The characteristic regional expression of Kerala architecture results from the geographical, climatic and historic factors. Geographically Kerala is a narrow strip of land lying in between western seaboard of peninsular India and confined between the towering Western ghats on its east and the vast Arabian sea on its west. Favoured by plentiful rains due to Monsoon and bright sunshines, this land is lush green with vegetation and rich in animal life. In the uneven terrain of this region human habitation is distributed thickly in the fertile low-lands and sparsely towards the hostile highlands. Heavy rains have brought in presence of large water bodies in form of lakes, rivers, backwaters and lagoons. The climatic factors thus made its significant contributions in developing the architecture style, to counter wettest climatic conditions coupled with heavy humidity and harsh tropical summers.
History also played its own contributions to the Kerala architecture. The towering Western Ghats on its east, has successfully prevented influences of neighbouring Tamil countries into present day Kerala in later times. While Western Ghats isolated Kerala to a greater extent from Indian empires, the exposure of Arabian sea on its east brought in close contacts between the ancient people of Kerala with major maritime civilizations like Chinese, Egyptians, Romans, Arabs etc. The Kerala’s rich spice cultivations brought it center of global maritime trade until modern periods, helping several international powers to actively engage with Kerala as a trading partners. This helped in bring in influences of these civilizations into Kerala architecture.