Vernacular Kerala Architecture – Christian House (Puthupally , Kottayam)

Well here I’m trying to differentiate between the traditional building types of Kerala. The houses, granaries palaces all will be covered in different post . So lets start of with the Christian House in central Kerala. As many of you might be aware, Christians are very few in number in India (2.4% to be precise). Kerala is far ahead in the Christian population in India, in fact 20 times more Christians than Goa. So they have a unique culture of their own out here.So lets look into some of the features of a Syrian Christian House.

The distinctive feature of the Syrian Christian house is its layout, with the entrance of the house leading directly into the granary. Prayers are conducted in front of the granary, identified by the small cross above the door, and not in a separate room for prayers as in a Hindu house. The addition of a masonry structure, circa  1910, which includes a living room, separate dining room and kitchen, is a sign of the early westemisation of the community and the social
trend of entertaining guests in the family home. The original house was west facing with the kitchen in the northeast. The basic features of the house are: the woodcraft and joinery using jackfruit and palmyra wood: the underground storage and general emphasis on storage of food items; the well in the kitchen; living around a single room: and the deep verandah. All these features are common to houses of all communities from the Travancore section of Christian house is its layout, with the entrance of the house leading directly into the granary.Prayers are conducted in front of the granary,identified by the small cross above the door, and not in a separate room for prayers as in a Hindu house. The addition of a masonry structure, circa 1910, which includes a living room, separate dining room and kitchen, is a sign of the early westemisation of the community and the social trend of entertaining guests in the family home.The original house was west-facing with the kitchen in the northeast.The basic features of the house are: the woodcraft and joinery using  jackfruit and palmyra wood: the underground storage and general emphasis on storage of food items; the well in the kitchen; living around a single room: and the deep verandah. All these features are common to houses of all communities from the Travancore section of Kerala in the mid 19th century.
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