Camera from 1922, 'ottuvilakku' lamp, 'ezhuthaani' stylus... this new Palakkad museum has a lot to offer

The museum exhibits include 125 types of tokens used by banks, petromax lamps, railway tickets and more. Photo: Manorama

Years of meticulous work has resulted in a railway official establishing an exhaustive heritage museum, which gives more than a peep into the past, at his home in Palakkad district’s Mankara. Undoubtedly, K R Praveen’s vast collection of relics of bygone eras and antiques is an envy of any historian and history enthusiast. The museum is a minefield of information as the story behind each historical exhibit is documented in detail. 

The museum is a dream come true for Praveen who is working as a Crew Controller with the Palakkad Railway Division. All the invaluable objects were collected by Praveen personally or through his friends over a period of 26 years. Interestingly, some of them were found amidst trash. The amount of money and time spent is setting up the museum may have been astronomical but it was worth the effort, says Praveen. 

Numismatists can have a great time at the facility as it boasts of a huge collection of coins and currencies. The visitors can browse through coins belonging to the British India and East India Company eras, Republic India coins and currencies, coins of 197 foreign countries, world’s smallest and largest currencies, coins and currencies wrongly minted and printed, and silver coins.  

The museum exhibits include 1cm long ‘Rasarasika’ book, ballot box used in the first elections, the Sikhs’ ‘kirpan’, railway tickets, platform tickets, railway tickets issued to children, half railway tickets, railway tickets given to soldiers, different types of post cards and inlands, ‘Anchal’ cards, 125 types of tokens used by banks, petromax lamps, cameras, traditional lamps called ‘ottu vilakku’, worker’s token of Bombay-Cochin Port Trust, USA Company’s field camera dating back to 1922, single-double lens cameras, ‘ezhuthani’  and telephones used in offices of Army, among others. 

Praveen’s family members are giving full support to him. His son Alok, who is a Class 3 student of Ottapalam Kendriya Vidyalaya, is also following his father’s footsteps. 

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