Collection of the museum
Most of the museum pieces used to belong to the royal family and the Paliam family. The crown worn by the erstwhile kings of the Kochi dynasty is displayed in the Cabinet Hall. It is a fascinating item weighing 1.75 kg and studded with emeralds, rubies and diamonds. The chairs that were used by the royal family are also kept in this hall.
A portrait gallery is set up in the museum where the portraits of the Kochi Kings are displayed. The portraits have readily captured the elegance and the minutest of the royal regalia. Some Tanjore paintings too are on display and the judicious use of colours in those paintings make them worthy of preserving and exhibiting for generations. There is also a gallery displaying the contemporary art and it showcases paintings of Raja Ravi Varma among others.
The wood carvings gallery has a lot of valuable items on display, some dating back to the 14th century. Inscriptions by various Rajas, megalithic remains, crowns, ornaments etc of the bygone era have found a place in the gallery and it arrests the attention of anyone who is interested in history and antiques. Murals bought from the Enadimangalam Temple are a delight to watch. The beautiful wood carvings formed into figures like Nandikesan, the Nagaveena, Ganesha on a lotus etc are worthy of beholding. Various other sculptures and ivory items, crown, ornaments used by the kings and the women of the royal family etc are on display at separate galleries
There are other galleries such as porcelain, manuscripts and epigraphy galleries. Porcelain gallery has in store for you more than 150 objects used in royal or noble households or traditional Kerala houses. They include cups, pots and Chinese dishes and many other beautifully arranged antique porcelain objects.
Inscriptions on copper plates, stones and palm leaves are kept in the epigraphy gallery, whereas the numismatic gallery showcases coins of the bygone era from different countries.
And if you have seen the horse carts that belong to the bygone era only in movies, there is an opportunity to be acquainted with all kinds of horse carts from the 10th to 18th century in the museum.
Ancient weapons, musical instruments, bronze and silver items etc too are on display. There is also another imposing exhibit at the museum and it is nothing but grand model of the front of an elephant. The tusks of the elephant modelled in the museum are original ivory while its head and trunk are carved in rose wood.