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Updated by Soubin Nath on Nov 25, 2014
Headline for 10 Nostalgic Traditional Souvenirs of Kerala
Soubin Nath Soubin Nath
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10 Nostalgic Traditional Souvenirs of Kerala

These are the things which come to your mind when you think about the Tradition of Kerala. These are symbols of Keralites' Nostalgia. Let's have a look in to it..


Traditional Attire

Base material: Cotton
Category: Dress fabrics
Kasavu Mundu and Kasavu Neryathu, are extremely light pure cotton handlooms bordered with golden thread. The golden borders are sometimes touched with contrasting bright colours. They are worn as traditional saris or used as dress material.


Base material: Metal
Category: Decorative items
The Nilavilakku is integral to all the rituals and ceremonies in a Malayalee's (Keralite) life. An inevitable part of Hindu religious ceremonies in Kerala, the Nilavilakku also finds place in socio-cultural programmes.

Mural paintings

Category: Wall hangings
Kerala stands next to Rajasthan in having the largest collection of murals based on puranic (ancient Indian mythology) themes. The murals of Kerala bear the stamp of uniqueness in aesthetic composition and techniques. Most of these were painted between 15th and 19th centuries, many even date back to the 8th century AD.

Sea Food

Base material: Food
Category: Food
Shrimp, cuttlefish, squid and quite a few other fish from Kerala have found a large global market. The land blessed with rich inshore fishing areas yield commercially important varieties like oil sardines (mathi chala), mackerel (ayila), prawn (chemmeen) and silver bellies (mullans).

Aranmula Kannadi

Category: Decorative items

Centuries ago the native craftsmen invented a mirror made of metal. The bronze (odu) workers of Aranmula (Pathanamthitta district) specialize in making the world famous cast metal mirrors with handles known as the Aranmula Kannadi




Base material: Food
Category: Spices
A common spice of Kerala, clove are the dried floral buds of Eugenia caryophyllaeta. Keralites call it Grambu or Karayambu.

Clove is one of the key ingredients of 'garam masala' (spices in varying proportions roasted and powdered). Traditionally garam masala is prepared and preserved at home, but now masala in ready-to-use powder form is available under different brand names. Clove is also used to flavour sweets.


Base material: Wood
Category: Decorative items
Netturpetti, the ethnic jewel box of the Kerala woman was once a mark of the influential families of the land. The casket (petti) originally designed in the Nettur region of Malabar is testimony of the patience and skill of the artisans who make it. The box usually made of rosewood is fully handcrafted. Every joint, every screw and lock is shaped and chiselled by the hand. The wooden box is first varnished and then fixed with brass frames. Today, this richly embellished box with its conical lid is a collector's item. Very few of the artisans remain and the casket is fast becoming a rare object.


Base material: Textile based soft goods
Category: Wall hangings
The Keralites' love for gold is reflected even in the manner they adorn their favourite beast. The elephant, which is an integral part of any celebration here, is turned out in full regal splendour for any pageant or procession. The nettippattom (the glittering ornament that adorns the forehead of the elephant) is crafted in gold by a skilled clan of artisans. Nowhere in India is an elephant decorated so extravagantly, or so befittingly.

Chundan Vallom models

Base material: Wood
Category: Decorative items
Made of Anjili wood, the chundan valloms or snake boat of Kerala are over 24 to 36 m long with raised sterns designed to resemble the hood of a cobra. These giant backwater wonders can accommodate up to 100 oarsmen.




Base material: Food
In Kerala pepper is cultivated in a mixed crop environment. In Wayanad, pepper is planted amongst coffee plantations, and cultivated on a large scale. Pepper is also a main item in most kitchen gardens of Kerala.

  • Born and brought up in Kerala, India. Now in Mumbai, India doing first year of my Masters in Film Studies (M.A)..

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