Thiruvananthapuram: Centuries old Koyikkal palace in Nedumangad here has been attracting historians and tourists alike for a long time. On the occasion of International Museum day on May 18, this historic place has great significance. This place is a visual treat to tourists as well as help students and historians to learn and research on tradition or history.
This museum has a beautiful gallery of antique pieces. These items are exhibited in 12 categories.
Koyikkal Palace displays historical evidence of Travancore from AD 1st century. History of 1,000 years long tradition is exhibited here as folklore items and sculpture.
Beautiful landscape of the old Travancore, ancient scripts, evidence of customs and rituals, traditional scales and weights, martial art, art, literature, coins and various things which reveal the life and culture of old Travancore society are displayed here. Apart from this, other subjects like music, traditional jobs and agricultural system of this period are documented here according to the period with evidence.
The museum can accommodate over 500 people at a time. Recently, the central government renovated the palace by spending Rs 4 crore. The museum is administrated by the state archaeological department.
The palace is a two storey building. The numismatics museum is the most important one here. This museum has the largest ancient coin collection in South India. In the numismatics museum, coins from Rome belong to AD 1st century have great importance.
‘Pathayakettu’ and ‘Mudrakettu’ used by tribal people for communication are also displayed here. These are knots made of small strings which used to alert people on attacks and help escape from the enemies.
A mini theatre which exhibit traditional art forms of Kerala is another speciality of the museum. Apart from Theyyam and Thira, centuries old art forms of Kerala will be exhibited in the theatre.
Guides are deployed in the museum to assist the visitors to clear their queries. Over 100 students are visiting the museum every day to clear doubts and for research purpose.
The beautiful palace was constructed at Nedumangad here during the 1670’s when Umayamma Rani was the regent of Venad. Historic sources revealed that the ancient palace was constructed to defend Travancore royal family from the attack of Mukilan, a Mughal warlord. An underground tunnel was constructed inside Koyikkal palace to arrive at Kilimanoor palace. Historians recovered evidence of this tunnel.
The numismatics museum and folklore museum was established in the palace in 1992. But unfortunately, the palace which constructed in 3 acre land is subjected to illegal encroachments. The compound wall and land close to the palace became encroached. As the palace has no proper security, anyone can invade into the compound.
It is also alleged that there is no strong room inside the vaults of the palace.
Visitors are allowed to enter the palace from 9 am to 4.30 pm. Mondays are a closed holiday for the palace. Students on tour from schools in groups will get concession in ticket rates if they submit an official letter from the school authority.