Vernacular Architecture

Vernacular Kerala Architecture – Hindu House (Trivandrum)

Continuing on the characteristics of houses in Kerala, now let us look at the Hindu house in the southern part of the state.

This small middle class house from South Kerala, belonged to an agricultural family of Nair’s, a matrilineal Hindu caste. The kitchen to this house was a small separate structure next to the house, but at the time of purchase, the family was actually cooking in the northeast corner of the house. This wooden structure is representative of houses in southern Kerala, where the building material was primarily timber. It differs from the Christian house from Kottayam only in its layout. The manner of joinery and wood used (jack fruit wood and palmyra) is the same in both houses and was standard in southern Kerala for both the rich and the middle class. The practice of grooving planks every 3”- 4” allowed the carpenters to use varying size planks and still achieve an aesthetically appealing look of uniformity.
The carved detailing on the cross boards of this house is of the highest quality.

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