The God’s own country had strong foothold of Buddhism during 3rd century. The faith flourished around Thrissur, Allapuzha and Kollam (Quilon). But around 8th century, the religion saw its waning when Brahminical belief became mightier. Current day traces of Buddhism can be explored through the relics and ravages belonging to the religion.
Ambalapuzzha, a small village near Allapuzha (Alleppey) is famous for a black granite idol of Lord Buddha known as Karumadikuttan enclosed in a pagoda like structure, built by Dalai Lama. Dating back to 9th and 10th Century, this is the only Buddhist temple in Kerala providing traces of the existence of Buddhism in the state. Located on the banks of the Punnamada Lake in Alleppey, this temple is the living symbol of an ancient civilization and belief that flourished in the state.
Neelamperoor Pally Bhagawathi Temple in Kottayam has some ancient relics of Buddhism belonging to its prosperous days. It is believed that Banavarma, Emperor of Kerala after becoming a Buddhist monk, spent his last days in a Buddha Vihara at Neelamperoor.
From a local tank at Karunagappally, 27 km away from Kollam, an idol of Buddha was recovered. It is now preserved in Krishnapuram Palace, a museum and a palace of Kayamkulam Rajas.
The Napier Museum of Trivandrum features a rare collection of archaeological and historic artifacts, including ancient Buddha images of 6th century B.C.