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The Thodikkulam Shiva temple at Kannur is known for the mural paintings stored in the temple.

Thodikkulam Temple Kannur

Thodikkulam Siva Temple is located about 2 km from Kannavam near Thalasserry in the Kannur district, surrounded by the distant greens of North Kerala. The Siva Temple at Kannur is popular because of its beautifully painted walls with mural paintings depicting different themes and scenes from Indian mythology and epics. These mural paintings have been attracting a large number of connoisseurs of art from all over the world. At the temple, there are over 150 mural paintings, spread across an area of 700 sq ft. drawn on the four walls of the sanctum sanctorum. The Thodikkulam Siva Temple, believed to have been constructed 2000 years ago, has its sanctum sanctorum constructed in two-storeys and is rectangular in shape.

The mural paintings exhibit the rural life from the 16th to 18th centuries with perfection, based on Shaivic and Vaishnavic (myths related to Lord Siva and Lord Vishnu respectively) themes. They are portrayed along with scenes of Rugmini Swayamvaram and Ravana Vadham from the epic "Mahabharata". They are an ideal depiction of skills and excellence of the artistes of that era, where mural paintings followed certain standards with regard to choice of colors, proportions, methods etc. Interestingly, only natural pigments were used for creating murals, the most commonly used colors being saffron-red, green, red, saffron-yellow, blue, white, black, yellow, and golden yellow. The outer structure and an incomplete portico in front of the central shrine complete the whole structure of the temple.

For people who want to learn a little more about mural arts and traditional Indian painting styles, visiting Vasthuvidya Gurukulam, a school dedicated to traditional Mural paintings, should be ticked in their travel itinerary. Apart from being a hub of beautifully crafted traditional art forms, the school is also a great resort for nature lovers, offering breathtaking and pristine landscapes in the backdrop. The beautiful lush green road to the temple makes one's journey all the more pleasant and exciting.

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