GR Travels

Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda Museum

With an antiquity of about 5000 years, Ayurveda remains natures best remedy for a wide range of health problems. Keralas traditional wisdom in healthcare to a great extent is based on the principles of Ayurveda. Making a strong come back in the modern era, Ayurveda has more takers than ever before. Talking about Ayurveda, in Kerala, visitors can check out a museum established and maintained by one of the leading names in Ayurveda the Ashtavaidyan Thaikkattu Mooss Vaidyaratnam Group of Institutions. The Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda Museum is situated at Thaikkattussery, near Ollur in Thrissur District of Kerala, India. Here, visitors would come across the richness, the variety and the evolution of Ayurveda in India. The foundation stone for the museum was laid by Matha Amruthanandamayi on 12 April 2005 and opened to the public by the former president of India, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam on 27 December 2013. The museum is also a memorial of the Centenary celebrations of the founder of Vaidyaratnam, Sri. E. T. Neelakandan Mooss, who himself is a living legend of Ayurveda in India. Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda Museum is housed in an old traditional spacious two stored main building. The museum has a Kerala traditional Nalukettu, Saraswathi Mandapam, Smruthi Mandapam and a modern theatre at an elevated 2 Acres ground near Vaidyaratnam corporate office. The main Museum has separate galleries of diorama presentations about the history of Ayurveda from mythological, Vedic, Sahitha, Sangraha, Medieval period to Kerala Ayurveda tradition in separate room with footnotes. Kayachikitsa (general medicine), Balachikitsa (paediatrics), Graha Chikitsa (psychiatry),Oordhvanga Chikitsa (ophthalmology and otorhinolaryngiology), Salya Chikitsa (surgery), Damshtra Chikitsa (clinical toxicology), Jara Chikitsa (rejuvenation therapy) and Vrusha Chikitsa(reproductive medicine) the various branches of Ayurveda are displayed in exhaustive detail. In first floor, 3D gallery for traditional education, treatments, medicine manufacturing and its present developments, collection of raw herbs used for Ayurvedic medicines with descriptions, a library with huge collection of scripts and texts used by Ashtavaidyas and a Multimedia Touch Screen digital Library with large collection of videos of Kerala Ayurvedic treatments and digital palm leaf manuscripts are arranged. There are exhibits manifesting the facts and myths associated with the history and evolution of Ayurveda. The various modalities observed during the yesteryears of Ayurveda and the contemporary period spring to life here. But the audio-visual theatre, depicting the origin, growth and development of Ayurveda with a facility to accommodate 40 persons at a time is undoubtedly the show-stopper. More over the museum buildings itself is a 100 years old, rich architectural heritage of Kerala.      Book Now



Basilica of our lady of dolours

Kerala Lalithakala Akademi, established in 1962, with the objective of conserving and promoting visual arts: painting, sculpture, architecture, and graphics, is an autonomous cultural organization of the Government of Kerala.Those who have steered the course of history since its inception 28/11/62, are magnetic personalities in their chosen fields. The line traces its history back to the great artist Raja Ravi Varma, as his son M Rama Varma Raja chaired the first committee. Ever since, celebrities have presided over its undertakings and projects.The Kerala Lalithakala Akademi Complex, designed by the renowned architect Lauri Baker, has the stamp of Keralas indigenous architecture. The head-office complex graces the cultural capital of Kerala with its Art Gallery, Reference Library, Archives, and Guest House.Durbar Hall Art Centre, Kochi, is a gallery non-parallel in South India. Exquisitely designed for lighting and display, this heritage building from the Maharajas of Kochi is a prestigious gallery of the Akademi. The Akademi has art galleries in various places around the State including Thiruvananthapuram, Kilimanoor, Kayamkulam, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Kodungalloor, Nedumbassery, Kaladi, Malampuzha, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Thalassery,Kanjangadu and Mananthavaadi.At its headquarters, Thrissur, the Akademi has its own archives as well as a documentation centre. Durbar Hall Art Centre, Ernakulam, one of the most spectacular art gallery in South India, CARE at Ernakulam, a unique reference library and research centre, cultural centre featuring the works of Raja Ravi Varma at Kilimaanoor, art village at Kakkananpara in Srikandapuram located in the district of Kannur, and cartoon museum at Kayamkulam adds to the assets of the Akademi.       Book Now



Kerala Lalithakala Academy

The Palace of Shakthan Thampuran located in the district of Thrissur is a landmark in the annals of the Perumpadappu Swaroopam, the former ruling dynasty of Kochi. The palace located in the heart of Thrissur town is a major attraction, especially for those with a special interest on rulers and dynasties. At the Shakthan Thampuran Palace, one can come across and understand several interesting and remarkable aspects of the erstwhile rulers of Kochi.Historians consider the reign of King Rama Varma Shakthan Thampuran (AD 1790-1805) popularly known as Shakthan as the golden era of Kochi. At a very young age itself, Shakthan Thampuran demonstrated extraordinary intelligence and bravery. During his reign, he maintained cordial relations with European powers including the English and also with rulers of neighbouring regions like Mysore and Travancore. Shakthan Thampuran was a farsighted ruler, whose outstanding administrative skills and diplomacy resulted in admirable achievements in key sectors.Situated close to the famous Vadakkumnathan Temple in Thrissur, the Shakthan Thampuran Palace formerly known as Vadakkechira Kovilakam was renovated by Shakthan Thampuran in its present form. According to the territorial expansion of erstwhile Kochi dynasty, the Shakthan Palace was its Northern most located one. The palace, built in the Dutch and Kerala style of architecture belongs to the few structures of this kind in Kerala. The main structure of the palace has a two-storeyed building and a traditional Kerala style Naalukettu. High roofs, extra thick walls, spacious rooms and floors paved with finely smoothened Italian marbles are some of the structural specialities of this palace. The interiors of the palace, because of its unique construction offer comfortable and pleasant staying conditions irrespective of the prevailing weather conditions. The palace also has a very ancient Sarpakaavu or Serpent Grove, which is a place for worshipping the serpents according to Hindu belief, and was once widely practiced in Kerala. Located on the Southern side of the Shakthan Palace is the Heritage Garden prepared recently to exhibit and preserve some of the indigenous plants and trees of Kerala. There is also an archaeological garden situated in the Northeastern part of the palace, where one could find collections from the Stone Age found from the outskirts of Thrissur.The Shakthan Palace, which was recently renovated by the State Archaeology Department with financial assistance from Kerala Tourism, also houses an elaborate museum. The museum houses some interesting galleries like the Bronze gallery, where one can find bronze statues belonging to the period between the 12th and the 18th centuries; a Sculpture gallery displaying granite statues from the 9th century to the 17th century; and the Epigraphy gallery showcasing the genesis and evolution of ancient writings.Other galleries of interest in the museum here include, the one for Household Utensils made of bronze and copper, used by the rulers of Kochi; the Numismatics gallery, which systematically displays ancient coins, which were in circulation in the erstwhile province of Kochi and neighbouring regions; and the History gallery depicting some of the milestones of the Kochi dynasty; and a Megalithic gallery exhibiting remains of the great Stone Age.      Book Now



Shakthan Thampuran Palace

The Thiruvambady Temple and Thrissur Pooram festival are today almost synonymous to the general public. However the latter is the climax to the sustained round the year activities of divine worship aimed at providing a spiritual avenue for peace, tranquility and mental uplift of thousands of devotees far and near.The temple is located 1 km north of the Vadakkunnathan Temple and 800m from Swaraj Round, on the Shornur Road. It is only 10mts drive from Thrissur Railway Station and Bus stand. The Punkunnam Railway station, which is a C-grade station, is only 250 mtrs from the temple. In physical appearance the temple is a small one; but in quality and immensity of rites of worship, it stands on a par with the Mahakshethras here.The main deity at Thiruvambady is Unnikrishna (Lord Krishna in infant form). Goddess Bhagavathy is consecrated in a shrine just on the left of Lord Krishna and worshipped with equal ardour.Lord Ganesha, Dharmasastha and the founders of the temple are worshipped in separate shrines outside the Nalambalam.Deities known by Dravidian names Kukshi Ayyapa, Manikanda, Ghandakarna, Raktheswari and Bhairava are also enshrined here, just outside the walls of the temple. The idol of Krishna, now worshipped here, was originally the Parthasarathy idol in a temple at Edakkalathur, a sleepy hamlet, about 15km from Thrissur. The temple had the same name Thiruvambady and there were many shrines too, for Bhagavathy, Sastha etc. Some four centuries ago, when life and property in the village were threatened by communal conflagration, some villagers under the cover of darkness, surreptitiously carried the idol to Thrissur and entrusted the same to a pious Namboodiri couple at Kachanappilly Illam, 200mtrs from the present Thiruvambady temple. The childless couple considered it a blessing in disguise from the Almighty and as they fostered the idol for worship, they felt it was their own unborn child. The benevolent Lord who appears before a devotee in the form he wants, opted to cast aside Partha Sarathys whip and to pick up the flute in one hand and extended the other to receive the butter of devotion from the foster parents. A small temple in the form of a sala was erected 200mtrs, South of Kachanappally Illam and Unnikrishna was enshrined.      Book Now



Thiruvambadi-Temple

Interestingly there is a public road across the zoo which separates the zoo into two! To reach the rear section, you need to cross an over bridge across the road. Zoo & Museum offers an amazing experience for children and research students. The small Art Museum within the zoo compound is superb example of wood carvings, metal sculptures, Kathakali figures, ancient jewellery and a wonderful collection of traditional Kerala lamps. It also houses a large number of historic items such as swords, jewellery, rocks, stuffed butterflies, etc.Thrissur (formerly the Trichur Zoo) is a 13.5-acre (5.5 ha) zoo that opened in 1885 in the heart of the city. It is one of the oldest zoos in the country, and is home to the wide variety of animals, reptiles, and birds. The zoo compound includes a natural history museum and an art museum that showcase the socio-cultural heritage of the region. The zoo includes a Zoological Garden, Botanical Garden, Art Museum, and Natural History Museum in its compound. Wildlife at the Thrissur zoo includes tigers, lions, deers, sloth bears, monkeys, hippopotamus, camels, cobras, kraits, vipers, rat snakes, pink flamingos, mithun of the north-eastern hills, and lion-tailed macaques. There is also a special building which houses snakes. Working Hours : 10am to 5pm. Wednesdays upto 1pm. Thrissur Zoo is a major attraction for children and students with a variety of animals.      Book Now



Thrissur-Zoo

Thrissur Zoo or State Museum & Zoo, Thrissur (formerly the Trichur Zoo) is a 13.5-acre (5.5 ha) zoo that opened in 1885 in the heart of Thrissur City, Kerala, India. It is one of the oldest zoos in the country, and is home to the wide variety of animals, reptiles, and birds. The zoo compound includes a natural history museum and an art museum that showcase the socio-cultural heritage of the region. The Thrissur Zoo is 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the Thrissur City center and is open from 10:00 AM till 5:15 PM, except Mondays. Still and video cameras are allowed in the park for a fee.      Book Now



Vadakkumnatha Temple

This Hindu temple, along with the mural paintings found here, has been declared as a national monument by the Indian government, under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act. According to popular legend, this is the first temple built by Parasurama, the sixth incarnation of Maha Vishnu. Tekkinkadu ground, encircling the Vadakkumnathan temple, is the main venue of the Thrissur Pooram. Non Hindus are not allowed to enter the temple. In the year 2012, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had recommended 14 sites, including the Vadakkumnathan temple and palaces from Kerala to be included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Vadakkumnathan temple is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Kerala, located in the heart of Thrissur city. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed that the Vadakkumnathan temple was built by Parashurama. The temple showcases the classic architectural style of Kerala. The interior of the temple is beautifully decorated with murals depicting the episodes from Mahabharata. The story of the origin of the Vadakkumnathan temple is that, Parasurama exterminated the Kshatriyas twenty one times. In order to remove the sin, he performed a yagna, at the end of which he gave away all his land to Brahmans as dakshina. He wanted to retire to some new land to do tapas and so he requested God Varuna to throw up a new piece of land from the sea. According to another version, some sages approached him at the end of the yagna to give them some secluded land. Parasurama then made a request to Varuna for their sake. Varuna gave him a winnow and asked him to hurl it into the sea. As he did, a large territory of land was thrown up by the sea. This territory that rose out of the sea was Kerala.      Book Now


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