Koyikkal Palace in Thiruvananthapuram
The Koyikkal Palace, situated far of away from the city, was actually built for Umayamma Rani of the Venad Royal Family who ruled the land between 1677 and 1684. The palace is a double stroreyed traditional nalukettu with slanting gabled roofs and an inner courtyard. Today, the palace houses a Folklore Museum and a Numismatics Museum set up by the Department of Archaeology. The Folklore Museum, a treasure house of quaint musical instruments, occupational implements, household utensils, models of folk arts etc., was set up in 1992. The exhibits here draw attention to the rich cultural background of Kerala. The exhibits include rare articles like Chandravalayam (not found in any other such museum in Kerala), a small percussion instrument used as an accompaniment while reciting the ballad Ramakathappattu (the story of Lord Sree Rama); and Nanthuni , a sweet sounding musical instrument made of wood and string used while singing the Onappattu and Nanthunippattu during Onam the harvest festival of Kerala. The Folklore Museum housed on the first floor of the palace also has a wide range of household utensils including wooden kitchenware, brass/copperware etc. representing the lifestyle of the Keralites during different periods. Thaliyola (old manuscripts), Chilambu (a sort of anklet) used by Umayamma Rani and Maravuri (dress material made of the bark of trees) etc. are well preserved here. Oorakkudukku a device for intellectual exercise used by the Yogis as a pastime, Gajalekshmi - a lamp representing the Goddess of prosperity - Lakshmi, seated on her elephant (this lamp is usually lighted at dusk and during the harvest season to welcome the goddess) are other interesting exhibits. The Kettuvillakku - a ceremonial lamp (artistically made out of coloured paper and locally available light wood splits/rails), lit during festivals at the Bhagavathy temples of Southern Kerala; a model of the most impressive of Theyyams - the Muthappan theyyam, a Patayani kolam model; the headgear and dress used by Ottanthulal artistes exhibited here give an insight into the performing as well as the ritual art forms of Kerala.