People of faith and culture

Kerala has a population of 33 million of which 55% are Hindus, 25% are Muslims and 20% are Christians. The state-language is Malayalam, a derivative of Tamil and Sanskrit, though English is widely understood and spoken. Hinduism was the traditional religion of India since ancient times, however Kerala was a significant trading port from ancient times drawing silk from the East and offering spices to the West, so it has always been open to foreign influences and cultures.

Kerala Church, North Kerala Tours - Common Grounds Travel

Kerala Church

The origins of Christianity in Kerala goes back to St. Thomas the Apostle, he arrived in 52 A.D. and was received by the small community of Jewish traders in Cochin. Over the next 20 years he established seven churches here and laid the foundations of a community that exists to this day.

Kerala Mosque. North Kerala Ethical Adventure Tours - Common Grounds Travel

Islam arrived in Kerala, blown by the trade winds from Arabia, soon after the death of the Prophet Mohammed in the 7th century. Arabian spice traders intermarried with local women and established the oldest Muslim community in India. Known as the Mappila Muslims, this community still thrives today, especially in the Malabar region.

Common Grounds Travel Kerala Tours

Art forms and Dance

Kerala is renowned for its classical art forms, particularly in dance, devotional performances, martial and healing arts…

Kadhakali is a 500-year-old form of dance-drama that interprets ancient epics; performers wear elabourate costumes and brightly coloured faces-masks to portray the deities of Hindu mythology.

Theyyam Dance of Kerala, Common Grounds TravelTheyyam is a performance of dance and song performed in temples throughout Kerala, especially in the Malabar region. Drumming is the common accompaniment to any festival or procession and joyful noise can be guaranteed!

 

 

Thrissur Pooram, Elephant pageant - Common Grounds Travel

Elephant pageantry is an important part of Hindu temple worship. At the Thrissur Pooram you can see more than 50 elephants on display at any given time. One ‘must see’ location is the Anakkotta (elephant fort) in Thrissur where both elephants and their mahouts are trained.

Kalaripayattu, the martial art form of Kerala, is regarded as the oldest and most scientific of its kind in the world. A famous advocate of this martial art form is Jackie Chan who incorporated it into his movie ‘The Myth’. Training in combat is given at the kalari (training school) and a visit to see the CVN Kalari Centre in Kozhikode would bring you to the birthplace of Kalaripayattu.

North Kerala Tours - Common Grounds Travel

 Ayurveda oil massage in Kerala. Common Grounds Travel

Ayurveda oil massage

Ayurveda, stands as one of the oldest healthcare systems in the world that originated in Kerala and is still practiced here as a mainstream healing discipline. It provides a unique philosophical approach to healing that divides the body into different elements connected with earth, air, fire and water. Treatments tend to last many days and involve resting and meditating, taking herbal concoctions, oils and massage therapy. Whilst you may not have time for a full course, you can experience a relaxing massage or spar treatments and any reputable resort in Kerala.