Shopping - Kerala

The Payyannur Pavithra Mothiram

The Payyannur Pavithra Mothiram  is a uniquely crafted golden ring shaped like a knot and considered to be a sacred ornament. The sole right to make this holy ring was vested in the hands of a particular family at Payyannur in Kannur district. This ring is believed to be a luck and grace to anyone who wears it with devotion.

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Aranmula Kannadi

Centuries ago the native craftsmen invented a mirror made of metal. The bronze ( odu) workers of Aranmula (Pathanamthitta district) specialize in making the world famous cast metal mirrors with handles known as the Aranmula Kannadi.

Treasure Chest - Netturpetti

'Netturpetti', the ethnic jewel box of the Kerala woman was once a mark of the influential families of the land. The casket ( petti) originally designed in the Nettur region of Malabar is testimony of the patience and skill of the artisans who make it. The box usually made of rosewood is fully handcrafted. Every joint, every screw and lock is shaped and chiselled by the hand. The wooden box is first varnished and then fixed with brass frames. Today, this richly embellished box with its conical lid is a collector's item. Very few of the artisans remain and the casket is fast becoming a rare object.

You can pick up a Netturpetti for Rs. 2000/-  onwards at the SMSM Institute, a state owned emporium in Thiruvananthapuram.

Gift Kerala!

Paico has brought out a new Maaya range - an eye-catching Kerala souvenir collection of stationery and ceramics. These include attractively packaged items, inspired by the culture and landscape of Kerala, like mugs shaped like mini Niraparas, those with designs of mural paintings, letter pads with kasavukaras (the trademark gold border of the traditionalsarees and mundus of Kerala), Kanikonna (a beautiful yellow flower found in abundance in the State) borders and so on. T-shirts and caps are also to be out soon. The souvenirs have been designed by Design Difference.

Customised printing is available for bulk orders for. For more details, you can contact Paico, PB No 2560, Cochin - 682035, Kerala.

Sandalwood Oil

Sandalwood oil, otherwise called the "liquid gold" is a popular perfume of the land over the years. Extracted from the roots and wood of sandalwood (Santalum album), the oil is a costly item marketed at a few choosy outlets all over the state.

Compared to the neighbouring states like Tamilnadu and Karnataka (especially the forests of Mysore), Kerala has less acres of sandalwood forests. We have it at Marayoor near Devikulam - a popular hillstation 149 km from Kottayam town - and a few forest areas in Wayanad hills.

Marayoor is the only place in Kerala with natural sandalwood forests. The sandalwood factory run by the Forest Department is of tourist interest. Less rainfall is suitable for the growth of best sandalwood trees from which good quality oil can be extracted.

An inevitable cosmetic of the elite, the sandal oil from the Karnataka Government gained a good market in Kerala over the years. Most of the government handicrafts emporium in Kerala have this item for sale. One such is the SMSM Institute, Thiruvananthapuram, where you can buy 50 ml oil for Rs.1243/-. Sandalwood oil produced by a few private agencies are also sold here, after testing its quality by the government's research cell.


Dolls as light as feather, mats, purses, bags, bangles, wall hanging, even parts of dresses... The list of handmade fibre articles is endless and is best left to the creativity of the craftsmen. A product of the cottage industry, these articles reach the cities from many hamlets across the state.

Usually white or flaxen, these fibres are obtained from plants like the banana (stem), Pineapple (leaves) etc. The soft, silky texture of the fibre gives a glazed finish to the products. These fibres are twisted, tanned and then dyed with pigments, before they are woven intricately into these numerous articles.

Fibrecraft articles are available in fancy stores, the SMSM Institute - a state owned handicrafts emporium at Thiruvananthapuram and are also sold by street vendors at different tourist destinations.

These articles are not too expensive and last a lifetime if used with care and kept in dust free environs.

Sandalwood Sculptures

hey are a little expensive, but they carry with them the fragrance and memories of a rich land. The sandalwood sculptures of Kerala are popular souvenirs : icons of Ganapathy - the elephant headed god, the trinity - Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, little snake boats, elephants...

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Handicrafts emporia across the State offer a range of such sculptures in sandalwood. A sample of our craftsmen's skills, these artefacts capture the expressions, features and proportions of the subject, the golden colour of the wood adding to the richness. Sandalwood retain its fragrance for years, a sprinkling of water on the article can perfume your room for days together.

Price varies with the size and complexity of carving. You can pick one up for anything from Four hundred rupees onwards. The sculptures of nearly 5 foot height are sold for Five hundred thousand rupees (exchange rate -1US$ = 42.6 Indian rupees) at the SMSM Institute, Thiruvananthapuram.