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The temple architecture in Kerala is different from that of other regions in India. Largely dictated by the geography of the region that abounds in forests blessed with the bounties of the monsoons, the structure of the temples in Kerala is distinctive. The roofs are steep and pointed, and covered with copper sheets. The Kerala roof resembles those found in the Himalayan regions and those in East Asia.
The shape of the roof is in accordance with the plan of the sanctum below. With a circular plan, one sees a conical roof, while with a square plan the roof is pyramidal. The roof is constructed with wood and is covered with copper plates. Most of the temples seen in Kerala today, have undergone several phases of renovation, given the perishable nature of the construction materials.
The history of Kerala dates back to the Cheras of the third century BC. The temples of Kerala are referenced in the works of the Tamil Alwar Saints and the Nayanmar Saints. Kulasekhara Alwar and Cheraman Perumaal (one of the Nayanmaars)belonged to the Cheras of the ninth century AD. There are several works on temple architecture written in Kerala during the 15th and the 16th centuries. The Bhakti literature of the 16th century played an important role in the temple culture of Kerala.The Maharajas of Travancore were ardent patrons of temples.
Temples have held an important place in the life of Keralites. Several temples in Kerala trace their origins to antiquity. However, they were renovated frequently and the current structures that are seen are vastly a result of the numerous renovations.