-human beings, viz. Satva (the noblest), Rajas (the active and middle principle) and Tamas (the dark and destructive principle) respectively. To represent […]


Kerala Murals – Principles & Guidelines 9

Generally, frescoes were painted on the surface of walls of granite or laterite after they have been prepared suitably. The wall, technically referred to as the carrier, was first given a rough plaster coating, with a mixture of sand and lime. A second, smoother coating of plaster was then applied […]


Ardhanarisvara – The God Who is Half-Woman 1

This is among the more esoteric forms of Siva, the destroyer in the Hindu trinity. Beyond stereotypes, beyond boundaries and frameworks, Siva stands at the periphery of social order. Siva is the eternal ascetic, famed for his excesses, whether in penance and austerities or in sexual vigor. Siva, the intrinsic […]


Kerala Murals – A Brief History

One could say that the tradition of painting on walls began in Kerala with the pre-historic rock paintings found in the Anjanad Valley of Idukki district. Archaeologists presume that these paintings belong to different periods from the upper Paleolithic period to the Early historic period. Rock engravings dating to the […]