Kollengode Palace and Museum, Thrissur, Kerala - a historical legacy of Kollengode Dynasty

Kollengode palace, Thrissur.upload.wikimedia.org

Above image: Kollemkode palace, Chembookkavu, Thrissur, Kerala, India, built in 1904 by Raja of Kollengode.  The ruler had a good rapport with the British Raj. Now it is an Archaeological  museum dedicated to the heritage of Kerala and mural paintings, etc......................

 Kollengode Palace,Thirussuavalshe9.blogspot.com

The Kollengode Palace in  Udaya Nagar, Chembukkav, Thrissur city is different from  the original Kollengode  (Kalari kovilakam) in Palakkad and visitors to Kerala often mistake the one for the other. The one at Thrissur built by the Raja of Kollengode, Vasudeva Raja in 1904 was gifted by him to his daughter. Kollengode was once the seat of power ruled by  Kollengode dynasty Vengandu Swaroopam also  went by the name of the name of  Vengandu Nambidi’s; they ruled  eastern side of Palakkad and they got the title of ''Raja'' from   Hyder Ali, then ruler of Mysore and father of Tipu Sultan.  The Valluvakonathiri (ruler of Valluvanad), the rulers of Vengunad (Kollengodu Rajas)  and Sekhari Varma (Raja of Palakkad) were popular rulers of this region, after the  Cherman Perumals.

Kollengode palace,and Museum, Thrissur.keralatourism.travel 

 Kollengode palace, Thrissurreachkerala.com

Characterized by a  simple blend of native architecture and European design elements, it is not a highly embellished palace of  north Indian states. Nor does it look huge and grand in style. Nope.  The distinctive aspect of  palaces in SW Indian state of Kerala is its ''elegance in simplicity.''  They are  impressive, inspiring  and cool to our eyes  as they are in sync with native culture and  terrain, ghat area that gets lots of rain during the monsoons.  The slopping  tiled roof and gables at certain places  and elaborate use of wood in the form of rafters, pillars, beams and cross beams, etc.,  make them stand apart. The masonry walls are thick that  gives  the structure a strong base. The extended  sloping roof over the windows, balcony, etc., gives extra protection to the walls as well as to the wooden structure in he rainy seasons.  Set in the midst of a garden with trees and plants all around, the interiors are cool.   As it was wont in the past and also in the present,  this palace was designed and  built based on Vastsu Sastras.

Kollengode palace, Thrissur. .onmanorama.com

Kollengode palace and Museum, Thrissur.keralatourism.travel 

Kollengode palace and museum. Thrissur.pazhayathu.blogspot.com

After the Department of Archaeology, Kerala in 1975 acquired the property they  converted it into  a heritage museum dedicated mainly to Kerala.  After that period, in 2009  they introduced a Mural gallery  (Chuvarchitra Kala Museum)  section that includes beautiful murals amazing  paintings, manuscripts and inscriptions.  The Kerala Lalithakala Akademi  was instrumental in installing  sculptures made of terracotta, marble and cement at the museum. This was done to highlight the  tradition of Thrissur, its art and cultures.  The Mural Art Museum was functioning in the Town Hall building Thrissur.

The museum replicates some of the rarest mural paintings in its purest form.  the collections include those from  the Mattancherry Palace, Pundarikapuram Temple, Kanjoor Church.   Also included are vintage oldest sketches of the holy places like Badarinath, Rameshwaram, Kasi and Kanyakumari.

he Palace houses a gallery of murals from all over Kerala and preserves a rare treasure of Veera Kallu, temple models, palm manuscripts , some personal collections  of Vasudeva Raja, life-size statues of eminent personalities, a megalithic collection  of earthen pots, Nannangadi (urn burials) black and red wares, black wares russet-coated wares, stone age tools, etc  from Indus Valley Civilisation and Harappa and Cheraman Parambu (Kodungallur).  Rare collections of  stone sculptures dating from the 7th century to the 10th century and bronze sculptures dating from the 12th century to the 18th century.

It was in April 2013 the state government sanctioned Rs. Rs 5.21 crore towards its renovation and conversion into a heritage museum dedicated mainly to Kerala. The government and the conservationists restored the  old palace structure back to glory  without making any changes to the architecture of the existing building.  A major plan was on the anvil to start such a museum at Sreepadam Palace at Thiruvananthapuram, Velu Tampi Dalawa Memorial Museum at Pathanamthitta and Pazhassi Kudeeram at Wayanad. The archaeological and heritage museums at Bastian Bungalow in Fort Kochi  and construction work took roots during this period- 2013. 

A word of appreciation for the Kerala government, this project was as part of its  major  plan to construct heritage museums in all districts that will benefit the posterity. Unfortunately, many Indian states never give importance to heritage aspect and only in the past four or five years the awareness among the other states has gone up to preserve and safeguard our deep-rooted cultural ethos and heritage.

Museum: timing. Open on all days except Mondays and National holidays from 9.00 am to 4.30 pm.

Nearest airport : Cochin International Airport, about 58 km to the south