A journey through the history of Ayurveda

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Long before El Nino and other climatic changes started affecting us, the Malayalam month of Karkidakam used to be the time when it would rain; incessantly. It would pour day in and day out forcing people to stay indoors. Over time, it became the season for rejuvenation, the time when Ayurveda takes the center-stage.

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There are a lot of practices which went hand in hand with the month of Karkidakam. Most of them, related to Ayurveda. Now, monsoon tourism and medical tourism in the state ride this Ayurveda wave. There are a lot of people who travel from many places across the globe for these treatments which include, special massages and diet. And many head out to those places that are famous for their tradition for competence in this speciality.

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We decided to take a trip to one of those houses - an ancestral home of Ayurveda physicians in Kerala. The Thaikattusery Illam. If people went to Thaikattusery Illam for treatment before, now it has been developed as an Ayurveda village. And it houses a unique museum, which showcases the history of Ayurveda. Every aspect of this culture of medicine is covered during your visit here.

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Just inside the 'Padipura' or the entrance is the 'nakshatravana,' a garden which is a treasure trove of medicinal herbs and plants. It cuts a pretty picture during the monsoons. All lush green. The courtyard in the front of the building is decorated with the statues of lord Dhanwantari and Adi Sankara.

The museum houses the traditional 'Nalukettu' and an audio-visual theater. A visitor to the village will first be welcomed to the 'Natyagriha' where they will be introduced to the history and traditional methods of Ayurveda treatment.

The pictorial representation in the building next door will allow you to have a glimpse of how the treatment techniques have evolved with time. This museum is a treasure trove of ancient texts, books and rare manuscripts. The medicinal herbs garden has an array of rare herbs.

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The digital library is well equipped and state of the art. The Acharyagriha at the museum is also a memorial to the founder, Vaidyaratnam, Sri. E. T. Neelakantan Mooss.

(In agreement with Manorama Traveller)