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Arts and Spices of Kerala


The present culture of Kerala is a unique combination of the Aryan and Dravidian communities. Kerala has also seen many influences from overseas, as it was the main spice trade centre in India. The various art forms of Kerala are very famous and many are still following it. They have enticed many locals and tourists in recent times. Kerala apart from its natural beauty is equally famous for its art, music, and literature. Kerala is also famous for its spices. They have good medicinal and culinary properties. We have many Kerala tour packages that will help tourists from all over the world to experience the unique art forms and the aromatic scent of the spices. Here is a list of some of the best art forms and spices of Kerala.

The different art forms of Kerala include Kathakali, Theyyam, Padayani, Kalaripayattu, and Theeyattam.

Kathakali


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This dance is one of the best culturally preserved symbols of Kerala. It is a native performing art form and the artist will appear with full makeup and costumes. The best thing about a Kathakali performance is that only traditional musical instruments are used. The focus of Kathakali is the expression (abhinaya). The stage is always bare and artless during the performance. There will be a lamp in the middle and a group of singers on either side of the stage. You can see the Kathakali performances in temples and other places of cultural significance. Some of the places are the Kalamandalam, Ernakulam Kathakali Club, Folklore Museum, Kairali Kathakali, and the Margi School in Trivandrum.

Theyyam


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This folk art form originated from North Kerala. It also goes by the name of Thirayattam. The dance closely imitates the features of a tribal culture. You can mainly see this dance in temples. The kavus (startled corpses) in Theyyam dance to appease the Gods. The dance forms a link between the divinity and its disciples. Dancers who perform this art form require flawless knowledge about many things like reading the songs, putting on the right amount of makeup, playing the instrument, and dancing. Their bodies must also be very supple.

Padayani


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Padayani represents the ancient armies. This art form shows the glory of the triumph of the Goddess Kali after defeating the demon Darika. It is a multi coloured ceremonial art with intricate clothing. This clothing is similar to the ones worn in Theyyam.

Kalaripayattu


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This form of martial arts is very popular among the tourists and the locals. This battle art originated in North Kerala and it is one of the oldest martial art forms in the world. Kerala has many heroes who are the main inspiration behind the many folksongs and stories. Thacholi Othenan was one of them. He is the main inspiration behind many Vadakkan Pattukal (Northern ballads). Kalaripayattu requires perfect hand-eye coordination and swift movements. It is also important to heal any of the wounds you get, before you start this martial art again.

Theeyattam


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Kerala has many other unique dance and art forms. Each dance form uniquely expresses the region where it originated. You can ask the help of any proficient Kerala travel agency to brief you about some of the best places that you could visit.

Spices of Kerala

It is of no surprise to know that Kerala is the ‘Land of Spice’. There are different places in Kerala that offers a myriad of spices. The best example is the local cuisine. Each meat food, desserts, and drinks have these spices as their main ingredient. Spices are famous for having excellent medicinal and culinary properties. Here is a list of some of the best spices that you can get here.

Pepper


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This popular spice is a main ingredient in almost all the dishes. Pepper was single handily responsible for establishing Kerala into a well-known spice-trading centre. Some of the popular varieties of pepper include the Arakkulam Munda, the Balankotta, the Kuthiravally, the Panniyur-1, and the Kalluvally.

Cardamom


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Cardamom is as popular as pepper because it has many benefits. Its unique taste, flavour, and aroma make it one of the most popular spices in Kerala. It has good aphrodisiac properties. It acts as a stimulant for making mouth fresheners and perfumes of various kinds. Cardamom is famous in both Arabia and Africa. The trade with the Europeans made it more popular in the west. The different varieties of cardamom include Alleppy Green Extra Bold, Alleppy Green Bold, and the Alleppy Green Superior.

Cloves


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Cloves are the most common spices in Kerala. You can use this spice to flavour meat dishes and to improve the dental hygiene. It has good medicinal properties. They form a main ingredient in many soaps, toothpastes, and perfumes.

Nutmeg


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Nutmeg is very popular and is there in many soaps, salts, and baked confectionaries. Many chefs prefer this as a seasoning agent. However, most of the cultivation happens in South India.

Star Anise


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Star Anise comes from evergreen trees and the fruit is very good looking. It is star shaped and the colour ranges from white to red. It is cultivated all over the state. This spice has good medicinal properties. Culinary wise, it is a primary flavouring agent. Medicinally, it has properties that can help cure rheumatism and digestive problems.

Cinnamon and Vanilla


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This spice is a flavouring agent for most of the dishes from the local cuisine. Cinnamon is a main ingredient in many perfumes and cosmetic items. It can cure nausea and sickness. Cinnamon is famous for its fragrance and agreeable taste. Vanilla is not a native spice; it was from the West. However, once vanilla started growing here, its demand increased. Like Cardamom, it has good medicinal and culinary properties.

By looking into our culinary packages in Kerala, you can find out more about the different spices. Thus, Kerala is a great place for both art lovers and food lovers.


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