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 Mesolithic period have also been discovered in two regions of Kerala, at Edakkal in Wayanad and at Perimkadavila in Thiruvananthapuram district.

It is not difficult to trace the roots of the Kerala mural styles to the more ancient Dravidian art of Kalamezhuthu. This was a much more fully developed art form connected with religious rituals. It was [is] a ritual art of sprinkling and filling up different colored powders inside outlines sketched with the powder.

The roots of the extant mural tradition of Kerala could be traced as far back as the 7th and 8th century AD. It is not unlikely that the early Kerala murals along with its architecture came heavily under the influence of Pallava art. The oldest murals in Kerala were discovered in the rock-cut cave temple of Thirunandikkara, which is now in the Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu.

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Greetings and thanks for coming by. This site aspires to be a source of information on the magnificent art of the Kerala temple murals, and also to be a gallery for the mural artist Naveen Bhaskar.

The site is freshly minted at this time, so please bear with us during the construction phase. And the reason we’ve chosen the web-log platform for this site is to invite you to comment, criticize and participate in making this ancient and traditional art-form contemporary, fresh and relevant in the Internet-age.

For now, let us whet your appetite with the mini-gallery.