It’s International Museum day! This day honours the value of museums around the world and appreciates the history of our ancestors. In this article, we will list down all the museums in Kerala that you should visit. You’d be surprised by the number of museums we have. Take a look.
Museum of Kerala History (Kochi)
Also known as Kerala Museum, this is one of the old art and history museums located in Kochi. If you want to know the cultural history of Kerala, this is the place to go. Did you know that this is Kerala’s first thematic and interactive museum?
Napier Museum (Trivandrum)
Close to the Trivandrum zoo, the Napier Museum got its name after Lord Napier, the former Governor-General of Madras. Apart from the collection of artistic, cultural and antique objects that hold historical value in the museum, this place is known for its architectural marvel. Mr Robert Chisholm, who was the consulting Architect of the Madras Government, designed this beautiful structure. It has been standing strong for more than 142 years.
Hill Palace Museum (Kochi)
Located east of Thripunithura, this place was originally the official residence of Cochin rulers since 1855. It is believed to be built by Ravi Varma. Believe it or not, the palace consists of 49 buildings. Yes, it’s that huge. You can visit the Hill Palace Archaeological Museum, Heritage Museum, Deer Park, Prehistoric Park and Children’s Park over here.
Arakkal Museum (Kannur)
The Arakkal Rajas once ruled Kannur and the areas around. They were the only Muslim royal family in Kerala. Around the 18th century, when the British conquered the Mysore kingdom, the Arakkal Rajas had to surrender power. Arakkal Museum is the palace in which they stayed.
Keralam Museum Of History And Heritage (Trivandum)
Head over to this museum in Trivandrum to witness archaeological pieces of evidence that belong to the Neolithic Age, burial accompaniments of the Iron Age, sculptures of gods and goddesses in bronze, wood and stone, and coins, murals and many more. The iconic Roman Dinari is kept there, showcasing Kerala’s trade with the Romans.
Bay Island Driftwood Museum (Kumarakom)
Kumarakom is home to a museum that houses a unique collection of driftwood sculptures. Raji Punnoose, who is the proprietor and curator of the museum, collected these pieces while she working as a teacher in the Andaman & Nicobar archipelago. Due to frequent cyclones, a lot of these old wooden pieces, scriptures, and roots would find their way to the shores. Raji collected them all and created a museum to preserve them.
Pazhassi Raja Archaeological Museum (Kozhikode)
Pazhassi Raja needs no introduction. If you go to Kozhikode, don’t forget to drop by this museum to witness a rich collection of historical artefacts from 1000 BC. You can also find Raja Ravi Varma’s iconic paintings here.
Kerala Folklore Museum (Kochi)
The Kerala Folklore Museum is built in a Malabar, Cochin and Travancore style of architecture. You will find interesting information about Kerala’s dance forms, artworks, theatre, and around 4000 artefacts.
Indo-Portuguese Museum (Fort Kochi)
This museum is situated on the premises of the Bishop’s House in Fort Kochi. If you are a fan of or curious about Indo-Portuguese culture, art and architecture in Kerala, you must visit this place.
Teak Museum (Malappuram)
The Malappuram district of Kerala has a museum dedicated to the importance of teak in Kerala’s culture. This is the first museum of its kind in the world. You’ll find a 480-year-old teak tree brought from Nagarampara Forest Range here.
Wayanad Heritage Museum (Wayanad)
This museum is also called the Ambalavayal Heritage Museum as it is situated in Ambalavayal. The artefacts in the museum show that we had a well-developed civilisation that survived in the mountains of Wayanad. There is also a gallery of the various soil types of Wayanad that you will find here.
Archaeological Museum of Thrissur
You’ll be surprised by the majestic architecture of this place. You’ll find some of the best murals in Kerala only at this museum.
State Soil Museum (Thiruvananthapuram)
The State Soil Museum is located on the first floor of the Central Soil Analytical Laboratory at Parottukonam, Thiruvananthapuram. It houses samples and soils that can be found in Kerala and have a special significance. It also has soil monoliths of the BenchMark Soils of the major land resource areas of all districts.
Footprints – Banking History Museum SBT (Thiruvananthapuram)
The State Bank of Travancore established the Footprints museum at Kowdiar to showcase the rich history of banking in Kerala. The museum is meant to take the visitor through the history of the bank and banking culture in Kerala. You will find cheque books, accounting ledgers, share certificates, share agreements and a collection of coins on display here.
Lockhart Tea Museum (Devikulam)
Lockhart Team Museum is part of the Lockhart Estate, which is one of the earliest tea plantations in Munnar. The museum houses photographs and machinery that were used in the early days of tea production. But a visit here is not just limited to the museum. Visitors can enter the factory and observe the various stages of tea processing. Both the museum and the factory are located on the slopes of Chokarmudy, one of South India’s highest peaks, so you can enjoy the breathtaking view too.
Islamic History Museum (Kodungallur)
The Islamic History Museum is located in the Cheraman Juma Masjid complex in Kodungallur. Cheraman Juma Masjid is believed to be the oldest mosque in India, built-in 629 AD by Malik bin Dinar. The museum showcases the history of Islam in Kerala through various artefacts and audio-visual displays.
Catholic Art Museum (Kochi)
Located next to the St Mary’s Basilica in Ernakulam, this museum will give you an insight into the history of Christianity in Kerala. Christianity is said to have come to Kerala soon after the death and resurrection of Christ and the artefacts in this museum showcase its journey through time in Kerala via art – from early styles that had more native influence to modern ones that has more of a European influence.
International Tourism Police Station And Police Museum (Kochi)
Located in Mattanchery, this museum exhibits the history of policing in Kerala. You will find police uniforms, weapons and arms arranged in chronological order from colonial times to today. The museum is located on the International Tourism Police Station’s premises. The International Tourism Police Station was established to help solve issues that tourists might face when they are in Kerala.
Shankar Memorial National Cartoon Museum & Art Gallery (Krishnapuram)
Kesava Shankara Pillai (popularly known as Shankar) is considered to be the father of political cartooning in India. Over his career, he took a dig at almost every political personality in India and this museum was established to display his works. A visit here will take you through Indian political history via cartoons.
Natural History Museum (Thiruvananthapuram)
This museum is said to have one of the most exhaustive collections among the Natural History Museums in India. The various displays in the museum depict different wild animals in their natural habitats; ranging from ants and termites to whales. The display of birds collected by the famous Ornithologist Dr Salim Ali during his study on Birds of Travancore and 20 million years old petrified wood fossils displayed near the entrance are the star attractions of this museum.
Thrissur District Heritage Museum (Thrissur)
The Thrissur District Heritage Museum is located in Chembukavu and houses a collection of artefacts that showcase the history of human settlement in Thrissur. History buffs will love the collection of artefacts from the Stone Age including earthen pots and burial urns (nannangadi). You can also visit the Kollangode dynasty’s summer palace that’s right next door.
Kunjali Marakkar Memorial Museum (Iringal)
This museum is located at Iringal in Koyilandi Taluk, Kozhikode. The building used to be the house of Kunjali Marakkar’s successors, who were the Samudiri’s (Zamorin’s) naval chieftains. The museum will give you an insight into the Marakkars. You’ll find artefacts such as the sword of Kunjali Marakkar, cannonballs from the era, and various war relics from the Samudiri era.
Krishna Menon Museum (Kozhikode)
Located right next to Pazhassi Raja Archaeological Museum, this museum is dedicated to Krishna Menon who was the Defense Minister of India. His personal belongings, souvenirs, and information about his contribution to the nation and Kerala are all available there.
Tea Museum (Munnar)
This is India’s first tea museum, operated by the Kanan Devan Hills Plantations Company Private Limited. If you want to know about the history of tea cultivation in Munnar since 1876, this is the right place to visit.
Revi Karunakaran Memorial Museum (Alappuzha)
This is a privately-owned museum that has antique collections of Swarovski crystal, porcelain, jade, ivory, Keralan artefacts, furniture, and Tanjore paintings. The Karunakaran family has a history of collecting precious stones, paintings and fine art. After Revi’s death, his wife Betty built this museum as an ode to him.
Koyikkal Palace (Trivandrum)
This is a folklore and a numismatics museum dedicated to the Umayamma Rani of the Venad Royal Family. This is the only place in Kerala where you will find a Chandravalayam, btw.
Sunil’s Wax Museum (Trivandrum)
A well-known wax sculptor Sunil Kandalloor opened his own museum to showcase his wax figurines. You will find wax figures of celebrities, politicians, freedom fighters, social reformers, sportspersons and newsmakers here.
There are quite a few museums in Kerala as you can see. We’re listing down the rest for you:
- Krishnapuram Palace (Alappuzha)
- Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda Museum (Thrissur)
- Strings Museum (Fort Kochi)
- Thunchan Memorial Trust and Research Centre (Malappuram)
- Sri Chitra Art Gallery (Trivandrum)
- Museum of the Word (Trivandrum)
- Kumarakom Craft Museum (Kumarakom)
- Deepanjali Lamp Museum (Kozhikode)
- Angadipetty -Kerala Ayurveda Museum (Idukki)
- Kirtads Museum (Kozhikode)
- Antique Museum (Kochi)
- Discs & Machines – Sunny’s Gramophone Museum (Plassanal)
- International Coir Museum (Alleppey)
- Indian Business Museum (Kozhikode)
- Regional Science Centre Planetarium (Kozhikode)
- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Police Museum (Kollam)
- Kerala Science and Technology Museum (Trivandrum)
- Kerala Biodiversity Museum (Trivandrum)
- Pareekshit Thampuran Museum (Kochi)
- Elephant Museum (Pathanamthitta)
Phew, that was a really long list of museums in Kerala!