Sandalwood Forest

Marayoor is the only place in Kerala with a natural growth of sandalwood trees. The sandalwood factory run by the Forest Department is of tourist interest.A reduced rainfall is more suitable for the growth of the best types of sandalwood trees from which good quality oil can also be extracted.
Compared to the neighbouring states like Tamilnadu and Karnataka (especially the forests of Mysore), Kerala has less acres of sandalwood forests. Kerala's share of sandal wood trees is confined to Marayoor and a few forest areas in Wayanad hills.




Sandalwood sculptures

They are a little expensive, but they carry with them the fragrance and memories of a rich land. The sandalwood sculptures of Kerala are popular souvenirs : icons of Ganapathy - the elephant headed god, the trinity - Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, little snake boats, elephants...
Handicrafts emporia across the State offer a range of such sculptures in sandalwood. A sample of our craftsmen's skills, these artefacts capture the expressions, features and proportions of the subject, the golden colour of the wood adding to the richness. Sandalwood retains its fragrance for years, a sprinkling of water on the article can perfume your room for days together.
Price varies with the size and complexity of carving. The rate begins from four hundred rupees onwards. The sculptures of nearly 5 foot height are sold for Five hundred thousand rupees at the SMSM Institute, Thiruvananthapuram.



Commercial tree : Price and market trends
Sandal wood means money! Buyers are willing to pay as much as Rs 9 lacs per tonne for sandal wood. While sandal oil fetches nearly Rs 18,000 per kg! Till now in India a major hinderance for cultivating sandal wood were tough government laws. But these laws have now been liberalised 


Sandalwood oil / Perfume

An inevitable cosmetic of the elite, the sandal oil called the "liquid gold" is a popular perfume . Most of the government handicrafts emporium in Kerala have this item for sale. One such is the SMSM Institute, Thiruvananthapuram, where you can buy 50 ml oil for Rs.1243/-. Sandalwood oil produced by a few private agencies are also sold here, after testing its quality by the government's research cell.
Sandalwood oil is extracted from the roots and wood of sandalwood (Santalum album).



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