Thiruvananthapuram: Koyikkal Palace, an architectural marvel in Nedumangad (about 18 km from the Kerala capital) with a numismatic and folklore museum housed in it, was opened for public today. The palace had remained closed for four years for renovation.
Built in the traditional Kerala ‘nalukettu’ style, the two-storey structure with sloping gabled roofs and spacious rooms laid out around an open central courtyard, the mansion was built for regent queen Umayamma Rani of Venad royal family in 17th century. The palace has also been a tourist attraction of south Kerala since the state Archaeology Department took over its upkeep in 1980.
Ramachandran Kadannappally, Minister for Archaeology and Archives, who opened the renovated palace and museum, said that the State Government has given administrative sanction for Rs 66 lakh for the second phase of renovation of the palace. “Heritage museums are the symbols of the bygone era and the young generation should show interest in learning about the cultural heritage of the country,” the Minister said in his address. He also released a brochure on the Palace Museum by handing over its first copy to Chettachal Sahadevan, Chairman, Nedumangad Municipal Corporation.
Presiding over the function, C. Divakaran, MLA, noted that the palace needed a proper security system as the museum has rare ancient coins and priceless folklore objects. He also suggested setting up a research centre at the palace to enable scholars from all over the world to come and study the heritage of the region.
A report on the renovation presented on the occasion noted that though the state had submitted an estimate of Rs 5 crore to the Centre for the project, the entire amount was not sanctioned and the state had to provide Rs 3. 49 crore for the work in 2013. Of this, Rs 2, 250, 0000 had already been spent so far. The Archaeology Department is yet to get the second installment of the Central fund, he said.
The heritage museum has been functioning at the Palace since 1992. The gallery consists of rare coins from various civilizations, including ancient Rome, throwing light into the maritime and mercantile ties of the region with the outside world.
The museum is also a treasure house of folklore fripperies; ancient domestic equipment; traditional and quaint music instruments, weapons and a wide range of other objects of antiquity. The renovation was carried out by Keralam- Museum of History and Heritage, the nodal agency of the state Government for such works.