Rediscovering Kozhikode- Pazhassi Raja Museum

It’s always an enlivening experience rediscovering history, finding the stories behind, going through the singular materials once owned by people like us; of those who has owned a name for themselves and those of the common man who has gone through gains and pains, unfortunately not leaving a distinguishable name behind for us to rant about apart from their material possessions for us to glance through. Sharing here such an experience.

I had blogged about my love for Kozhikode and my weekly routine of rushing home after office. I rarely get time to take a pause and roam about in the city, rediscovering the happiness and curiosity. My new year activities started up on a slow pace and the first place I visited was Pazhassi Raja Archaeological Museum and Krishna Menon Art Gallery. It's been a long time I was longing to go there. When I asked some people about this place, nobody knew about it that well, it’s obvious that not much information is available online too, except the old promo videos by Kerala Tourism containing glimpses of the museum interiors. It's a small museum but I liked lending my ears to the story-full historic pieces pleading in silence, to get listened, quenching my eyes with the sight of monuments wrapped in real life stories and taking pride in the valour of the heroes of the by-gone era who inspires through the stories monumentalised. I spent time forgetting everything, enjoying the beauty of each piece of art. So I think I should write my version of the experience here.

You are ready visualising the museum through my words, aren't you?

I know you are interested. :P

The Tale Behind:

The museum located in East Hill, Kozhikode is managed by the Kerala State Archaeology Department and has got renovated. The Pazhassi Raja Museum building dates back to the year 1812 and was then known as East Hill Bungalow. Later the bungalow was converted to an archaeological museum and in 1980, it was renamed as the Pazhassi Raja Archaeological Museum.

Pazhassi Raja Archaeological Museum

Going Inside:

As you can see in the picture, the steps at the entrance takes you to the enclosed verandah at the first floor. Once the entry pass is taken we will be directed to a small hall from the verandah. I was pleased to enter the hall where the huge wooden doors welcomed me like a long awaited visitor. The cup boards that showcase the antiques reflects green.  There are metal sculptures from various temples and palaces, flower vases, wooden spoons, Kerala and European swords measuring instruments, various kinds of old traditional weighing scales, talapavs, bronze lamps, door locking system of the olden days and different kinds of coins. And when you look up, the wooden ceiling will tempt you to take a photograph.

But oops! Photographs are strictly banned inside Pazhassi Raja Museum! 

There was some other thing that drew my attention- the different handcuffs. I could hear the angered voices, anguished cries, complaints, disagreements and disappointments behind those handcuffs. The museum was not crowded and I took my own time checking out each and everything that the museum disclosed. From the hall, again to the sides of the veranda, displaying temple plans, ancient temple models and its cross sections. When half way through, we entered a room where huge funeral pots,urns and models of dolmen are displayed. There are also beads and stones from Indus Valley civilization.

From there to the ground floor through the spacious steps,  where we can see many stone carvings of Hindu Gods, Pranala, Veerakallu(aka hero stone is a memorial commemorating the honourable death of a hero in battle), Pulachikallu etc. And then back to the verandah where a huge, luxurious and beautifully adorned palanquin is seen as if it's there to rant about its importance in an era where roads didn't turn up and travelling was not motorised. Hope you got an idea about what to expect there. If you happen to spend time in Kozhikode, and if you like things historic, you should visit this place.

The building is surrounded by greeneries and adjacent to the museum stands the Krishna Menon Art Gallery and Museum, Kozhikode. I am not writing about it now since this post has become lengthier than expected. Words just spilled out unexpectedly. Couldn't help! ;)

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  1. Interesting. Your description painted a picture of museum. Don't know why photography is not allowed in museums :(

    1. Good to know that you got a picture from my description. Ya, it's sad that camera is banned.

  2. Liked knowing about this museum through would have so much history to it being so old!

  3. Hi,
    I like history and love historical museum, where I could feel the history. But I didnt know about this Museum and I really want to visit.

    Ever wonder why they prevent photography in museum ?

  4. HI Ash why don't you get into the old palaces and temples that are now getting destroyed.
    i have found out so many of them in kerala and most part of india
    the vanishing kav etc

  5. The forts and palaces selled to private parties etc


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