Handicrafts of Kerala
The God's own country Kerala is also renowned for its rich tradition in handicrafts which is part of its cultural legacy. Its unique arts and crafts are irresistible for any shopaholic. These crafts reflect the extraordinary skills of its master craftsmen. The artisans of Kerala trace their lineage to Vishwakarma - the architect of the gods. The crafts include the bell metal cast sculptures and pottery items, products in wood and coir and murals.
The abundance of coconut trees paved the way for the development of coir and related products in Kerala. Decorated mats and floor furnishings are some of the popular coir products. Kollam and Calicut are known spots for buying coir products. Coconut shell products are also of great demand in Kerala.
Woodcraft is another famous craft item of Kerala. Many of the ancient temples and traditional homes that are spread across the state stand testimony to this fact. Netturpetti, a nine-sided wooden chest to keep jewellery, is one of the most exquisite woodcrafts of Kerala. Sandalwood products of Kerala are also in great demand.
Some of the popular sandalwood carvings are decorated boxes, candle stands, toys and Kathakali dance dolls.
Bell metal craft is an art in Kerala. The famous bell metal products of Kerala include beautifully carved idols, ritualistic temple lamps, church bells, ashtrays, fruit bowls, cooking vessels, jewel boxes, pickle jars, oil lamps and tabletops. Aranmula kannadi or Aranmula Mirror, composed of a special metal alloy, instead of glass, is the end result of a unique and secret metallurgical tradition.
Lacquer Ware, the craft combining metal and wood, is a favorite among the tourists. A wide variety of lacquer products are produced in Kerala especially in Ernakulam district. Kerala is next only to Rajasthan in having the largest collection of murals. Most of these murals are based on themes taken from the epics.