Cultural History of Kerala   tIcf kwkvImcw
The land of Kerala owns a noble cultural heritage and it could be seen that the culture identified as Keralite existed right from the Megalithic period. References towards that could be traced in the ancient Sanskrit texts. The land had preserved trade relations with the outside world from the ancient period itself. What captivated the interest of the traders from abroad was the abundance of spice-resource in Kerala and from the records, it could well be deduced that Kerala had trade dealings with countries like Israel, Arabia, Rome, Greece, China and so on. Owing to such trade relations, Kerala turned out to be a land of variegated, diverse cultures.

It could also be seen that right from the ancient times, several religions had existedhere. Initially there was Buddhism and Jainism; Hinduism, Islam and Christianity came in the later phases. During that period, religious propagators like St Thomas and travelers like Ibnu Batutha had made their visits. The land has contributed a great deal to the development of philosophy too.

It has been the cradle of the noblest of Indian philosophies like Advaita, Mimamsa . The land has also given birth to thinkers and savants of unparalleled wisdom and vision as like Prabhakaracharya, Shankaracharya, Sree Narayana guru, Chattampi Swamikal etc.


 

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Yet another peculiarity of the land is the co-existence of diverse practices of worship as Saiva, Vaishnava and Sakteya. Several curious patterns of worship have also emanated integrating the Islam and Christian practices. Apart from this snake worship and nature worship also exist here.

Kerala is the land of festivals and carnivals. Onam is the indigenous festival of Kerala. Besides this, the land revels in Easter, Bakrid, Navarathri, Karthika, and Christmas too. Vallamkali(boat race) , the sport of the land puts its physical and excelling spirit to test. No wonder, the epithet Gods own country is well befitting since only here one could find a confluence of diverse traditions, various cultural practices and
differing lifestyles.

Kerala also offers an immense coffer of various art forms. Kathakali, Kuudiyattam, have been widely renowned and acclaimed. As a part of its indigenous culture, the land enthuses in the spirit of various art forms like Margam Kali, Oppana, temple arts like Thullal, Kuuthu, Krishnanaattam and ritual arts like Theyyam, Patayani and enormous other folk arts. Kalaripayattu is our traditional martial art.


We also possess a rich architectural tradition. The murals found in places of worship, irrespective of religion, caste or creed, all throughout Kerala represent the glory and grace of our artistic tradition. The sight of the Aranmula Kannadi would bear testimony to our tradition of unmatched craftsmanship.


From the ancient period itself, the land came to be widely known in the realm of education. Education paved way to enable the social renaissance that challenged the rigor of the caste system. The temple entry proclamation by Sri Chitira Tirunal is still revered as a milestone in the history of social reformation in Kerala.


 
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