It is with great pleasure and satisfaction I present this monograph entitled Temple of Kerala to the devotees as well as to the general reader. As I lay aside my pen after writing this monograph I could get a glimpse of the many fascinating vistas of knowledge on such a vast subject. My knowledge on this topic even now is rudimentary and many more may emerge if a fuller coverage on the subject is attempted. My prime aim is to arouse a feeling of interest on the varied aspects of the temple for the use to the posterity, particularly in the context that enlightened Thanthris, Silpis and other artists are leaving from our midst without properly disseminating their vast knowledge and experience to their younger generations. Had such studies been conducted four or five decades earlier we would have inherited larger and a meaningful profile on our rich cultural heritage. There is yet another purpose in writing this monograph. Most Keralites, particularly those who live out side Kerala for livelihood and their younger generations. Are quite unaware of the vast contributions of temples in the rich cultural and spiritual heritage of their native state. All these factors prompted me to narrate some of the salient features of the temples of Kerala for their benefit. On completion of writing this monograph I admit that the knowledge so obtained has brought me to a stage of bewilderment though I have tried my level best to present the matter in a simple and very concise way so that I could keep it within the limits of its frame work, coverage and time schedule. I further feel that I have traveled only through the periphery of the subject and have got only a distant glimpse. It is always difficult to have and exhaustive picture in a limited study like this as the subject involved is vast and delicate and it deals with the unmeasurable strength of mind and perception of the supernatural powers of the almighty.
The temples in Kerala have a peculiar pattern both in architectural style and in rituals. The architectural style in Kerala is slightly different from those in other states of South India and fundamentally it can be classified as Dravids Kerala i.e. a regional style of Dravida tradition which has been influenced by geographical factors availability of literate formations, and above all climatic conditions. The rites in temples of Kerala are mostly based on thaanthric mode as against the predominance of Vedic system elsewhere. Further the temples in Kerala are famous for the importance given to their sanctity and serenity which are rarely seen in other parts of the country. In short the functioning of the temples in Kerala is unique highly commendable and very little is known to an outsider about their rich heritage. This volume intends to fill up this gap to a small extent.
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