Hinduism in Kerala

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A Hindu temple and pond associated with it in Kerala

Hinduism is the largest religion in Kerala and Hindus make up 54.74% population of the state according to the 2011 census.[1] Hindus in Kerala usually have a lower birth rate and a higher death rate compared to the general population.[2]

Kerala is home to Hindu saints and swamis of all castes. Vaikunda Swami, who was the first among the saints of Kerala[3] was a Nadar. Bhagavan Sree Narayana Gurudevan, Sant Enadinatha, Sant Ilakkulaccanrar, Sant Tiruppana were all Sudra, Cheraman Nayanar was a Kothayar, Chattampi Swamikal, Swami Sathyananda Saraswathi and Swami Chinmayananda were of the Nair caste, and Adi Shankara was a Nambuthiri Brahmin. The Harijan Parayas of Kerala claim to descend from Sant Vasistha.[4] Kollengode has a structure near Thirthala-Koottanad Road, in memory of a Harijan saint, Sant Paakkanar.[5] In the Rapayan Tujjal, the narrator (dancer-reciter) is a Harijan and a descendant of Sant Pakkanar.[6] The Periya Puranam, possibly written by a Paraya, describes the Parayas. Further, the Vishvakarma Purana was written by a sonar (goldsmith).

Chenkottukonam Madathipathi Jagadguru Swami Sathyananda Saraswathi is popularly regarded as the father of contemporary Hindu renaissance in Kerala for the victorious movements he led for temple rights and the establishment of Hindu Aikya Vedi for integrating Hindus of all classes.He is reckoned as the greatest karmayogi to uphold Sanatana Dharma since Swami Vivekananda internationally.

The official festivals of Sree Narayana Jayanti (Narayana Guru's birthday) and Sree Narayana Samadhi Day (Narayana Guru's death) are celebrated by the Keralites in memory of a great Shudra reformer of their society.

The modern Hindu Karma yogi saint Amma Mata Amritanandamayi was selected to represent Hindu Dharma in the World Parliament of Religions in September 1991.[7] Bhagawan Nityananda is another important Hindu saint recognized worldwide.

Several Hindu movements important to Hindu history took place in Kerala. These were Shankara's Advaita, Vaishnava Alwar, and Shaiva Nayanar.

Kerala has several ancient Hindu temples. In the medieval Alwar Divya Desam text, out of 108 Vaishnava temples all over India adored by the Alwars, eleven of those are in Kerala.[8] The Karppillikkavu Sree Mahadeva Temple, (one of the most ancient in India) dedicated to the Kirata Avatar of Lord Shiva still exists in Kerala.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kerala Population Census data 2011". Census 2011 - Census of India. 
  2. ^ http://www.springerlink.com/index/H18J4H5W37507H21.pdf
  3. ^ www.education.kerala.gov.in Archived 2008-12-17 at the Wayback Machine. Towards Modern Kerala, 10th Standard Text Book, Chapter 9, Page 101. See this Pdf
  4. ^ Dr. C. I. Issac, "The Origin of Syrian Christians of Keralam"
  5. ^ P. 94-5Tourist Guide to Kerala: The Land of Lavish Lagoons By V. Subburaj, Various
  6. ^ (Kr̥ṣṇavāriyar, P. 193 A History of Malayalam Metre)
  7. ^ "Devotees flock to hug Indian guru" (BBC)
  8. ^ [1]