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I want to know if Buddhism was practised in Kerala, India around 500CE. When did it lose popularity and why?

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No it was not practiced. In Kerala very minor group of people follow the Buddhism. Buddhism probably flourished for 200 years (650-850) in Kerala. The Paliyam Copper Plate of the Ay King, Varaguna (885-925 AD) shows that the Buddhists benefited from royal patronage in the 10th century. Hope this helps..

  • Thank you. I am told the knowledge of Kalaripayattu was taken by Buddhist monks from Kerala to the Far East where it was taught as the martial arts we now know as Kung Fu and Karate. So, I would imagine, there was quite a bit of flow of Buddhists from Kerala to the Far East. Am I right in thinking so? – Savita Sep 1 '17 at 14:43
  • Yes the Buddhists migrated from Kerala to East India and settled there. And still to this date Buddhism in East India is considered to be the source of learning martial arts. – Parth Pandya Sep 2 '17 at 5:54
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A similar question was asked here on History Stack Exchange.

There also appears to be some info here and here.

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