Kerala Mural

The tradition of mural paintings began in Kerala with the pre-historic rock paintings found in Idukki district. It is presumed that these paintings were dated from the upper Paleolithic to early historic period. Rock paintings have also been found in the Wyanad and Thiruvananthapuram districts of Kerala.
Kerala mural art has its roots in the ancient Dravidian art of Kalamezhuthu. This was a fully developed art form connected to religious rituals. It involved filling up drawn outlines with coloured powders. The subjects for murals were derived from religious texts. Palace and temple murals were full of highly stylized paintings of the Gods and Goddesses of the Hindu pantheon. It was a true picturisation of the drawn from the descriptions in the invocatory verses of ‘Dhyana Slokas’. Flora & fauna in a highly stylized style was used as the backdrop.
The colours are symbolic of the nature of the characters depicted. Green for Satvic (balanced, pure divine), red and a mixture of red and yellow for the Rajas (active, dynamic), and white for the tamasic characters (inert, impure, base). Saffron-red is the most predominant colour in Kerala murals.
The biggest drawback in the tradition of Kerala mural art is that it confined itself within the stipulations of iconography. However, no other mural tradition has matched the linear accuracy of Kerala murals.