Syrian Christian House

Puthupally, Kottayam District, Kerala


The basic features of this house are common to houses of all communities from the earlier Travancore section of Kerala- the wood craft and joinery, the underground storage and general emphasis on storage of food items, the well in the kitchen, the steeped roof and the long verandah.

The distinctive feature of the Syrian Christian house is its layout, with the entrance of the house leading directly into the granary. Prayers in this house were conducted in front of the granary (identified by the small cross above the door). The addition of a masonry structure (c.1910) which includes a living room, a separate dining room and kitchen is a sign of the early westernization of the community and the social trend of entertaining guests in a family house. Houses from this period in Travancore were generally single storied. House expansion occurred by the addition of supplementary buildings: an agricultural house, a cow shed, a separate granary, guest house and an elaborate gate house- Padipura.