The contribution of Buddhism to the cultural heritage of Kerala has been unique, especially in the fields of art, history, education, literature, language and medicine. Evidences of Buddhist influence are also available from different fields of life and culture in Kerala even today. During the golden period of Buddhism, the Buddhist model of architecture came to Kerala. Almost all the temples built in and around 6th century AD were in Buddhist style. Some of the major temples of Kerala today, like the Bhagavathy temple of Kodungalloor, and Vadakkumnatha temple of Thrissur, seem to have been Buddhist shrines of ancient Kerala. According to one school of thought, the Hindu deity sastha is hinduised Buddha. The Kettukazhcha festival of Kollam - Alapuzha area is reminiscent of the Buddhist festival of ancient Pataliputhra.
The Buddhist contribution to education is also commendable. Buddhist viharas were centre, of learning. They were commonly called palli means learning centers. The term "pallikudam" means institution of learning is also a contribution of Buddhism. The learning system of the Buddhist tradition was popularly known as "Nanam Monam". And the students initiate their learning by writing "Namosthu Jinathe" means "salute to the Buddha". The Buddhists taught the people of Kerala the lesions of compassion, universal love, equality, freedom, and fraternity. The great popularity of the Ayurvedic system of medicine in modern Kerala could perhaps be the legacy of the Buddhist days here.