From Tulu Country
Fishing boats on the Murudeswar beach:
A bright wedding sari being devoured by a sacrificial fire (faint echoes of the practice of Sati there?) - part of the Chandika Homam ceremony at the Kollur Mukambika temple:
A (very modern) Goddess image incorporating attributes of Vishnu(conch and discus) and Virabhadra (staff/trident and sword) from near the Mookambika temple:
A very Keralan looking 'Sarpakkavu' (serpent shrine) from near the Mookambika temple:
An elephant+fowl/peacock composite creature on the spanking new columns supporting the facade of a Matha at Udupi:
A Royal Vishnu:
The Anantapadmanabha temple is at Ananthapura, just inside Tulunad proper from Kolathunad. In more modern terms, it is in the far north of Kerala - very close to the border with Karnataka. The temple has an 'enthroned Vishnu' (the snake Anantha physically provides both seat and royal parasol) idol, moulded in a material called 'kadu sharkara'. Here is a pic:
Ananthapura is where Vishnu first appeared before Vilwamangalathu Swamiyar, Kerala's principal patron saint (some webpages say he was a Tulu speaking brahmin though; and some sources say there were three separate gentlemen, separated by centuries, who went by that same name) in the guise of a mischievous child; as per legend they had a tiff and the lord disappeared and granted his devotee another 'darshan' only much later at the site where the Trivandrum Padmanabha temple now stands. So, the Ananthapura temple is said to be the 'Srimoolasthanam'of the Trivandrum temple. Let me place on record that I have serious reservations here. Despite its name, the Ananthapura idol does not show Vishnu in the Padmanabha form at all - there is no 'navel lotus'. Indeed, as far as I can make out, the rather tenuous Vilwamangalam connection apart, the two Vishnu temples, separated by a distance of nearly 600 kilometers have very little in common.
However, the Poornathrayeesa temple in Tripunithura, Cochin can claim a much stronger connect with Ananthapura in particular and with Tulunad in general. The 'panchaloha' image of Tripunithura is of an enthroned Vishnu (its differences with the Ananthapura idol are minor) and the lord is flanked by smaller images of his consorts Bhudevi and Laxmi (just as is the case at Ananthapura). And for several centuries, the Tripunithura temple has been recruiting its priests from Tulunad (the reasons for this practice seem lost in deep antiquity). Further, the local tradition of Tripunithura relates how Vilwamangalam himself visited the temple during the annual festival and saw the lord, in the guise of child Krishna, prancing about among the caparisoned elephants. This 'Krishna child' vision is a lot closer to the original vision the saint is said to have had at Ananthapura than the sleeping Vishnu of Trivandrum. And even geographically, Tripunithura is considerably closer to Ananthapura than Trivandrum.
Guess: the putative connection between Ananthapura and Trivandrum (and perhaps the Padmanabha name of the deity at the former site) might have come about only in the 18th century when the royal family of Tranvancore adopted children from noble families in far north Kerala.
In the heart of Udupi, the principal seat of Brahminism in Tulunad, are several temples built around a Nepal-style Darbar Square-ish plaza.
What is most remarkable about the place is a curious confluence of Saiva and Vaishnava streams of devotion. The Krishna temple is preeminent but there is a Siva (Chandramouleeswara) temple right across and then there is the temple dedicated to Ananteswara, a deity claimed to be both Siva and Vishnu. The inner sanctum of the temple has a Sivalinga but above the doorway is a metal enthroned Vishnu image - he sits on the serpent and two of his quartet of arms hold a bow and arrow. The very name Ananteswara is an interesting compound - it could mean "the infinite Iswara" (Siva) or the "lord of (the serpent named) Anantha"(Vishnu).
The present day Siva-Vishnu bonhomie at Udupi quite a surprise considering how vitriolic and nasty, doctrinal disputes between followers of Madhva and Sankara used to be - and occasionally still are.
Note: The Krishna temple at Udupi sometimes arranges the idol in the serpent throne form as in this online picture:
Aside: That the sleeping Vishnu image might owe something to the sleeping Buddha is conceivable. But even the snake-throned Vishnu probably had Buddhist precedents.
From Kolathunad, the part of Malabar adjacent to Tulunad: a deep perspective at the Subrahmanya temple, Payyannur (it has very fresh-looking laterite walls):
From Payyannur again, a metal peacock bearing the weight of a lamp pillar (deepastambham). In every other temple I have examined the task falls to a tortoise:
And finally, here is the gopuram of the Taliparamba Rajarajeswara temple - lying unfinished for many hundred years (?):