There are many things to do, so many places to see when one travels to a new place. The internet is filled with the suggestions put forth by those who have visited that particular place. I had the opportunity to travel to Kochi on work related issues and keeping in mind the limited time available did visit a few places that this marvelous city offers. Here is an account of a gem of a place to visit, The Kerala Folklore Museum. Highly recommended for those who have an interest in history and beautiful artifacts, this place will definitely generate an interest to those who enters its doors.
The museum was conceived and built by a wonderful couple Mrs & Mr George Thaliath , hence is a completely private museum housing a cultural hub featuring more than 4000 cultural artifacts tracing the history of Kerala in particular and that of the Southern Region in general .
It was by a total stroke of luck that I chanced upon this place and spent a couple of hours admiring all that was showcased out there. The museum is privately owned as stated earlier and hence charges a nominal fee for admission. Spread over three floors, it is very tastefully and artfully decorated and conceptualized giving a deep glimpse into the cultural storyboard of Kerala centuries ago .
About the museum itself. Built over a span of 07 years using a composite team of over 60 artisans it is a monument of love and painstakingly recreated tribute to the glory of Kerala. Built entirely of wood it is based on three main architectural schools of thought : Malabar, Kochi and Travancore . It is these three guiding eras that played an architectural role in shaping and molding the rich cultural history of the land of Kerala.
The ground floor, right after the entrance comprises some excellent tribal art artifacts including wooden, stone and bronze sculpture, musical instruments, wood carvings, traditional paintings, jewelry, weapons, antique furniture etc. As the visitor wanders through the passageway one cannot help but being drawn into the world when once these were a part and parcel of the daily life and culture. Also situated on the ground floor is the face art section where one comes across multitudes of face masks which depict the various expressions used in the cultural and traditional dances, truly a engrossing section.
As I wandered through this floor I noticed the thought process of the people of those times whose world revolved around their belief in the Almighty above and in creating wonderful artifacts for daily use or for installation in places of worship with their own labour, there was no machine to do recreate their images which their mind visualized rather it was a labour of love.
The First floor named Kalithattu displays costumes of various traditional and ritual dance forms like Theyyam, Kathakali, Mohininattyam. As one wanders into the second floor aptly named Kanjadalam , one is confronted with fascinating mural paintings and a chiseled ceiling made of 60 frames. This antique temple ceiling overseeing the theatre where ritual dances, concerts are performed for visitors is adorned with over 333 wooden sculptures and transports the visitor into the world of the yesteryear thereby creating a powerful impact of the visual medium .
After wandering through the three floors , if one desires there are small stalls that sell mementos including some gorgeous traditional clothing and jewelry too to take back home for remembrance and for the loved ones .
So , if you are in Kochi, the Queen of the Arabian Sea and have the inclination to dwelve into some opulent magnificence , then do take a trip to the Kerala Folklore Museum.
|Getting there||Located near Thevera Ferry Junction. Stay at the nearby Ultra Luxurious Hotel Crowne Plaza , Kochi’s pride|
|Tickets||Camera fees are in addition to visitor fees|
|Takeaway||One can purchase souvenirs, antique art pieces, organic products , jewelry, textiles intrinsic to Kerala’s heritage and culture|
|Additional||The museum can also arrange additional heritage visits if contacted directly.|