Cane & Bamboo

Posted by Admin | 12:58 AM

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The state of Kerala in south India is a perfect destination for tourism, holidays, health care, yoga, meditation and art & culture. Kerala has a tradition of making beautiful items of handicrafts. Though most crafts in Kerala are also hereditary some amateurs with special interest in art also practice the same. Mat and basket weaving is done at many places in Kerala. All products are painstakingly made by hand. Some of the products include chairs, teapoy, t.v. stand, fans, tiffin carriers, bamboo shades, bamboo bowls and bamboo-reed table mats.

The painted bamboo mats is one the important craft of this place. The main center for this is Irinjalakuda. The subject for paintings are gods, goddesses, animals and birds. The mats for this craft is initially made of the required size and then painted with colours – derived from natural sources.

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The trunk of the Banana tree when treated properly gives this fine natural fibre. This craft of Banana fibre is slowly gaining in popularity and is predominantly found in the southern distric of Kanyakumari. Natural fibres like sisal, aloe, pineapple and screw pine and also weaved along with this banana fibre.Nowadays wall hangings and mats of different shapes and sizes are also made out of this fibre apart from the traditional table mats and bags. Traditionally the Pattu sari was also made of Banana fibre but it has become obsolete now.

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Aranmula is a small village near Chengannur in Kerala and is renowned for making a special type of metallic mirrors with bell metal, an alloy of copper and tin. It is believed that a divine visitation inspired a widow of this village to discover a mysterious blend of bronze which could be waxed bright into crystal clear mirror. These mirrors are known as Aranmula Kannadi. Though most commercially available mirrors have a coating of silver or other metal on the rear, this is the only mirror of its type, which reflects from the front. Owning such a mirror which is prohibitively costly, is believed to be A Lifetime Possession’ which brings good luck and brings prosperity and keeps evil eyes away.

A technique similar to lost wax method is used to make moulds of these mirrors with the local mud from the field. Once the casting is done, the surface is polished with oil and some metallic powder. The polish may continue for several days to get the required surface. Kannans, the artisans of this unique type of bell-metal are only a handful of familes in the world, who retain till date, this art of getting such reflection from metal.

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Kerala – ‘God’s Own’, is a rich southern state presenting many different art forms. Besides tourism, bamboo mat painting is one of the major industries of Kerala. The local artists are skilled in this traditional art.

Their work is first initiated by placing the correct size of mat which is utilized as a canvas for the painting. Then the basic coating is done on the mat which is then followed by the design on it. It is believed by the artist that to work on this surface the artist or the craft person has to put in a lot of concentration and work with peace mind as compared to the other paintings. In these bamboo mat paintings the craftsman depicts religious images, images of the birds and animals, human images as well as capture beauty of nature. Much of these are highlighted with all the possible colours available to give a natural look. The artists design all these paintings in different sizes which gives a very colorful and decent look that is beautifully presented in appealing bamboo reed frames.

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It is unthinkable that you sojourn into Kerala and you don’t take back any souvenir! Your tour is incomplete unless you shop for the exclusive handicrafts of Kerala that exhibit the superb and sophisticated craftsmanship of Keralite artisians. The exquisite workmanship reflects the illustrious culture and tradition of God’s own country.

The handicrafts such as- wood carvings, horn carvings, ebony carvings, mat paintings, coconut shell work and so on are stunning pieces of work with inimitable style and accuracy of structure and elegance.

Interestingly, all such recherché creations are carved out of raw materials like horns, bamboo, ivory, wood and so on.

Horn is the basic raw material from which carvings are created. Horn Carving is one of the oldest crafts of Kerala. Craftsmen belonging to Viswakarma Community in Thiruvananthapuram are mainly adept in this art.

Things to shop for- Magnificent artifacts such as flower vases, figurines of birds and animals, toy furniture, minute replicas of snake boats and so on are carved of horns. You can also shop for the ornate combs and hair pins to adorn your locks. Objects of regular use such as pen stands, small boxes, buttons, trays, ashtrays, paper weights, lamps, cigarette cases carved out of animal horns are also available.

Process- The hard horns of animals especially buffaloes are whittled made soft by heating them and oiling them .The grains of the horns are blended with colors and molded into exquisite pieces of art. Sometimes the horns are pared and carved into different forms. The artistry is enhanced when horn carving is combined with dark wood.

Buffalo-horn carving is still practiced in Kerala in places like Trichur, Trivandrum, Kasargod, Ernaculam and Cochin. You can shop for horn carvings at these places.

Textiles

Posted by Admin | 12:38 AM

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Textiles:

Textile sector constituting of spinning and handloom is the booming industry ok Kerala. You can choose from a range of Cotton Yarn Fabrics and Knitted Garments while shopping in Kerala .

Spices

Posted by Admin | 12:36 AM

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Spices:

Kerala is a land of spices. You can choose from an electric mix of spices while shopping in Kerala . Kerala has occupied an important place in the global spice market. Kerala has an abundance of the most popular spices like the spices are pepper, cardamom, turmeric, chillies and ginger. Spices are used to make medicines, perfumes and add flavor to a gourmet's delight.

Kathakali Masks

Posted by Admin | 12:35 AM

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Kathakali Masks:

Kerala is famed for the Kathakali dance form. Specially designed Papier-Mache Masks in different forms and sizes are available. Papier Mache is used to make various products Banana fibre is used to make floor coverings, Rice straw is used to make a silken collage of native scenery on black silk and Cora grass is used to make mats.

Metalware

Posted by Admin | 12:34 AM

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Metalware:

Kerala boasts of exquisite metalware. Kerala produces temple bells and lamps from time immemorial. Kerala is known for exotic bell metals. Glistening bell metals are made from a mixture of brass, tin and copper which in turn make spectacular lamps. Different types of cooking vessels, containers for drinking are other bell metal items. Trivandrum, Irinjalakuda and Kasargod are the major places of bell-metal production. The popular product of Aramula, a village near Chengannur in Kerala is the resplendent metal mirror made out of an amalgamation of copper and tin.

Woodcarving

Posted by Admin | 12:10 AM

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Woodcarving:

Kerala has an abundance of forests. Wood carving is widely practiced in Kerala. Temples and palaces emanate typical wood carving designs of Kerala. Doors, windows and ceilings of traditional buildings bear testimony to the high level of craftsmanship and tradition of wood carving in Kerala. Carvings are made on rosewood, sandalwood, cedar wood and teak. Local artistes wear wood carved figures with exaggerated features inspired from mythological and religious characters in Kathakali dance dramas. Wood carvings also include elephants in different postures, other animal figures, paper weights, lamp stands and jewelry boxes like Nettoor jewelry boxes. Wood carving on sandalwood and rosewood is unique to Kerala.

Coir Products

Posted by Admin | 12:02 AM

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Coir Products:

Coir Products make the base of village industries in Kerala. Floor coverings, door mats , floor matting and rugs, crush-proof pile carpets and flowered Mourzouks are made from coir, the husk of coconut. Different hues of mats with complex designs are coir products.

Exotic cushions are also made of coir. Ratts make for spectacular floor coverings. The

major centres of Coir Products are Alleppey, Kollam and Calicut.

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Coconut Shell Craft:

Kerala is dotted by coconut trees. This makes Kerala an ideal for exotic coconut shell craft. Skilled artisans painstakingly produce Coconut shell Craft. The main centre for coconut shell craft is Calicut district in Kerala. The main products are cups, flower vases, snuff boxes, sugar basins, nut bowls, powder boxes and spoons etc and also products decorated with brass.

But the sea-fringed state of Kerala is also the land of spices. Since long past Kerala has carved a niche of its own in the global spice market for its rich flavored spices. Spices are used in medicines, preservatives, perfumes and above all in cooking. Do pick up some exquisite variety while shopping in Kerala.

Handicrafts

Posted by Admin | 11:58 PM

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Handicrafts:

Unique artistic handicrafts are a specialty in Kerala. The dedicated artisans work arduously to make exotic inimitable and artistic handicrafts. The handicrafts are made with ivory, bamboo, palm leaves, sea shells, wood, coconut shells, clay, clothes, metals and stones Natural dyes, natural sustainable materials and simplicity add extra content to the products. The distinctive patterns, design and colors make Kerala handicrafts a favorite amongst compulsive shoppers.

Kerala Travel Tips

Posted by Admin | 11:55 PM





The variety of tourist sites in Kerala has made Tourism in Kerala an in-thing. However, whether you are on a leisure or adventurous mood, your travel should be safe and secure and without any last-moment hurry and scurry leading to untoward consequences. So we bring you a number of trips for traveling to Kerala. Kerala Travel Tips ensure for you a safe and satiating tour
• Since you are a foreigner, who is unacquainted with the local language, you should ensure that while talking to a local, that he understands what you say either by signs or by words.
• Avoid trouble by asking for permission from the authority concerned, before taking a snap of a place or building
• Some states in India allow flexible use of loudspeakers. So don't react promptly to a loud screeching noise, it may just be a normal devotional song
• Don't throw away bills, tickets and receipts during the tour. You might need them at the last day of the tour. So just keep them for record and transparency.
• Don't forget to carry your Visas and other documents at a convenient but safe bag so that you may find them whenever required .
• You should always carry sufficient amount of money. If required you can also transact from the banks in Kerala, which operate on all days except on Sunday.
• Always carry cotton outfits, hats, sun glasses and sunscreen lotion for touring in the tropical climate of Kerala.

• Remember the local emergency numbers of police control room, Fire station and ambulance

• Don't drink from slow moving streams, lakes or dams.

Kerala Water Sports

Posted by Admin | 11:53 PM

The topography of Kerala interspersed with rivers, lagoons and lakes in the interiors and hemmed by the sea on the west, makes tourism in Kerala quite varied and fascinating. Kerala Water Sports have become prospective ways to define adventure holidaying in various tourist sites in Kerala .

As you stay either in the backwaters or beaches of Kerala, you can look forward to thrilling water sports�which can revitalize you fully. Incidentally, since the beaches and backwater locations are unique in their bio-diversity and aquatic climate, the water sports in Kerala are also of a wide-ranging variety beginning from snake boat races to wind surfing.

Varieties of Kerala Water Sports

Canoeing is a Kerala Water Sport, during which you can unravel the sedate rural life of Kerala that sustains itself along the backwaters. So you can just canow along the waterways meandering through Kerala

• A catamaran is a type of boat or ship which has two hulls joined by a frame. Invented by the paravas , a fishing community of Tamil Nadu , Catamarans are largely used in the Kerala for adventure and leisure holidaying.

• A kayak is a small human-powered boat , propelled by a double-bladed paddle . In Kerala you will find many of them in the backwaters. So you should not miss Kayaking , the watersport in the serene ambience of a lake or the rivers.

• Have you heard of Para Sailing , in which a person is towed behind a boat while attached to a parachute . As the boat drives off, the parascender is carried into the air. Aren't you excieted already? So don't miss out parasailing from the beaches in Kerala

Scuba diving refers to diving under the water with self contained underwater breathing while Snorkeling is the practice of swimming at the surface of water with a diving mask . So you can enjoy the underwater marine life on the coastline of Kerala for a long time by using the equipments

• In Wind Surfing , you surf as well as sail. On one hand, you need to maneuver following the changing patterns of wind and water as well as sail across the sea. The breezy climate of Kerala beaches offers a fantastic setting for windsurfing.

More Information on Kerala Water Sports

Kerala is almost synonymous with its boat races. While a number of water sports have been introduced in the backwaters and on the beaches of Kerala, snake boat racing, one of the oldest form of entertaining folks, is still popular amongst domestic and foreign tourists. The traditional boats used for the snake boat races, are known as chunduvalloms .

Snakeboat Races in Kerala

Posted by Admin | 11:51 PM

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The Snakeboat races in Kerala are an integral part of the place. During your tour to Kerala do not miss to watch this event. It displays the velour of its people and their folk arts. The backwaters in Kerala fringed with coconut palms are the venue. Different types of boats - Irruuttikuthi, Veppu, Ody, Swan, Churulan and the majestic Chundan Valloms - display the craftsmanship of Kerala. It is very interesting to watch the singers of boat singing the folk literature of Kerala and their unity.

Come and get mesmerized by the awesome performance of oarsmen. The whole fete is an extravaganza of audio-visual arts. Alappuzha is the heart of backwaters where many snakeboat racing events are held.

Champakulam Moolam Boat Race in Kerala

It is the oldest and most popular snake boat race in Kerala. The race is held on the Champakulam Lake on the moolam day of the Malayalam month Midhunam.

Aranmula Uthrattadi Vallamkalim at Kerala

Conducted during Onam, The two days Aranmula Boat Race in Kerala is more a water fiesta than a competition. The event is a re-enacting of the legend involving a devout Brahmin who made a votive offering of feeding one pilgrim a day. On this day an imposing effigy of Sree Krishna is taken out in procession on the lake with children dressed as nymphs and princesses. Enjoy watching the snake boats decorated with silken parasols, carrying helmsmen, oarsmen and singers assemble near the temple early in the morning and then move away in pairs, creating a magnificent pageant.

Payippad Jalotsavam at Kerala

The three day annual fiesta on the Payippad Lake commemorates the installation of the deity at the Subramanya Swamy Temple, Haripad . This is another colorful event not to be missed by the travelers on a tour to Kerala.

Nehru Trophy Boat Race at Kerala

If you are on a tour to Kerala , you should not miss the Nehru Trophy Boat Race, one of the most exciting events of Kerala. Pavilions are set up for spectators on the banks and in the middle of the Punnamada Lake - the venue of the race.

This boat race is so named because the former Indian Prime Minister, Jawahar lal Nehru instituted the trophy for the winners.

Join the excitement of the boat races in Kerala and make your tours to Kerala memorable.