The cultural heritage of any country is seen best exposed in its architectural monuments. The ways in which the buildings are designed, constructed and decorated speak not only the technical and artistic capabilities of the craftsmen, but also of the aspirations and visions of the perceptors, for whom the construction is only a medium for thematic expression. From the single dwellings to the magnificent edifices, architecture also reflects the human endeavour meeting the ever changing social needs. Kerala abounds with many such architectural monuments-prehistoric megaliths, tombs, caves, temples, mosques, churches, theatres, houses, palaces and public buildings, built and renovated over centuries representing a panorama of architectural development. None of these structures is very big; the aesthetic appeal of these buildings mainly arise from the simplicity of form and functional perfection.
Below, this Photo Documentation showcases the diverse attributes of Kerala Architecture, which includes both Residential and Religious typologies.
Durbar Hall, Padmanabhapuram Palace.
East Fort or Kizhakke Kotta, as it is known in Malayalam, is today the heart of Thiruvananthapuram city.
A tree house built by the tribals near to Munnar, Kerala.
Even though no records exist of its exact date of origin, the initial structures within the Padmanabhapuram Palace are dated around 1400-1500. It grew incrementally over the years into its present form, developed by various rulers of the same dynasty.
The museum was established in 1855. In 1874, the old Museum Building was demolished and foundation for the new building was laid. The new building was named after Lord Napier, the Governor of Madras from 1866-1872.
The mosque was built by a rich Arab merchant, Nakhooda Mishkal, in the 14th century. It is named “Mishkal Mosque” after him. It is located in Kuttichira, a part of Thekkepuram region in Calicut.
“SYMMETRY” The Eraniel palace lost its importance after the Venad dynasty shifted its capital to Padmanabhapuram on completion of the Padmanabhapuram Palace around 1601. Two hundred years later, when Veluthampi Dalawa (Thalavai) was the chieftain of the Travancore kingdom during 1802-1809, it gained prominence again.
Padmatheertha Kulam, The sacred pond near to Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Trivandrum.
An Arial view of the British Residency also known as the Government Guest House or Residency Bungalow. It is a two-storeyed palace situated at Asramam in the city of Kollam.It was built by Colonel John Munro between 1811–19. It is a noted Kollam landmark like the Chinnakada Clock Tower.
Napier Museum is a landmark in the city with its unique ornamentation and architectural style with gothic roof andminarets. The Indo-Saracenic structure also boasts a natural air conditioning system.
Mishkal Mosque is a medieval mosque located in Calicut, Kerala. The mosque, one of the oldest in Malabar, is an important cultural, historical and architectural monument in Kerala.
Napier Museum, the architectural masterpiece was designed by Robert Chisholm, the consulting Architect of the Madras Government and the construction was completed in 1880.
This entirely wooden mosque is simply breathtaking to see especially from the other side of the tank. The big Kuttichira tank is attached to the mosque. The mosque has 47 doors, 24 carved pillars and a big prayer hall that can accommodate 400 people. Copulas and minarets seems to be absent because the mosque built like a temple. The prayer hall is well ventilated and there is a wooden mimbar with beautiful motifs.
The Padmanabhapuram Palace Thuckalay, is one of the old palaces in Kerala, once the residence of the royal family of Travancore, is located in Southern India adjoining the State of Kerala, in a region with high realm, fall and a tropical climate.
Hill Palace is the largest archaeological museum in Kerala, at Tripunithura, Kochi. It was the administrative office of Kochi Rajas. Built in 1865, the Palace complex consists of 49 buildings in the traditional architectural style, spreading across in 54 acres.
The Eraniel palace, about 20 km from Nagercoil, is regarded as a treasure house of the Venad history but its present state is a pale shadow of its glorious past.
The main entry to the palace complex is from the West, by a high door with a pitched roof structure abutting it, as found everywhere in vernacular architecture in Kerala. The first court is large and consists of an old mint and stables on its sides.
The front facade of a Traditional Tharavadu, Palakkad district, Kerala.
Wooden Stair details on a Heritage structure near to NSS Working Women’s hostel, East fort.
The variety of styles in the group of buildings which comprise the present palace complex reflects the socio-political background in which they developed. However, the inter-resting mixture of styles evident in the later buildings are dominated by the strong unifying characteristics of indigenous building practices lending cohesion to the whole complex.
Palakkad Fort also known as Tipu’s Fort is an old fort situated in the heart of Palakkad town of Kerala state. It was built by Haider Ali in 1766 ACE and remains one of the best preserved forts in Kerala.
A tree house built by the tribals near to Munnar, Kerala.
According to sources in the Kerala government’s Archaeology Department, Cheran Perumal, the most famous ruler of the Chera dynasty of the 8th century A.D., was said to have constructed the Eraniel palace and fort over an extent of around 3.5 acres of land.
A view of the West fort street from the first floor of Thanjavur Amma veedu.
The Old Parambarya Building, located near Ashtamudi lake, was once part of the British Residency, Kollam. Recently it got renovated to 8 point Art & Exhibition Cafe.
In 1510, the mosque was partially burned in a Portuguese attack. The top floors of the mosque still display some of that damage. Mishkal Mosque originally had five stories. It was reconstructed after the fire in 1510 and now has four stories. Typical for similarly aged mosques in Malabar, it has no cupolas and minarets and heavily employs timber.
“Patterns” Details on a Heritage structure near to NSS Working Women’s hostel, East fort.
Ceiling Details at Padmanabhapuram Palace.
Puthen Malika palace most popularly known as Kuthira Malika (Mansion of Horses), is a palace built by Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma, on the south-eastern side of Padmanabhaswamy temple inThiruvananthapuram.
Prasanth Mohan, an Architect turned Photographer and Cinematographer. Prasanth did his Bachelors in Architecture from TKM College of Engineering, Kerala. Started his career in Cinematography with Bollywood cinematographer Santosh Thundiyil. He worked as Asst. Cinematographer for bollywood movie “Jai ho” starring Salman Khan and “Anchu Sundarikal” in Malayalam. In 2013, he directed and cinematographed the award-winning silent short fiction “My Home”. Photographs and articles on Architectural Photography and Conservation Photography published in leading Architecture Magazines all around India and abroad. Visual Documentation Consultant to several Conservation and Heritage related projects under Govt. of Kerala. An awardee of various prestigious National & International Photography festivals. Currently heading the firm “Running Studios” exclusively for “Architectural Photography and Heritage Documentation”. The studio is first of its kind in India, skillfully combining the nuances of Architecture and Photography.
At Tashkent, the Uzbekistan capital we board an amazing Soviet era YAK 40 (Yakoliv) for Termez. The plane smells of Vodka and has a public bus feel to it. No need to be careful about overhead luggage falling on to your heads, the Yak 40 has its total luggage space (both hand and check in baggage) at the back. You enter in from the tail. The pilot enters from the back after all passengers have boarded, you stand up in respect and sit down only after he has taken to his cabin. – Design Dalda
A story starts long back with the visionary teacher; he developed a unique teaching method for the underprivileged students of a rural school at Sawarpada village. It is a primary school for 40 students with two teachers who held classes in one hexagonal room for past 10 years. As lack of resources, they discovered a way to use walls, floors & even the existing trees. – Pooja Khairnar
Project called for design of group housing comprising of units of multiple sizes catering to various income group, sizes ranging from 1200 to 2400 sqft. We started with a vision of creating architecture for the community wellbeing and active lifestyle in a holistic way. This was achieved by creating a central public space energized by play areas, swimming pool, party spaces, gaming zones, lounges, dance floors etc, – CnT Architects
KrushiBhawan is a facility developed for Government of Odisha’s Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment; the 130,000 sq.ft administrative centre has been designed as an office for a team of nearly 600 people, in addition to accommodating spaces for community engagement and learning. – Studio Lotus