You are Here Now »»
Kerala Tourism India Home »» kerala
vishari (literally fan made of Vettiver) and sleeping
mats made of Ramacham and thailam or perfume extracted from its
roots are a range of products used in Kerala since ancient times
during the hot summer. Even though their purposes are 'better' served
today by the modern electrical amenities, they still are luxurious
ethnic items seen in Kerala homes.
Botanically Ramacham is Vettiveria zezanoides.
The grass and its roots are used widely for medicinal purposes.
Usually water is sprinkled on the Ramacha vishari
so that it gives cool perfumed breeze. Ramacham mats used as blinds
would also be sprinkled with water to keep the rooms cool and soothing
during the hot summer days.
The poor man's airconditioner, an indigenous device,
is made using water, Ramacham roots, and an electric motor. The
breeze from this contraption is not only fresh and cool, but also
healthy. Bits of the roots of this plant are put in the earthen
water pots to make the drinking water sweet. Drinking such water
is believed to bring down the high body temperature quickly. It
is also a common practice to spread dried Ramacham on the roofs
and sprinkle them with water on summer evenings to cool the rooms