The Goddess Files – First Glimpses

Pana Yakshi - traditional Kerala mural

Since as far back as I can remember, and that’s rather a longish patch of time I must mention, I’ve been pulled by the temples of Kerala. If I try and get objective about it, there are a number of factors that may have contributed to this, but while these may well have been necessary, they do not seem sufficient to explain the extent of the significance that very many of these temples have for me. I hope to explore these in some other posting but for now, this is only meant to serve as the context for how I came into contact with the mural paintings of Kerala.

I still have fragmentary memories of walking slowly around the sanctum of the Guruvayur temple, drinking in the amazing scenes painted on walls of the shrine. Over the last year or so, I’ve gone on to find that these are not among the best work there is and not the only style either, but that too is another story altogether. About a year ago, I literally stumbled onto the only institute that I’m aware of that offers a course in mural painting, based in Guruvayur itself. And the ongoing endeavor to catch a glimpse of the Goddess began!