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Museums

Krishna Menon Museum, Kozhikode

Krishna Menon Museum at Kozhikode has an exclusive wing dedicated to the renowned statesman late V. K. Krishna Menon, that displays his personal belongings and souvenirs. Adjacent to the museum is an art gallery with an excellent collection of paintings by Raja Ravi Varma and Raja Raja Varma.

Visting hours: 1000- 1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays & Wednesday mornings.

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Kozhikode, about 6 km
Nearest airport: Calicut International Airport, about 31 km

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Museums

Koyikkal Palace, Thiruvananthapuram

Attractions: Palace, folklore museum and numismatics museum.

The Koyikkal Palace, situated far of away from the city, was actually built for Umayamma Rani of the Venad Royal Family who ruled the land between 1677 and 1684. The palace is a double stroreyed traditional nalukettu with slanting gabled roofs and an inner courtyard.

Today, the palace houses a Folklore Museum and a Numismatics Museum set up by the Department of Archaeology. The Folklore Museum, a treasure house of quaint musical instruments, occupational implements, household utensils, models of folk arts etc., was set up in 1992. The exhibits here draw attention to the rich cultural background of Kerala. The exhibits include rare articles like Chandravalayam (not found in any other such museum in Kerala), a small percussion instrument used as an accompaniment while reciting the ballad Ramakathappattu (the story of Lord Sree Rama); and Nanthuni , a sweet sounding musical instrument made of wood and string used while singing the Onappattu and Nanthunippattu during Onam the harvest festival of Kerala.

The Folklore Museum housed on the first floor of the palace also has a wide range of household utensils including wooden kitchenware, brass/copperware etc. representing the lifestyle of the Keralites during different periods. Thaliyola (old manuscripts), Chilambu (a sort of anklet) used by Umayamma Rani and Maravuri (dress material made of the bark of trees) etc. are well preserved here. Oorakkudukku a device for intellectual exercise used by the Yogis as a pastime, Gajalekshmi – a lamp representing the Goddess of prosperity – Lakshmi, seated on her elephant (this lamp is usually lighted at dusk and during the harvest season to welcome the goddess) are other interesting exhibits. The Kettuvillakku – a ceremonial lamp (artistically made out of coloured paper and locally available light wood splits/rails), lit during festivals at the Bhagavathy temples of Southern Kerala; a model of the most impressive of Theyyams – the Muthappan theyyam, a Patayani kolam model; the headgear and dress used by Ottanthulal artistes exhibited here give an insight into the performing as well as the ritual art forms of Kerala.

The Numismatics Museum at the Koyikkal Palace is the only one of its kind in the State. Occupying the ground floor of the palace, the coins displayed here belong to different parts of the world as well as to different periods. This rare and historically valuable collection is a vestige of the trade relation of Kerala in the bygone ages. Among the exhibits are some of the oldest coins of Kerala – Ottaputhen, Erattaputhen, Kaliyugarayan Panam etc. A Venetian coin named Amaida, believed to have been presented to Jesus Christ, is also a property of this museum. The most valuable among the Indian coins found here are Karsha. These are nearly 2500 years old. Rasi, the world’s smallest coins are also on display here. Sreekrishna Rasi, one of the rasis (regional coins) issued by the local kings of Kerala around the 10th century,Anantharayan Panam – the first modern gold coin of Travancore in circulation in the 15th and 17th centuries, Kochi Puthen – one of the coins of the Kochi Kingdom which also had variations like Indo-Dutch Puthen (1782 AD). Lekshmi Varaham – the silver coins minted in Travancore,Rasi Palaka (the coin board) – a wooden board with small niches used to count small coins (counting up to 100 to 200 at a time), coin mints etc. are preserved here. Nearly 374 Roman gold coins, each worth up to five hundred thousand rupees today, depicting Roman Gods and Goddesses like Venus, Hercules, Mars, Ceres, Genius, etc. and rulers like Hardin (AD 117 – 138) are also among the collection. The museum also has coins used by various Indian dynasties – the Gwalior royal family, the Nizam of Hyderabad, Tipu Sultan, Hyder Ali, etc.

Visiting hours: 0900-  1700 hrs on all days, except Mondays.

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Thiruvananthapuram Central, about 18 km
Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 24 km

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Museums

Kirtads, Kozhikode

The Kerala Institute for Research, Training and Development Studies (KIRTADS) of scheduled castes and tribes was established in 1972 at Kozhikode (Calicut). Its main objective is to carry out research that helps to promote development among the scheduled communities in Kerala.

The ethonological museum here houses a large collection of artefacts, tools and devices used by the ancient tribal communities of Kerala. A good library with books on anthropology and sociology is an added attraction.

Visiting hours: 1015 – 1715 hrs

Contact details:
KIRTADS
Chevayur, Kozhikode- 673017
Ph: +91 495  2357329 / 2356805

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Kozhikode, about 8 km
Nearest airport: Calicut International Airport, about 27 km

 

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Museums

Keralam – Museum of History and Heritage

Kerala has a fascinating history that blends with the myths and legends of this land and possesses the alluring aroma of spices. The state has an assortment of exhibits that take you into the world of yesteryears.

The exhibits include the archeological evidences of Neolithic age, burial accompaniments belonging to the Iron Age, sculptures of gods and goddesses in bronze, wood and stone, coins, murals and many more. These tokens of days gone by will familiarize one with the very many facets of this land like its rituals, cults, customs, tradition, trade, art, people and their lifestyle.

Keralam, a museum of history and heritage in the capital city, is a joint venture of Kerala Tourism and the State Department of Archaeology. The museum, established in the Park View mansion near the zoo, uses modern display techniques such as touch-screen counters and multimedia systems to explain the artifacts arranged in different galleries and to screen narrative documentaries on the distinctive facets of Kerala’s cultural history.

Main attractions

  • Burial accompaniments belonging to the Iron Age
  • The Roman Dinari, which proves Kerala’s maritime contacts with the Roman Empire
  • The Granthas, written on palm leaves, in Malayalam and Sanskrit
  • 17th Century murals from the Pundarikapuram Temple, Kottyam
  • Stone celts, which prove the Neolithic inhabitation in Kerala
  • 14th Century Brahma Sculpture
  • 14th Century Yoga Narasimha Murthy
  • 16th Century Nataraja Sculpture

General Information

  • For group reservations, please contact the reception
  • Kindly avail the parking facility in front of the Napier Museum
  • Concession tickets are available for disabled visitors
  • Mobile phone use is not permitted inside the museum
  • Eating, drinking and smoking are not permitted in the museum
  • Video recording is restricted inside the museum
  • Photography is allowed inside on extra charges

Museum timings

  • 10 am to 5.30 pm. Closed on Mondays and public holidays

Address:

Keralam
Museum of History and Heritage
Park View
Thiruvananthapuram – 695033
Kerala, India

Tel: +91 95670 19037
Website: www.museumkeralam.org

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Thiruvananthapuram, about 3 km
Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 9 km

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Museums

Indo-Portuguese Museum, Fort Kochi

The Indo-Portuguese Museum situated in Fort Kochi throws light on the strong Portuguese influence in both the art and the architecture of the region.

The museum today is an important center for understanding the Indo-Portuguese Christian Art heritage, which is still surviving. The museum is the outcome of the untiring efforts of the late Dr. Joseph Kureethra, Bishop of Kochi. Driven by sheer commitment to protect the rich heritage of his Diocese, the bishop established the Indo-Portuguese Museum to preserve some of the invaluable collections for posterity.

The museum is divided into five main sections, according to the nature of items displayed. They are – Altar, Treasure, Procession, Civil Life and Cathedral.

The museum currently houses some outstanding collections and is well known for its artistic and architectural marvels, which bear the mark of strong Portuguese influence. Some of these include a piece of the altar made in teak wood (16th century) from the Church of Our Lady of Hope, Vypeen, a chasuble (19th century) from Bishop’s House, Fort Kochi, Processional cross, which is a combination of silver and wood (17th century) from Santa Cruz Cathedral, Fort Kochi, Indo-Portuguese Monstrance (18-19th century), from The Church of Our Lady of Hope, Vypeen. Among the displayed items, the Coat of Arms of the Franciscans needs special mention

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation has also contributed to the rich collection at the Indo-Portuguese Museum and these include sculptures, precious metal objects and vestments, among others from the Cathedral of Santa Cruz and other churches of the Kochi diocese.

The Indo-Portuguese Museum in Kochi is indeed one of those symbols in the annals of Kochi, bearing the rich heritage of Indo-Portuguese culture and artistic influence.

Visiting Hours: 1000 to 1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays and all Public Holidays.
Entry is free on 1st Thursday of every month.

Contact details:
Bishop’s House
Fort Kochi
Kerala- 682001

Getting there

Nearest railway station:  Ernakulam, about 12 km
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 44 km

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Museums

Hill Palace Museum, Thripunithura

The Hill Palace, Kerala’s first heritage museum noted for royal collections of the erstwhile Maharaja of Kochi, is today the largest archaeological museum in Kerala. Built in 1865, the palace complex consists of 49 buildings in the trational architectural style of Kerala, sprawled over 52 acres of beautifully landscaped terraced land which houses a deer park and facilities for horse riding. Numerous species of flora including rare medicinal plants grow here. On display in the full-fledged Ethno-archaeological museum are oil-paintings, murals, sculptures in stone and manuscripts, inscriptions, coins, belongings of the Kochi royal family and royal furniture including the simhasana (throne).

Also exhibited are over 200 antique pieces of pottery and ceramic vases from Japan and China,Kudakkallu (tomb stone), Thoppikkallu (hood stone), menhirs, granite, laterite memorials, rock-cut weapons from the Stone Age, wooden temple models, plaster cast models of objects from Mohenjodaro and Harappa of the Indus Valley Civilisation. The museum also houses a gallery of contemporary art.

Visiting hours: 9.00 to 12.30 hrs &14.00 to 16.30 hrs on all days except Mondays.
Entrance fee: Adult – Rs. 30/- Children (5-12) – Rs. 10/-
Children’s Park: Open till 6.00 pm
Contact details: +91 484 2781113

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Ernakulam, about 10 km
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 33 km

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Museums

Chacha Nehru Children’s Museum, Thiruvananthapuram

The Chacha Nehru Children’s Museum is situated at Thiruvananthapuram district in Kerala. Children of all age groups will enjoy the vast collection of nearly 2000 dolls, stamps and masks displayed here.

Visiting hours: 1030 – 1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays
Museum Ph: +91 471 2324939

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Nearest railway station is Thiruvananthapuram, about a km
Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about10 km

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Museums

Bay Island Driftwood Museum, Kottayam

Bay Island Driftwood Museum at Kumarakom displays large collection of superior quality driftwood articles of very high artistic value, prepared through a rare and innovative modern art form.

A Museum displaying a unique collection of superior quality driftwood articles of very high artistic value, prepared through a rare and innovative modern art form, is functioning at the scenic village of Kumarakom in Kottayam. A Visitor would find there a huge collection of root sculptures of various shapes and designs.

During her professional tenure in the Andaman & Nicobar archipelago, a dynamic lady school teacher used to pick up pieces of driftwood deposited by the sea on the shores, comprising of twisted tree trunks, stumps, roots etc., which had potential for transformation into sculptures with marginal efforts, thanks to the Bay of Bengal prone to frequent cyclones that make the sea turbulent and unpredictable. Every cyclone brought back as many things to the shore as it washed away from it. Some of these wood pieces and roots were centuries old and having drifted across the seas they became more resilient. Having traversed vast distances, what is left of a tree is its sturdiest part which has weathered much inclemency. The picked up pieces were cleansed, crumbling parts removed, scraped and trimmed to conform to the shape she had in mind. In the course of the process, it so happened, the Nature’s original designs could emerge more forcefully, evocatively and permanently. Many of these pieces closely resemble birds, animals, reptiles, amphibians and fishes. Shaping, scraping, polishing, finishing and preserving were done with fierce dedication.

The admirers and connoisseurs of this rare and innovative form of art frequent the Bay Island Driftwood Museum. The student community finds the art form adopted in the preparation of the exhibits in the museum interesting and educative as the museum inculcates in them the qualities of imagination, creativity, originality and initiative to produce useful articles out of materials normally considered waste.

Visiting Hours:
Weekday: 1000 – 1700 hrs
Sunday: 1130 – 1700 hrs
Monday: Holiday

Entry to the Museum by Pass only

Contact Address:
Bay Island Driftwood Museum,
Chakranpadi, Kumarakom North (p.o),
Kottayam, Kerala
Ph: +91 481 2526223
Curator (Mob):+91 9447464296

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Kottayam, about 16 km from Kumarakom
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 94 km from Kumarakom

Categories
Museums

Art Museum, Thrissur

The art museum, situated at Thirssur, displays collections of wood carvings, metal sculptures, ancient jewellery, stone figurines and some Chinese and Japanese artefacts. A sample ofkodakallu (umbrella stone), or prehistoric dolmen spotted around many places in Thirssur, can also be seen in the museum. The kodakallu was a secondary burial site.

Visiting hours: 1000 – 1700 hrs on all days except Mondays

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Thrissur, about 4 km
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 52 km

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Museums

Archaeological Museum, Thrissur

The Archaeological Museum was until recently accommodated in the Kollengode Palace building. Now it has been shifted to the Shakthan Thampuran Palace, a landmark in the annals of the Perumpadappu Swaroopam, the former ruling dynasty of Kochi. The majestic building houses a gallery of murals from all over Kerala and preserves a rare treasure of Veerakallu, temple models, olagrandhangal (manuscripts on dry palm leaves), megaliths etc.

Veerakallu or herostones are stone engravings and sculptures of figures and weapons belonging to the heroes of days gone by. Most of these were recovered from the forests of Wayanad and Thrissur.

The megalith collection includes earthen pots, urns etc. The temple models cast in plaster of Paris are excellent representations of the ancient temples in the State.

Visiting hours: 1000 – 1700 hrs on all days except Mondays and national holidays.

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Thrissur, about 3 km away
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 57 km away