A Guide to Choosing the Right Wood for Kerala's Architecture

Nestled in the lap of lush greenery and rich cultural heritage, Kerala's architecture tells a tale of tradition seamlessly blending with modern aesthetics. At the heart of this architectural tapestry lies the significance of wood – a material that not only contributes to the structural integrity but also adds warmth and character to homes. In this blog post, we delve into the art of choosing the right wood for Kerala's homes, considering factors such as durability, sustainability, and aesthetics.

Various types of wood slices neatly stacked in a vertical arrangement, showcasing the diversity in Kerala wood textures and colors.

Table of Contents

  1. Teak: The Timeless Elegance
  2. Teak Wood Pricing in Kerala
  3. Rosewood: The Epitome of Opulence
  4. Rosewood Pricing in Kerala
  5. Mahogany: The Versatile Elegance
  6. Mahogany Pricing in Kerala
  7. Jackfruit Wood
  8. Jackfruit Wood Pricing in Kerala
  9. Anjili Wood
  10. Anjili Wood Pricing in Kerala

The Significance of Wood:

Wood has been a cornerstone of Kerala's traditional architecture for centuries, and its timeless appeal continues to resonate in modern design. From intricate wooden carvings in ancient temples to the sleek lines of contemporary homes, wood plays a pivotal role in defining the region's architectural identity. When selecting wood for your home, it becomes crucial to strike a balance between durability, sustainability, and aesthetics.

Popular Wood Choices:

1. Teak: The Timeless Elegance

Teak, scientifically known as Tectona grandis, stands as the undisputed king in the realm of wood choices for Kerala's architecture. Revered for its exceptional strength, longevity, and natural beauty, teak has been a symbol of luxury and durability for centuries. The wood originates primarily from Southeast Asia, and its adoption in Kerala's architecture has been a testament to its unparalleled qualities.

Close-up image of Teak wood planks, displaying the distinctive grain pattern and warm hues characteristic of Teak.


  • Highly Durable: Teak is renowned for its robustness, making it resistant to decay, rot, and adverse weather conditions. This durability ensures that structures built with teak stand the test of time, requiring minimal maintenance.
  • Termite-Resistant: Kerala's humid climate often creates a favorable environment for termites. Teak, with its natural oils and resins, serves as a natural deterrent against termite infestation, adding to its longevity.
  • Weather-Resistant: Teak's inherent resistance to water damage makes it an ideal choice for regions with heavy rainfall. It remains unaffected by the constant exposure to moisture, preventing warping or cracking over time.
  • Beautiful Grain Patterns: The aesthetic appeal of teak is unparalleled. Its rich, golden-brown color deepens with age, and the wood develops intricate grain patterns, adding a touch of natural elegance to any structure.


  • Expensive: The quality and durability of teak come at a price. It is one of the most expensive wood options available, making it a choice for those with a higher budget.
  • Slow-Growing: Teak trees take several decades to mature fully. This slow growth contributes to the wood's scarcity and, consequently, its high market value.
  • Environmental Concerns: Unsustainable logging practices can lead to deforestation and ecological imbalance. It is imperative to source teak from responsibly managed plantations certified by organizations like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to address environmental concerns.


  • Sourcing: Opt for teak from certified sustainable plantations to ensure responsible sourcing and contribute to the conservation of natural habitats.
  • Application: Teak is best suited for high-end applications, such as intricate carvings, furniture, and exterior elements where durability and aesthetics are paramount.
  • Maintenance: Periodic cleaning and application of teak oil can enhance its natural luster and protect it from the elements, ensuring the longevity of its beauty.

Teak Wood Pricing in Kerala (2024)

When considering wood for architectural purposes in Kerala, understanding the pricing of different types of wood is crucial. In 2024, the cost of Teakwood varies based on multiple factors. Here's a breakdown to help you make informed decisions:

1. Factors Affecting Teakwood Pricing:
  • Type of Teakwood:
    Plantation Teak: Grown in managed forests, it tends to be more budget-friendly.
    Wild Teak: Harvested from natural forests, usually more expensive than plantation teak.
  • Quality of the Wood:
    Factors influencing quality include age, grain pattern, and the presence of defects.
    Higher quality teakwood commands higher prices.
  • Size and Thickness:
    Thicker and larger teak logs generally come at a higher cost.
    Smaller and thinner logs are comparatively more affordable.
  • Location:
    Prices can vary based on the selling location.
    Major cities like Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram typically have higher prices compared to smaller towns and villages.
2. Average Teakwood Costs (Per Cubic Meter):
  • Plantation Teakwood:
    Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 12,000
  • Wild Teakwood:
    Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 25,000
    (Note: These are estimated prices, and actual costs may vary based on specific factors.)
3. Tips for Buying Teakwood in Kerala:
  • Choose Reputable Suppliers:
    Verify the supplier's reputation and ensure they can provide proof of the wood's origin and quality.
  • Inspect Wood Thoroughly:
    Before making a purchase, carefully inspect the teakwood for any defects or inconsistencies.
  • Negotiate Prices:
    Don't hesitate to negotiate the price with the seller, as this can often lead to more favorable deals.
Remember that the wood market is dynamic, and prices can fluctuate. To make an informed decision, it's advisable to compare prices from different suppliers. By following these tips and understanding the nuances of teakwood pricing, you can ensure a wise investment for your architectural projects in Kerala.

2. Rosewood: The Epitome of Opulence

Rosewood, with its deep reddish-brown hue and intricate grain patterns, emerges as a luxurious and sought-after wood choice for Kerala's architectural connoisseurs. Derived from various tree species belonging to the Dalbergia genus, rosewood is celebrated not only for its exceptional durability but also for its ability to polish to a high shine, elevating the aesthetic appeal of any structure it graces.

A beautiful Rosewood door, reddish-brown finish, exemplifying the craftsmanship and elegance of Rosewood.


  • Exceptional Durability: Rosewood boasts outstanding resistance to decay, insects, and fungi, making it a durable option for both interior and exterior applications.
  • Termite-Resistant: Like teak, rosewood naturally repels termites, ensuring that structures crafted from this wood remain free from the damaging effects of these wood-boring pests.
  • Polishes to a High Shine: The inherent luster of rosewood is a key feature that sets it apart. It has the ability to take on a polished finish, enhancing its visual appeal and adding a touch of sophistication to furniture and architectural elements.
  • Adds Value to the Property: Rosewood's association with luxury and its timeless beauty can significantly increase the market value of a property. Its presence is often considered a mark of prestige and sophistication.


  • Very Expensive: Rosewood ranks among the most expensive wood options, primarily due to its scarcity and the time it takes for trees to mature. The high cost may limit its use to specific applications or those with a generous budget.
  • Limited Availability: Genuine rosewood is becoming increasingly rare, leading to limited availability in the market. This scarcity contributes to its exclusivity but can pose challenges for those seeking large quantities.
  • Potential Ethical Concerns: Overharvesting of certain rosewood species has raised ethical concerns. It is crucial to source rosewood from responsible and sustainable suppliers to ensure conservation efforts and protect endangered species.


  • Applications: Rosewood's luxurious appearance makes it ideal for high-end furniture, intricate carvings, and decorative elements. Its incorporation into doors, windows, and flooring can elevate the overall aesthetic of a space.
  • Sourcing: Verify the source of rosewood to ensure ethical and sustainable practices. Look for certifications from reputable organizations that promote responsible harvesting and trade.
  • Limited Use: Given its high cost and limited availability, consider using rosewood strategically in focal points or statement pieces to maximize its impact within a budget.

Rosewood Pricing in Kerala (2024)

Determining precise average prices for Rosewood in Kerala for 2024 poses challenges due to the complex nature of the trade. Rosewood, particularly Indian Rosewood (Dalbergia sissoo), faces restrictions and scarcity, influencing its pricing dynamics significantly.

1. Trade Complexities:
  • Restricted Trade: Endangered Species: Indian Rosewood is listed as an endangered species under CITES Appendix II, leading to stringent trade restrictions.
  • Government Regulations: The Indian government regulates Rosewood trade through permits and licenses, affecting its availability and cost.
2. Pricing Variables:
  • Quality and Age: The price of Rosewood is intricately tied to its quality, determined by factors such as grain pattern, age, and defects. Higher quality and older wood command premium prices.
  • Form and Size: Prices vary based on the form (logs, planks, veneers) and size (thickness, dimensions) of Rosewood. Larger, thicker pieces generally come with higher price tags.
  • Location and Source: Rosewood prices fluctuate across Kerala due to local market dynamics. Legally harvested wood from plantations may have different prices compared to the illegal market.
3. Estimated Price Range (Per Cubic Meter):
  • High-quality Rosewood logs:
    Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 50,000
  • Smaller Rosewood planks/veneers:
    Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 15,000
(Note: These estimates are subject to significant variability due to the factors mentioned above.)

4. Important Considerations:
  • Consult Reputable Suppliers: Always source Rosewood from legally authorized and responsible suppliers. Request proper documentation and certifications to ensure the wood's legality and origin.
  • Negotiate with Transparency: Due to the lack of standardized pricing, transparent negotiation is crucial. Clearly communicate your requirements and budget when discussing prices.
  • Beware of Illegal Trade: Avoid involvement in illegal Rosewood trade to prevent hefty penalties and contribute to environmental damage. Choose sustainable options to promote responsible sourcing.
Navigating the complexities of Rosewood pricing in Kerala demands careful consideration of legalities, quality factors, and market dynamics. By following these recommendations, you can make informed decisions while contributing to ethical and sustainable wood practices.

3. Mahogany: The Versatile Elegance

Mahogany, a hardwood renowned for its versatility, warm color, and affordability, has carved a significant niche in Kerala's architectural landscape. With a scientific classification under the Swietenia genus, mahogany offers a balance between aesthetics and practicality, making it a popular choice for various structural and decorative applications.

A mahogany door featuring a deep, reddish-brown finish and fine craftsmanship, embodying the timeless elegance of mahogany wood.


  • Moderately Priced: Mahogany strikes a balance between affordability and quality. It is more budget-friendly compared to premium woods like teak and rosewood, making it accessible for a broader range of projects.
  • Readily Available: Mahogany is widely available, making it a convenient choice for builders and architects. Its accessibility ensures a stable supply for construction and design projects.
  • Versatile Usage: Known for its workability, mahogany is a versatile wood that can be used for both structural and decorative purposes. It lends itself well to carving, turning, and finishing, offering flexibility in design.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Mahogany exhibits a warm, reddish-brown hue with a fine, straight grain. Its natural beauty can be enhanced through staining or polishing, making it an attractive choice for furniture and architectural elements.


  • Not as Durable as Teak or Rosewood: While mahogany is durable, it may not match the longevity of teak or rosewood. Proper maintenance, such as sealing and periodic treatment, is necessary to ensure extended lifespan.
  • Susceptible to Termite Damage and Warping: Mahogany, like many woods, can be vulnerable to termite infestation. Additionally, without proper treatment, it may be prone to warping or distortion in humid climates.


  • Ideal Applications: Mahogany is suitable for a range of applications, including furniture, doors, windows, and interior trim. It strikes a balance between aesthetic appeal and cost-effectiveness, making it a preferred choice for both structural and decorative elements.
  • Proper Treatment: To enhance its durability and protect against termite damage and warping, consider applying appropriate wood treatments. Sealants and finishes can help preserve mahogany's natural beauty and integrity.
  • Budget-Friendly Projects: Mahogany is an excellent choice for those seeking an attractive wood option without the premium price tag. Its affordability makes it an appealing option for a wide array of projects.

Mahogany Pricing in Kerala (2024)

Mahogany, esteemed for its warm tones and exquisite grain patterns, plays a significant role in Kerala's timber industry. Understanding the nuanced factors influencing Mahogany prices in 2024 is essential for those seeking this prized wood for architectural projects. Here's a breakdown of these factors and an estimated pricing range:

1. Factors Influencing Mahogany Prices:
  • Species: Different Mahogany species, such as Honduran Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) and Indian Mahogany (Swietenia mahogany), are commercially traded. Honduran Mahogany, known for its superior quality, tends to command higher prices.
  • Quality: The age, grain pattern, and absence of defects significantly impact Mahogany's price. Older, flawless Mahogany with pronounced grain patterns fetch premium prices.
  • Form and Size: Mahogany prices vary based on the form (logs, planks, veneers) and size (thickness, dimensions). Larger, thicker logs generally come with higher price tags.
  • Location and Source: Prices can differ across Kerala due to local market dynamics. Additionally, the source of the wood, whether legally harvested plantations or unregulated markets, affects pricing.
2. Estimated Price Range (Per Cubic Meter):
  • Plantation Mahogany logs: Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 15,000
  • High-quality Honduran Mahogany planks/veneers: Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 20,000
(Note: These estimates are subject to significant variability based on the specific factors mentioned above.)

3. Important Considerations:
  • Seek Reputable Suppliers: Always purchase Mahogany from authorized and responsible suppliers. Ensure proper documentation to guarantee ethical and sustainable sourcing practices.
  • Compare Prices: Due to the lack of standardized pricing, comparing prices from different suppliers is crucial. This ensures you get the best deals while maintaining the desired level of quality and legality.
  • Clarify Specifications: Clearly communicate your specifications, including desired species, quality, form, and size. This helps in receiving accurate price quotes and ensures that the delivered wood aligns with your project requirements.
Navigating the Mahogany market in Kerala demands attention to quality, species, and market dynamics. By following these recommendations, you can make well-informed decisions while promoting ethical and sustainable practices in the procurement of Mahogany for your architectural ventures.

4. Jackfruit wood: The Sustainable Gem of Kerala's Architecture

In the quest for sustainable and eco-friendly wood choices, jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) emerges as a unique and locally abundant option for Kerala's architectural endeavors. This tropical hardwood not only showcases a warm color and distinctive grain but also brings to the forefront its eco-conscious advantages, making it an increasingly popular choice for those who prioritize sustainability.

A beautifully crafted door made of Jackfruit wood, highlighting the wood's warm golden-brown tones and unique grain pattern.


  • Affordability: Jackfruit wood is among the more affordable options, making it an attractive choice for those on a budget. Its cost-effectiveness allows for widespread use without compromising on the eco-friendly aspect.
  • Local Availability: Jackfruit trees flourish in Kerala, ensuring a readily available and locally sourced wood supply. This not only reduces transportation costs but also supports the local economy.
  • Termite-Resistant: Like other hardwoods, jackfruit exhibits natural resistance to termites, enhancing its durability and minimizing the need for extensive pest control measures.
  • Lightweight and Good Insulation: Jackfruit wood is relatively lightweight, making it easy to work with during construction. Additionally, its good insulation properties contribute to a comfortable living environment.


  • Not as Strong as Some Alternatives: While durable, jackfruit may not match the strength of hardwoods like teak. Its application is best suited for less demanding structural elements and interior components.
  • May Require Special Treatment for Moisture Resistance: Jackfruit wood, being a tropical hardwood, may benefit from special treatment to enhance its resistance to moisture. Proper sealing and finishing can help mitigate potential issues.


  • Sustainability Focus: Jackfruit is an ideal choice for those committed to sustainable building practices. The local abundance of jackfruit trees and their rapid growth make it a renewable resource that aligns with environmental considerations.
  • Interior Applications: Given its lighter weight and insulation properties, jackfruit is well-suited for interior applications such as furniture, paneling, and decorative elements. Its warm color and unique grain can add character to living spaces.
  • Moisture Protection: Consider applying sealants or finishes to enhance jackfruit's resistance to moisture, particularly in areas prone to humidity. This precautionary step can contribute to the wood's longevity.

Jackfruit Wood Pricing in Kerala (2024)

Jackfruit trees, celebrated for their delectable fruit, also contribute to Kerala's timber industry, providing a unique and sustainable source of wood. Understanding the factors influencing Jackfruit wood pricing in 2024 is crucial for those considering this material for various applications. Here's an exploration of these factors and an estimated pricing range:

1. Factors Influencing Jackfruit Wood Pricing:
  • Demand and Supply: Jackfruit wood remains a niche material compared to established hardwoods, leading to limited supply. Slow growth and competition with fruit production can contribute to higher prices.
  • Quality and Age: The quality of Jackfruit wood, influenced by factors like age, grain pattern, and absence of defects, significantly impacts its market value. Older, well-seasoned wood with desirable grain patterns commands a premium.
  • Form and Size: Jackfruit wood prices vary based on the form (logs, planks, veneers) and size (thickness, dimensions). Larger, thicker pieces generally come at a higher cost compared to smaller ones or veneers.
  • Location and Source: Prices can vary across Kerala due to local market dynamics. The source of the wood, whether legally harvested plantations or unregulated markets, also affects pricing.
2. Estimated Price Range (Per Cubic Meter):
  • Roughly seasoned Jackfruit logs: Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000
  • High-quality seasoned Jackfruit planks/veneers: Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 8,000
(Note: These estimates are rough and actual prices can vary considerably based on specific factors.)

3. Important Considerations:
  • Connect with Reliable Suppliers: Source Jackfruit wood from reputable suppliers who can demonstrate legal harvesting practices and proper seasoning processes. Ensure the supplier follows ethical and sustainable practices.
  • Compare Prices and Quality: Given the nascent market for Jackfruit wood, compare prices and wood quality from different sources. This ensures you find the best deal without compromising on the desired level of quality.
  • Consider Sustainability: Choose Jackfruit wood from sustainably managed plantations to ensure responsible forestry practices. Supporting sustainable sources contributes to the long-term health of the environment.
Navigating the Jackfruit wood market in Kerala requires attention to quality, sustainability, and market dynamics. By following these recommendations, you can make informed decisions while contributing to responsible forestry practices.

5. Anjili: The Sturdy and Affordable Choice for Kerala's Homes

Anjili, also known as Artocarpus hirsutus, stands as a sturdy and locally abundant wood that has been a traditional favorite in Kerala's architecture. With a yellowish-brown hue and fine grain, Anjili is valued for its affordability, making it a practical choice for a variety of applications in both traditional and modern construction.

Anjili wood door featuring a rich, dark finish and fine craftsmanship, showcasing the unique characteristics of Anjili timber.


  • Good Strength: Anjili possesses a commendable level of strength, making it suitable for various structural and decorative purposes. Its robust nature ensures stability in construction projects.
  • Termite-Resistant: Similar to other hardwoods, Anjili showcases natural resistance to termites. This feature enhances its durability, especially in regions with a prevalent termite population like Kerala.
  • Polishes Well: Anjili has the capacity to take on a polished finish, adding a smooth and refined touch to furniture and architectural elements. This characteristic contributes to its versatility in design applications.
  • Readily Available in Kerala: Anjili is locally abundant in Kerala, ensuring a steady supply for builders and architects. This availability often translates to lower transportation costs, making it a cost-effective choice.


  • Prone to Warping if Not Properly Seasoned: Anjili, like many hardwoods, may be susceptible to warping if not properly seasoned before use. Careful attention to drying and curing processes during production is essential to mitigate this risk.
  • Not as Visually Attractive as Some Other Options: While Anjili possesses a warm color and fine grain, it may not boast the striking visual appeal of premium hardwoods like teak or rosewood. Its aesthetic may be considered more understated.


  • Local Affordability: Anjili is an excellent choice for those seeking a locally available and affordable wood option. Its cost-effectiveness makes it accessible for a wide range of construction projects.
  • Interior and Structural Applications: Due to its good strength, Anjili is well-suited for both interior applications, such as furniture and paneling, as well as structural elements like beams and supports.
  • Proper Seasoning and Treatment: To prevent warping, it is crucial to ensure that Anjili is properly seasoned before use. Additionally, consider applying appropriate wood treatments to enhance its resistance to termites and other environmental factors.

Anjili Wood Pricing in Kerala (2024)

Anjili wood (Artocarpus hirsutus Lam), commonly known as wild jack or hairy jackfruit, holds significant value in Kerala for its durable timber comparable to teak. The pricing of Anjili wood in 2024 is influenced by various factors, reflecting its importance in construction and furniture making. Here's an overview of the pricing dynamics:

1. Factors Influencing Anjili Wood Pricing:
  • Quality of the Wood: Good quality Anjili wood, characterized by a straight grain and few defects, commands higher prices.
  • Size of the Logs: The size of Anjili wood logs contributes to its pricing. Larger logs may have a higher cost compared to smaller ones.
  • Availability of the Wood: Limited availability can influence the pricing of Anjili wood. Factors like slow growth and specific geographic areas contribute to its scarcity.
2. Average Price in 2024:
  • The average price of Anjili wood in Kerala in 2024 was Rs. 9,000 per cubic meter.
  • This reflects a slight increase from the previous year's average price of Rs. 8,500 per cubic meter.
(Note: Prices are subject to change based on market conditions and other influencing factors.)

3. Factors Contributing to Price Increase:
  • Rising Demand for Sustainable Timber: Growing awareness of environmental impact drives the demand for sustainable timber, and Anjili wood fits this criterion as a fast-growing tree that can be harvested without significant environmental damage.
  • Limited Supply: Factors like slow growth, specific geographical distribution, and increasing demand contribute to the limited supply of Anjili wood, impacting its price.
4. Future Price Stability:
  • Stable Pricing Expectation: The price of Anjili wood in Kerala is expected to remain stable in the coming years, considering its sustainable nature and the awareness surrounding the environmental impact of deforestation.
In conclusion, the pricing of Anjili wood in Kerala reflects its unique qualities and the balance between demand and supply. As a sustainable timber option with durable characteristics, Anjili wood is likely to maintain its significance in construction and furniture making, with a stable pricing outlook for the foreseeable future.

Additional Considerations:


Choosing ethically sourced and sustainably managed wood is paramount. Responsible harvesting practices ensure the preservation of forests and biodiversity, making your choice an environmentally conscious one.

Treatment and Maintenance:

Briefly outline different wood treatment options, such as varnishes and sealants, to enhance durability and protection against the Kerala climate, which can be humid and challenging for wood.

Local Availability and Pricing:

Provide readers with an overview of current market prices for different wood types in Kerala. Understanding the cost implications helps in making an informed decision aligned with the budget.

Expert Advice:

Highlight the importance of seeking guidance from qualified architects or builders. Their expertise ensures that the chosen wood aligns with the specific requirements of the project, considering factors like climate, purpose, and budget.

In crafting your Kerala home, the choice of wood is an art that goes beyond aesthetics. It is a commitment to durability, sustainability, and the rich heritage of the region. As you embark on this journey, let the wisdom of tradition guide you, tempered by the principles of responsible building. Choose your wood thoughtfully, and let your home stand as a testament to the harmonious blend of the past and the present.

A Guide to Choosing the Right Wood for Kerala's Architecture A Guide to Choosing the Right Wood for Kerala's Architecture Reviewed by Kerala Home Design on Friday, January 26, 2024 Rating: 5

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