Kerala’s Architectural Marvels: Some Sketches

Radhika K. M.’s sketches of Kerala’s lesser-known architectural marvels combine detail with a sense of liveliness. From ancient places of worship to traditional homes in Thrissur and Alappuzha, the sketches remind us that Kerala’s heritage goes beyond a few tourist destinations.

IRANIKULAM MAHADEVA TEMPLE, MALA (THRISSUR DISTRICT)
Iranikulam Mahadeva Temple in Mala, Thrissur is considered to be one of the ancient Siva temples in Kerala. The temple is popular for its architectural perfection and sculpture. A round-shaped sanctum sanctorum called vattasreekovil, dual towers and a huge balikallu (sacrifice stone) are the major attractions of the temple. The temple is located in the centre of the ancient Iranikulam village, which is one of the 64 ‘Brahmin villages’ in Kerala.

KARTHIKAPPALLY ST. THOMAS ORTHODOX CATHEDRAL, HARIPPAD (ALAPPUZHA DISTRICT)
The Karthikappally St. Thomas Orthodox Cathedral or Kottakkakathu suriyani palli at Harippad in Alappuzha district is one of the ancient churches in Kerala. The church is believed to be established in 829 C.E. and rebuilt in 1581 C.E. Recently, a few lithographic records and other remnants were unearthed from the church premises, establishing its historic significance.

PAZHAYANNUR PALACE, PAZHAYANNUR (THRISSUR DISTRICT)
The Pazhayannur Palace situated near the Pazhayannur Bhagavathy Temple was the official residence of the royal family of Cochin for a short period in the 16th century. Later, after the shift of the capital to Cochin, the Palace was used as a rest-house for when the royal family came to visit the temple, which housed their family deity.

ALUMMOOTTIL MEDA, (ALAPPUZHA DISTRICT)
The Alummoottil Meda is an old tharavadu (traditional house) located at Muttom in Alappuzha district, Kerala. This ettukettu structure is a fine example of traditional Kerala timber architecture.

SAUKAR MASJID, ALAPPUZHA
The Saukar Masjid belongs to the Halai trader community which had migrated to the old port town of Alappuzha from various parts of Gujarat. It is situated on the side of the Commercial Canal of Alappuzha.

KEEZHTALI SIVA TEMPLE, KODUNGALLOOR (THRISSUR DISTRICT)
This temple was one of the important Siva temples of the Chera kingdom. In ancient Kerala, the administrative tasks of its territories were carried out in few designated temples known as talis. This temple is believed to be one of the four tali temples among the 108 Siva temples of ancient Kerala. At present, only the high sanctum of the temple stands in a walled compound which is maintained by the Department of Archaeology.

About the Illustrator: Radhika K.M. is a conservation architect from Thrissur. Follow her on Instagram. This article first appeared in Ala.