Museums aren’t every tourist’s cup of tea. But those who like them, love the magical door they open to our past, the stories they tell, their timeless aura and the artistic vibe they immerse us in.
Kerala’s museophiles have quite a few popular ones to check out on the International Museum Day, and here we list them out:
Napier Museum, Thiruvananthapuram
Named after Francis Napier, who was a Viceroy in British India, this is an art and natural history museum and it also contains the Sree Chitra Art Gallery. It offers a rare collection of ivory carvings, historic artefacts, ornaments, and depictions of Mahabharata and Ramayana using Japanese shadow-play leather and bronze idols.
The premises even has a sensory park and garden set up for the differently abled. Visitors are now allowed to use a camera inside by paying a fee.
Natural History Museum, Thiruvananthapuram
It is located in the Napier Museum compound and offers one of the most exhaustive collections among all similar museums in the country. It offers abundant facts and figures from the animal kingdom and even on ants, termites and whales. Renowned ornithologist Dr Salim Ali’s collection during his study in Travancore can also be found here. Right at its entrance, one can find a 20 million-year-old petrified wood fossil, and a fossil tree trunk. After its recent renovation, it’s set up as an interactive museum complete with sections like skeletons gallery, mammals gallery and much more.
Kerala History Museum, Kochi
One of the oldest art and history museums in Kochi, it also has a dolls museum and a gallery of modern art. The Kerala History museum presents the lives of 87 personalities who shaped Kerala’s future including Sankaracharya, St.Thomas, Ay Andiran and more. The museum also has a light and sound show with English and Malayalam commentaries. The dolls museum depicts the various cultural traditions and dances of the country through 150 dolls.
Hill Palace Museum, Kochi
This is Kerala’s first-ever heritage museum and it lines up an impressive collection of oil paintings, sculptures, manuscripts of the Kochi royal family. It is also a full-fledged ethno-archaeological museum now. The museum also has some antique ceramics of the ancient civilisations and a gallery for contemporary art.
Kerala Folklore Museum, Kochi
The Kerala Folklore Museum, a unique architectural museum in South India, offers a glimpse into the culture of the layman in the past centuries. The place is also known for its Kerala-style architecture, with its kalvilakku and elephant statues at the entrance. The museum has a huge collection of woodwork featuring Kerala’s ancient carpentry and the State’s rich folklore.