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Arakkal Kettu Museum- 9 Things to Know Before Visiting


About Arakkal Kettu Museum

Arakkal Museum (also known as Arakkal Kettu/ Arakkal Palace) was the residence of the former Arakkal Ali Rajas, the only Muslim royal family of Kerala. The museum is located in Ayikkara Mapila Bay, about three kilometres from Kannur Town of Kerala State in Southern India. The museum now displays numerous artefacts and ornaments belonging to the Rajas and it is protected by Archeological and Tourism Departments.

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The Arakkal Kettu comprises many independent units around a large open courtyard. It includes a mosque and a building which was once used as an administrative office. The structure was built of laterite blocks and wood and most of the rooms in the palace have intricate woodwork. The palace has long Verandahs in the front that speaks of a combination of local architecture with a colonial touch.

The main palace building is two stories and the upper floor has large halls with wooden floors. The double shutters windows of the palace have coloured glass panels that look amazing when they catch the light. One of the rooms is considered sacred and a lamp is present there which is always lit. Such lamps are called Kedavilakku (the lamp that never extinguishes) and are prominently present in the Hindu community of Kerala. 

Museum and its exhibits

The main building of the palace complex houses the museum opened by the government of Kerala in 2005. It mainly exhibits the artefacts and heirlooms of the royal family which includes the family seal, Pathayam (a wooden box to store grain), a document box and a lot more. The royal copies of the Holy Koran, an old-fashioned telephone, swords and daggers used by the rulers, and an old telescope are also on display. There are many other items too such as royal chairs and furniture, glass wares etc.

Apart from these, some exhibits stand as testimonies to the Arakkal Raja's relationship with European colonial powers as well as those relating to their maritime activities and spice trade.

History of Arakkal Kettu Museum


Arakkal Kettu Museum reflects the history of Arakkal Kings and Queens. The Arakkal Ali Rajas are believed to have their lineage from the Nair caste of the Kolathiri Rajas (ruler of Kolathundu, a feudal kingdom in North Kerala) who later converted to Islam with the name Mammali. A story about Mammali is that he once saved a girl from the royal family of Kolathiri Rajas from drowning. Consequently, she was declared an outcast and Mammali married the girl. The Kolathiri Rajas granted her land at Kannur and the palace Arakkal Kettu as dowry.

The prominent times of the Rajas

The Arakkal family were well-known rulers of Kannur and adjoining areas. They once ruled most parts of Malabar (North Kerala) and the Lakshadweep Islands as well. The family and their kingdom had good relationships with the Mysore Kings Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan who invaded much of North Kerala regions in the 1700s. They also had a good rapport with the Dutch and the Sultan of Bijapur (parts of present-day Karnataka State). When the British conquered the Mysore Kingdom during the last decade of the 18th century, the Arakkal Family had to surrender their land to the British. The Arakkal Kett, which used to be the family's administrative headquarters later became the office of the collector of Malabar during British times. 

The rulers and their descent

One of the unique things about the family is that when it comes to ruling and administration, there was no gender difference. They followed the matriarchal system of descent and admitted both males and females as heads of the family and the state. The male rulers were called Ali Rajas and the females were called Arakkal Beevis

The present day Arakkal Kettu

Today, although the palace is renovated by the government, the Arakkal Kettu is owned by the Arakkal Royal Trust and does not fall under the control of the country's archaeological department- the Archeological Survey of India. The government had taken a keen interest in preserving the heritage of the Arakkal Kettu and the family which had played a prominent role in the history of North Kerala.

Best Time to Visit Arakkal Kettu Museum


The museum is generally not crowded so visiting at any time wont be a problem. Note that the museum is closed on Mondays though.

Interesting Facts and Trivias About Arakkal Kettu Museum

  1. Arakkal family is the only Muslim royal family in Kerala

How Much Time Did Visitors Spend at Arakkal Kettu Museum


Since Arakkal Museum is not so large, it can be explored easily in an hour.

How to Reach Arakkal Kettu Museum

The museum is only three kilometres away from Kannur Town from where you can get direct buses or you can take a taxi to reach. The nearest major railway station is in Kannur as well. Arakkal Museum is located in the Kannur district of Kerala State in Southern India.

Entrance Fee of Arakkal Kettu Museum

It costs INR 25 per person to visit Arakkal Museum. Additional INR 25 is charged for photography inside.

Opening Hours of Arakkal Kettu Museum

Arakkal Museum is open from 10 AM to 5 PM daily but closed on every Monday.

Attractions Near Arakkal Kettu Museum

St. Angelo Fort Kannur

St. Angelo Fort Kannur

0.95km from Arakkal Kettu Museum

St. Angelo Fort (also known as Kannur Kotta or Kannur Fort) is one of the most important seashore forts of Kerala. It is situated at the side of Ayikkara Mapila Bay on a cliff protruding into the Arabian Sea about three kilometres from the town of Kannur. The fort is one of the earliest structures of the Portuguese on the Malabar Coast.

Payyambalam Beach

Payyambalam Beach

3.27km from Arakkal Kettu Museum

One of the five beaches that are collectively known as "Kannur beach". Being right near to Kannur City, the beach is a popular spot. In addition to the beach, the area has monuments that commemorate the lives of political leaders who belonged to Kannur.

Muzhappilangad Drive in Beach

Muzhappilangad Drive in Beach

9.55km from Arakkal Kettu Museum

Muzhuppilangad Drive-in Beach is a 5.5 km long beach in the Kannur district of Kerala State in Southern India. This is the longest-drivable beach in India and one of the six best beaches for driving in the world according to BBC autos.

Dharmadom Island

Dharmadom Island

12.7km from Arakkal Kettu Museum

An island that can be accessed on foot during low tides.

Parassinikkadavu Snake Park & Mini Zoo

Parassinikkadavu Snake Park & Mini Zoo

14.5km from Arakkal Kettu Museum

Witness and interact with King Cobras, Vipers, Crocodiles and many other snakes and reptiles.

Thalassery Fort

Thalassery Fort

17.1km from Arakkal Kettu Museum

Thalassery Fort (also known as Tellicherry Fort) is a 17th-century fort in Thalassery town of Kannur District of Kerala State in Southern India. The fort was a stronghold of the British during their occupation of India and it lies on a low wooden hill running down to the sea, protected by waters.

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Forts, temples, beaches and wildlife sanctuaries and a long history of spice trade.

Where is Arakkal Kettu Museum

What Visitors Say About Arakkal Kettu Museum


1 Reviews

Nithin Mathew

Nithin Mathew

This small museum is dedicated to the Arakkal Family, the only Muslim royal family of Kerala. This is a privately held museum, owned by the royal trust and the museum is only a section of the Arakkal Palace, the court rooms to be exact.

It will take only an hour at most to explre the palace, and it was not crowded at all while we visited. The exhibits mainly include items from royal families posession.