Arakkal Palace, Kannur | Kerala, India

10:30 am, Friday, 24th October 2014: I have come out of the St Angelo fort;  the plan to visit the Moppila Bay was dropped. A gentleman to whom I inquired about the route to Arakkal Museum, one of the top attractions in Kannur, gave me the directions and advised me to walk – as I am new to this place, walking through the street will help me know this place better, he believes. Arakkal Palace is about 2 km from here.


A scene from Kannur

a scene from Kannur


 

Sultanate of Lakshadweep and Cannanore popularly known as Arakkal Kingdom is the  sole Muslim ruling dynasty of Kerala. The ruling King and Queen were titled as “Ali Raja” and “Arakkal Beevi” respectively. Arakkal family followed matriarchal system (marumakkathayam) like other Hindu Kingdoms of the Kerala state. Sultan Arakkal Sainaba Aishabi is the current head of the erstwhile kingdom. Arakkal Palace which is now convereted into a museum was purchased from the Dutch (St Angelo fort was gifted to Ali Raja by the Dutch). The Palace overlooks the Arabian Sea with the shore being just across the road. The artifacts are well maintained and interior of the palatial building is very much clean. Information boards in English and Malayalam help the visitors to understand this place better.  The footwear needs to be removed before you enter and there is a fee for entry and camera

Related: Jamia Masjid, Srinagar: Where Kashmir’s Muslims come to pray

Arakkal Palace, Kannur


 

Arakkal Palace, Kannur


 

A section of the museum displays information about the immense contribution of Dutch for Kerala. Hortus Malabaricus by Hendrik van Rheede, then Governor of Dutch Malabar is a detailed guide about the medicinal values of the plants of Kerala. Itty Achudan Vaidyan was a major contributor for Hortus Malabaricus. The Dutch had also setup Kerala’s first Leprosy hospital at Pallippuram, Ernakulam.

You can read more about Dutch Malabar from the below links

The Dutch Power in Kerala, 1729-1758 by M. O. Koshy

Dutch in Kerala

The Dutch in Malabar: being a translation of selections nos. 1 and 2 (1911)

Another section displays Modern Art. I am not belittling the hard work of artists, but I strongly feel that this is not the place to exhibit them. As we enter Arakkal Palace, in fact any monument/place, our mind and brain gets conditioned based on its features and historical significance. Here, soothing smell of Attar, or rather a Gazal performance is expected; a display of modern art totally confuses the conditioned mind. I hope these paintings which are based on some very relevant social issues will be moved to a place where it can be enjoyed or rather evaluated in its true sense rather than being placed as filler in a Palace.


Arakkal Palace, Kannur


 

Arakkal Palace, Kannur


 

Arakkal Palace, Kannur


 

Arakkal Palace, Kannur


 

Arakkal Palace, Kannur


 

Arakkal Palace, Kannur


 

Arakkal Palace, Kannur


 

Arakkal Palace, Kannur


 

Arakkal Palace, Kannur


 

Arakkal Palace, Kannur


Arakkal Palace, Kannur

🙂


 Arakkal Palace – a set on Flickr

After learning about the history of Arakkal, I caught a bus to Parassini Kadavu (~20km from Kannur city). I visited Sree Muthappan Temple and Snake Park at Parassini Kadavu later that day

 

Author: Sreejith Vijayakumar

Have a great liking for travelling and learning about different cultures and communities. Strongly believe that world is a wonderful place to live in.

8 thoughts

  1. Hi Brother, Superb article about the Arakkal Palace. Nice descriptions and perfect image combinations. Super light caring in photos also. In all ways an excellent collection about Arakkal.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like the photos in this post – especially the black and white ones. Thanks for the review, it looks like an interesting place to visit with history behind it – gosh, the Dutch was every where – Indonesia was one of Dutch colonies too in the past..

    Liked by 1 person

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