The Koyikkal Palace, Thiruvananthapuram

The Koyikkal Palace is situated in Nedumangad, about 18 km from Thiruvananthapuram City on the way to the Ponmudi hill station and the Courtalam waterfalls, Thiruvananthapuram district, South Kerala. The Koyikkal Palace was built by Umayamma Rani of the Venad Royal Family, is a double storey nalukettu (traditional Kerala home). It was the official residence of the ruler of ‘Perakatharvazhi’. The exhibits here draw attention to the rich cultural background of Kerala. Today, the palace is regarded as a heritage structure and comprises the Numismatics Museum and the Folklore Museum, both of which were established by the Department of Archaeology.

The Folklore Museum housed on the first floor of the palace, has a wide collection of quaint musical instruments, occupational implements, household utensils, models of folk arts etc. The exhibits include articles like Chandravalayam (a small instrument used while reciting the Ramakathappattu), and Nanthuni, Thaliyola, Chilambu used by Umayamma Rani and Maravuri (dress material made of the bark of trees), Oorakkudukku, Gajalekshmi, Kettuvillakku etc. Models of Muthappan Theyyam, a Patayani kolam model, and headgear and dress used by Ottanthulal artistes are also exhibited here.

The Numismatics Museum, occupying the ground floor of the palace, displays coins belonging to different periods of time. The exhibits are some of the oldest coins like – Karsha, Ottaputhen, Erattaputhen, Kaliyugarayan Panam etc. A Venetian coin named Amaida, believed to have been presented to Jesus Christ, is also a property of this museum. These are nearly 2500 years old.

Rasi, Sreekrishna Rasi, Anantharayan Panam – the first modern gold coin of Travancore, Kochi Puthen – one of the coins of the Kochi Kingdom, Lekshmi Varaham – the silver coins minted in Travancore, Rasi Palaka (the coin board) – a wooden board with small niches used to count small coins (counting up to 100 to 200 at a time), coin mints etc., are preserved here. Nearly 374 Roman gold coins, depicting Roman Gods and Goddesses like Venus, Hercules, Mars, Ceres, Genius, etc., and rulers like Hardin are also among the collection. The museum also has coins used by various Indian dynasties – the Gwalior Royal Family, the Nizam of Hyderabad, Tipu Sultan, Hyder Ali, etc.

The Koyikkal Palace is an ideal destination for those who are interested in understanding the traditional architecture of Kerala as well as its historic aspects.

Image Courtesy : Aneesh@picasaweb, divya.

Content Courtesy :Yentha.com.

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