To carry your memories of a place, its culture or heritage, in a little piece of art and beauty, is what souvenirs are for. But what if you have spent your holidays in an exotic destination like Kerala where art, craft and culture are experienced at their best. There is no doubt that you will demand something unique to take along with you from God's Own Country.
The souvenirs of Kerala not just reflect its culture and history but they flaunt the skills and craftsmanship of the traditional artisans here. When their veteran hands move intimately over the raw materials, be it the distinctive bell metal or the rough and tuff coir, coconut shells, wood, clay or cane, there emanate before you a wide range of fascinating and unique handmade items.
Aranmula Kannadi the unique metal mirror made by the craftsmen belonging to a particular family in Aranmula is the most popular among the souvenirs of Kerala. The science behind this metal magic is a secret among the members of this particular family which they have been passing from one generation to the next.
Miniature forms of Kettuvallam (rice barge), chundan vallom (the snake boat of Kerala), nettipattam (caparison of elephant), nettoor petti (traditional jewel box) are also quite popular. The bell metal products of Kerala are of high demand in the world market. Nilavilakku and para (traditional measuring vessel) are the most sought after among them. Replicas of mural paintings and the paintings of Ravi Varma, the renowned artist of Kerala, would be a great adornment for any living room. Ayurvedic clothes, taupe shawl medicated with ramacham (vetiver), and aromatic cotton bed-sheets are very popular among tourists from abroad.
Handicrafts made from coconut shells, clay and wood are also in high demand. It requires great skill and expertise to shape a sturdy material like coconut shell and one would be amazed to see these artisans design products like vanity bags, wine glasses, pen holders and the like with it. Coconut husk, though little attractive in its natural shape and texture, in the hands of these craftsmen turns into a beautiful Buddha bust, fearful cheetah or a smiling monkey.