The renovated district heritage museum is all set to welcome its visitors to an amazing world of historical artefacts. The archaeological department has renovated the museum and the adjoining palace, which was the summer mansion of the Kollangode dynasty, as part of the state government’s initiative to protect heritage sites. The museum located at Chembukava is the perfect place where the unique heritage and culture of Thrissur is vivified majestically.
The palace at Chembukavu, known as the ‘Kollangode House’, was built by Vasudevaraja, the last king of the famed Kollangode dynasty, for his beloved daughter in 1904. In 1975, the archaeology department took over the palace and declared it a protected site. The incredibly beautiful palace, which was completed with the help of the British, is a fine example of the Indo–European architectural style. Italian marbles adorn the floors, and roof is built with exquisite wood. Many artefacts, which belonged to the personal collection of the Kollangode kings, are exhibited in the museum here.
The heritage museum was earlier known as the ‘mural art centre’ as it housed some of the most beautiful and exquisite murals in the state. To collect and preserve paintings which depict the amazing transitions in Indian art, it was the king of Cochin who decided to build an art museum at Thrissur.In honour of the Cochin royal, a painting exhibition was opened to the public at the Thrissur town hall in 1938. The copies of all the finest murals in Kerala is displayed at the museum which is also known as the ‘Sreemoolam Art Gallery’. Intricate murals from Mattancherry Palace, Chemmanthitta temple, Vadakkumnatha temple, Kanjoor church and Puthukad church can be seen here.
Thirty-four murals from the Sreemoolam Art Gallery are currently exhibited at the district heritage museum.
Stone Age remnants
The heritage museum is the perfect place for the history buffs to see and enjoy the historical artifacts that belonged to the Stone Age. The museum also has an impressive collection of many earthen pots, including nannangadi (big urn for burial), which offer a peep into the cultural history of Thrissur.
At the cultural gallery one can see many artifacts found by the archeological department from various places around Thrissur like Eyyal, Kakkadu, Irinjalakuda, Mangadu, Porkulam, Choondal and Mundoor.
Around 50 scenes which depict the cultural history and heritage of Thrissur have been painted onto to the boundary wall of the museum by the teachers and students of the Lalithakala Academy. The famed Thrissur Pooram, Ilanjithara Melam, Anju Vilakku, Machadu Mamangam, Guruvayur Sathyagraha, the coal fields, tram way, Saktan Thamburan, the oracle, Kodungalloor Bharani, Pulikali, Pattalam market, Perimbalavu market are some of the subjects depicted on the boundary wall.
The folklore gallery
The Kerala folklore academy has also arranged a vast gallery at the museum. The art directors of the blockbuster movie 'Baahubali' has designed the gallery which focuses on the rich cultural heritage of Kerala. The replica of a vintage kitchen with a fire place, ural, uri and ammi capture the interest of the visitors. Replicas of the houses of yore have been recreated here with an impressive collection of things like chunnambu chellam (betel-box), iron box, muram (winnower), jars, chirava (coconut scraper), ottal (fish trap) etc.
As part of the renovation project, benches, grassy meadow and a play area for the kids have been made to attract more number of families.
The entry fee for adults is Rs 10 while the kids can enter for just Rs 2.