Ambalavayal Heritage Museum
Ambalavayal, Kerala 673593, India
About Ambalavayal Heritage Museum
One of the largest collection of artefacts in Kerala is housed in the museum.
Ambalavayal Heritage Museum, also known as Wayanad Heritage Museum is an archaeological museum at Amabalayal in Wayanad district of Kerala state in Southern india. It houses one of the Kerala’s largest collection of the remnants of an age dating back to the 2nd century, representing the civilisation that existed in the forests of Wayanad.
The articles displayed are a fascination for the historian, archaeologists, and ordinary men alike. At the museum, you can see numerous stone weapons, stone carvings, fourteenth to sixteenth century models, ceramics of Megalithic Age, chasing gears, earth figures and other fascinating antiquities.
Formation of the museum
During 1986, extensive surveys were taken in Wayanad district under the leadership of the collector of the district, Shri Ravindran Thampi to excavate artefacts of archaeological relevance. The effort continued during the time of collector Shri Viswas Mehta at a time when the idea of having a heritage museum in every district of the country was discussed at the national level.
There are many places in Wayanad that are of great archaeological and anthropological relevance. Edkkal Caves was one of them and during the 1980’s there were large scale research and preservations attempts on these caves. The anthropologists who were engaged in the restorations collected countless artifacts from many places in the district such as Ambalavayal, Sulthan Bathery, Muthanga, Nalluvayal, Edethara etc.. Students from various colleges in the district also started participating in the sudies and collected relics from various regions of Malabar. Even the local population came out with many relics used by the tribes.
With so many relics collected, the district authorities, with the help of the state Archeology Department established the museum at Ambalavayal to store these artifacts. The museum is now maintained by the District Tourism Promotion Council.
Galleries at Ambalavayal Heritage Museum
There are four galleries in the museum representing the different aspects of human existence in the hilly region. They are named 'Gothrasmruthi' (representing primeval tribal traditions), 'Jeevanasmruthi' (representing the livelihood, tools and vessels), 'Veerasmruthi' (representing the heroic age of forgotten periods), and 'Devasmruthi' (objects of worships). In these galleries displayed all the culturally significant artefacts that represents the regions rich and age-old traditions that begun thousands of years in the past.
In Gothrasmruthi gallery, several unique relics like the bags which were used to collect fish, cow bells, and many other items depicting the lifestyle of Wayanad’s early tribal communities can be seen.
In Jeevanasmruthi, a wide variety of ear ornaments, hunting traps, necklaces and bangles that were used once are displayed.
Veerasmruthi mainly contains different types of pictorial rocks known as Veerakkallu (Hero Stones) which depict the warriors of the former era. Veerakkallu were erected on the tombs of warriors to memorialize their heroic acts like wars, or hunting wild animals such as tigers. Remnants of prehistoric wars, hunting games that shows the life in which early man used to live are displayed in this gallery.
The artifacts in Devasmruthi gallery belong to the very ancient times- from Neolithic age to the 17th century. Stone idols, terracotta figurines, and local artworks excavated from the Malabar region are put on display here. About twenty idols displayed in their gallery are made from stones that date back to the time between 12th and 16th centuries.
Section for Muniyaras (domens)
There is a separate section to show excavations from Muniyaras (dolmen). Models of the Muniyaras are also displayed here. The Muniyara chamber consist of four stones that are positioned on four sides like a rectangle and another rock as a roof which is known as cap stone.
Visiting the museum will give you a short journey back thousands of years. Coming out of the museum spending adequate time will surely improve your knowledge about the ancient history of Wayanad and nearby areas.
Getting to the museum
The museum is situated about 12 km away from Sultan Bathery at Ambalavayal. You can get direct buses from Sulthan Bathery to there. Sultan Bathery is connected by most buses to most of the nearby cities of Wayanad and adjacent districts. The nearest railway station is in Kozhikode from where there are direct buses to Sulthan Bathery.
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Where is Ambalavayal Heritage Museum
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