Kerala Mezhuthu art

The famous Kerala Kalamezhuthu art is a unique art form found in Kerala.

This art is a unique blend of Aryan, Dravidian, and tribal traditions.

This art is a part of the domestic routine of Hindu homes. This is done to welcome God into the door and courtyard or to truly be in God’s presence.

Kalamezhuthu art is a ritualistic art practiced in the temples and sacred groves of Kerala where deities like Kali and Lord Ayyappa are depicted on the floor.


Famous art of Kerala Kala mezhuthu art


Kalamezhuthu art is practiced using powder and pigments. Strict rules are followed in every case. The pattern, type of color, and dimensions are decided. It is created patch by patch, in fact, the images develop from the center, moving outwards. It is also done like a rangoli, as the powder is spread on the floor and left in a thin stream between the thumb and forefinger.

Rice is used to make color, which gives white color. Turmeric is used for yellow color, leaves are used for green color, and burnt husk is used for black color. The presiding deity of a temple or a sacred grove is built for a religious purpose by people of a particular caste.

Kalamezhuthu artists are generally members of communities such as Kurup, Theyyampadi Nambiar, Theyyadi Nambiar, and Theyyadi Unnis. The ‘Kalams’ made by these people differ in some characteristics.

   Kerala Mezhuthu art

When the Kalamezhuthu art is completely made, puja is performed. Instruments like Kujhal, Kombu, and Chenda are played in praise of God. People sing classical songs. The praise offered varies depending on the deity. The painting of Kalam is started at a fixed time and is wiped off immediately after the rituals related to it are over. It is seen as both decorative and ritualistic.   Kalamezhuthu art

Kalamezhuthu is a traditional art form that originated in the southern Indian state of Kerala. It is a ritualistic art form associated with Hindu temple festivals and is primarily practiced in temples of Kerala, particularly in the Malabar region. Kalamezhuthu is a form of floor painting or kolam that is created using natural materials.

Here are some key features of Kerala Mezhuthu art

Materials of Kerala Mezhuthu art

The art form primarily uses natural materials like rice powder, colored powders, and flower petals. These materials are used to create intricate and colorful designs on the temple floor.


 Kalamezhuthu is performed as part of temple rituals and festivals. It is considered a sacred art form and is believed to invoke the blessings of the deity of the temple.


 The designs created in Kalamezhuthu are often intricate and highly detailed. They typically depict various mythological figures, deities, and other religious symbols. The designs are drawn freehand by skilled artists who have mastered the art over years of practice.

Temporary Art

 One unique aspect of Kalamezhuthu is that it is a temporary art form. The intricate designs are created on the temple floor in the morning and are typically erased or washed away by the evening as part of the ritual. This impermanence symbolizes the transient nature of life.

Spiritual Significance

 Kalamezhuthu is not just a visual art form; it is deeply spiritual. Creating the designs is considered a form of devotion and a way to connect with the divine.

Community Involvement

 Kalamezhuthu often involves the participation of the local community, including artists, priests, and devotees. It is a collaborative effort to create these beautiful designs.


 While Kalamezhuthu is a traditional art form with a long history, its practice has been declining in recent years due to various factors such as the availability of skilled artists and changes in temple rituals. Efforts are being made to preserve and revive this unique art form.

In summary, Kalamezhuthu is a traditional and ritualistic art form in Kerala, India, characterized by intricate, temporary floor designs created using natural materials. It holds deep spiritual and cultural significance in the region and is an integral part of temple festivals and rituals.

History of Kerala Mezhuthu art

The history of Kalamezhuthu art is deeply rooted in the cultural and religious traditions of the southern Indian state of Kerala. While it is challenging to pinpoint the exact origins of this art form, it is believed to have evolved over centuries as an integral part of Kerala’s temple rituals and festivals. Here’s a brief history of Kalamezhuthu art:

Ancient Roots

 Kalamezhuthu is considered to have ancient origins, dating back hundreds of years. It likely developed alongside the growth of Hinduism and the construction of temples in the region. Temples were central to the socio-religious life of Kerala, and various art forms, including Kalamezhuthu, emerged to enhance the religious experience.

Religious Significance

Kalamezhuthu has always been associated with Hindu temple rituals and festivals. The art form is believed to have been inspired by Hindu mythology and the stories of gods and goddesses. It is considered a means of invoking the blessings of the deity of the temple and creating a sacred atmosphere during festivals.

Traditional Transmission

 The knowledge and techniques of Kalamezhuthu have traditionally been passed down through generations within specific communities of artists. These artists, known as Kalamezhuthu artists or Kalampattu artists, undergo rigorous training and apprenticeships to master the art.


 Over the centuries, Kalamezhuthu has evolved in terms of the complexity and intricacy of its designs. Early renditions may have been simpler, but as the art form gained prominence, it became more sophisticated and intricate. The designs began to depict a wide range of mythological figures and stories.

Materials and Techniques

 Initially, Kalamezhuthu was created using natural materials such as rice powder, colored powders, flower petals, and natural dyes. The artists used their hands and fingers to draw the intricate designs. In more recent times, synthetic colors and tools have also been incorporated to enhance the art form.

Contemporary Challenges

 In modern times, the practice of Kalamezhuthu has faced several challenges. The availability of skilled artists is decreasing, and changing temple rituals have led to a decline in the demand for this traditional art form. Efforts are being made by cultural organizations and individuals to preserve and promote Kalamezhuthu.

Cultural Heritage

 Despite these challenges, Kalamezhuthu remains an integral part of Kerala’s cultural heritage. It continues to be practiced during temple festivals, particularly in the Malabar region of Kerala and is admired for its artistic and spiritual significance.

In conclusion, Kalamezhuthu art has a rich and ancient history deeply intertwined with the religious and cultural traditions of Kerala. It has evolved and continues to be an important part of the region’s heritage, although efforts are needed to ensure its preservation for future generations.

famous artist of Kerala Mezhuthu art

Kalamezhuthu art is a traditional form of floor painting that is primarily associated with Hindu temple rituals and festivals in the southern Indian state of Kerala. It is typically created by skilled artisans who are often part of specific communities dedicated to this art form. While individual artists may not be as widely recognized as contemporary painters or artists from other fields, there are certainly talented and respected Kalamezhuthu artists and groups known for their contributions to this traditional art form. Here are a few notable Kalamezhuthu artists and groups:

Kalamandalam Haridas

Kalamandalam Haridas is a renowned Kalamezhuthu artist known for his expertise in this traditional art form. He has dedicated his life to preserving and promoting Kalamezhuthu through performances, workshops, and teaching.

Kalamandalam Sasi

 Another well-known artist in the field of Kalamezhuthu is Kalamandalam Sasi. He has made significant contributions to the art and has been recognized for his skill and dedication to preserving Kerala’s cultural heritage.

Kalamandalam Pradeep

 Kalamandalam Pradeep is a prominent Kalamezhuthu artist associated with the Kerala Kalamandalam, a renowned institution for traditional arts in Kerala. He has played a role in training new generations of artists in this art form.

Various Kalamezhuthu Groups

 In addition to individual artists, there are several Kalamezhuthu groups and troupes that perform this art form during temple festivals and cultural events. These groups often consist of multiple artists who collectively create intricate Kalamezhuthu designs.

It’s important to note that the recognition of Kalamezhuthu artists often comes from their contributions to preserving and promoting this traditional art form within Kerala and beyond, rather than achieving widespread fame in the manner of contemporary artists in more mainstream art forms. These artists and groups play a crucial role in keeping the tradition of Kalamezhuthu alive and passing it on to future generations.

Materials of Kerala Mezhuthu art

Kalamezhuthu art is a traditional form of floor painting that uses natural materials to create intricate designs. The materials used in Kalamezhuthu art are simple and traditionally sourced from the environment. Here are the primary materials used in Kalamezhuthu art:

Rice Powder –Kerala Mezhuthu art

 Rice powder is the primary material used for creating the white or base layer of Kalamezhuthu designs. It serves as the canvas on which the intricate patterns are drawn. Rice powder is readily available and easy to work with.

Natural Colored Powders

 Various natural materials are used to create colored powders for adding vibrant hues to the Kalamezhuthu designs. Some common sources of natural colors include:


Used to create a bright yellow color.


 Used to create an orange hue.


 Used to create black or dark gray shades.

Hibiscus Flowers

 Used to produce a red color.

Leaves and herbs

 These can be used to create various shades of green.

Flower Petals

 Fresh flower petals are often incorporated into Kalamezhuthu designs to add color and fragrance. The choice of flowers may vary based on availability and cultural significance.

Natural Dyes

 In some cases, natural dyes extracted from plant materials are used to enhance the color palette of Kalamezhuthu designs.

Fingers and Hand

 Traditional Kalamezhuthu artists use their fingers and hands to create intricate patterns. They dip their fingers in the colored powders and carefully apply them to the rice powder base.

Tools (optional)

 While traditional Kalamezhuthu art is created using hands and fingers, some modern practitioners may use tools like brushes or sticks to achieve specific design elements or details.

It’s important to note that the choice of materials and colors in Kalamezhuthu art can vary based on regional traditions and the specific design being created. The use of natural materials is not only in line with traditional practices but also symbolizes the connection between art, nature, and spirituality in this unique form of floor painting.

Designs of Kerala Mezhuthu art

Kalamezhuthu art is known for its intricate and traditional designs, which are created on the floor of temples and are used in Hindu rituals and festivals. These designs are often inspired by Hindu mythology, gods and goddesses, and other religious and cultural symbols. While the specific designs can vary depending on the occasion and the regional traditions, here are some common types of designs and motifs found in Kalamezhuthu art:

Mandala Designs

 Mandala patterns are a common feature in Kalamezhuthu art. These circular designs are often highly symmetrical and can include intricate geometric patterns, flowers, and deity symbols at the center.

Lotus Flower

 The lotus flower is a significant symbol in Hinduism and is often featured in Kalamezhuthu designs. It represents purity, enlightenment, and spiritual growth.

Deity Symbols

 Kalamezhuthu designs frequently incorporate symbols and representations of Hindu deities such as Lord Ganesha, Lord Krishna, and Goddess Lakshmi. These symbols are used to invoke the blessings of the deities.


 The peacock considered the vehicle of Goddess Saraswati, is a common motif in Kalamezhuthu art. It symbolizes beauty and knowledge.


 Elephants are revered animals in Hindu culture and often appear in Kalamezhuthu designs, representing strength, wisdom, and good luck.


 The swastika is an ancient symbol used in Hinduism to symbolize auspiciousness and good fortune. It is a common motif in Kalamezhuthu art.

Nature Elements

 Kalamezhuthu designs may incorporate elements of nature such as leaves, trees, birds, and animals, reflecting the close connection between nature and spirituality in Hinduism.


Yantras are geometric diagrams that hold spiritual significance in Hinduism. They are often used as part of Kalamezhuthu designs to create sacred patterns.

Abstract Patterns

 Some Kalamezhuthu designs are abstract and may not represent specific objects or deities. Instead, they focus on intricate patterns and symmetry, creating a visually captivating display.

Traditional Borders

 Many Kalamezhuthu designs feature elaborate borders with geometric patterns, adding to the overall aesthetic appeal of the artwork.

It’s important to note that the exact design and its complexity can vary depending on the occasion and the artist’s skill. Kalamezhuthu artists often have a deep understanding of the symbolism associated with each element in their designs, and their work is not only aesthetically pleasing but also spiritually significant in the context of Hindu rituals and festivals.

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