The Pancha Pandavas and Kerala
Legends from the Mahabharata are an intricate part of the cultural web of India, that transcends regional and linguistic affiliations. The southern state of Kerala is an outstanding illustration of this fact. While the historic sites of Indraprasta, Hastinapura and Kurukshetra are believed to be in what is now Uttar Pradesh in Northern India, the Kathakali dance form of Kerala is one of the best forms of expression of the legends from the Mahabharatam.
Kerala has a strong temple culture, and the temples of Kerala are noted for their austerity and strict adherence to age old worship protocols. Five temples of Kerala, dedicated to Vishnu (Krishna) are connected with the Mahabharatam. Legend has it that the Pandava princes set out on a pilgrimage throughout India, after installing Parikshit as the ruler of their vast empire. During their tour of Kerala, the five brothers built a temple each. These temples are: