Tharavad……Ancestral Houses in Kerala 

Tharavad houses in Kerala are a treat to watch. Built without much machinery, they are monuments demonstrating the skill and artistry of the carpenters and masons of the time.

Here I have some pictures of my grandfather’s house (also in Thidanad).

This is the varanda (sit out) on the upper floor. A completely wooden structure 

A liberal use of brass giving decorative beauty to the rosewood and teakwood walls, doors and ceilings 

The furniture has the elegance of the times. The staircase to the upper floor is a bit steep without the usual middle landing and bend. 

Also we can see that, part of the ground floor is renovated and modernised. That’s the hall area. But gatherings now prefer the upper sit out.

Luckily it’s not the stuffed heads, but the horns are probably collected.

The carpentry skills are evident on the ceiling. A different but uniformily flowing designs are hand carved.


The elevation 

Built in 1909.

P.S. My grandfather had a pet elephant. (Entappooppakkoru Aanaondayirunnu).

Tharavad……Ancestral Houses in Kerala 

20 thoughts on “Tharavad……Ancestral Houses in Kerala 

  1. What a beautiful house it is. Such intricate carvings on the woodwork. I’ve always admired Malyali architecture. My mausi (maternal aunt) is married to a Malyali Officer and she tells me that her in laws too, at one point, had a pet elephant. In fact she told me how elephants were kept as pets the same as we keep other animals as pet and it’s care was a matter of great pride for that household.

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    1. Thank you Elizabeth. These ancestral houses in Kerala have large compounds and family get togethers are easily accommodated. Our family meet is on every Boxing Day the venue is alternated among some ten such houses of different branches of the family. That helps to keep the family tree members close to each other

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