Nilambur Teak Museum
SH28, Nilambur, Kerala 679330, India
The one and only Teak Museum in India, explaining everything about the majestic teak trees that are grown in the region.
Location of Nilambur Teak Museum
More about Nilambur Teak Museum
Nilambur Teak Museum, located at Malappuram district of Kerala State in Southern India is the first of its kind in the world and the only one in India. The museum was established in 1995 on the campus of Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) and it houses the historical, aesthetic, and scientific treasures related to teak. The museum was established in Nilambur owing to the historical significance of the region. The worlds first teak plantation was raised in Nilambur in 1840s to ensure a steady supply of teak timber to the British East India Company.
Kerala's love affair with teak wood
Teak holds a special place in Kerala’s love for timber and it has long history of teak cultivation and trade. The word teak originates from the Malayalam name of the tree Theku. Nilmbur is synonymous with the finest teak in the region and the teak and the plantations here are famed for its quality timber used for ship building and cabinet making from 19th century onwards.
Kannimara- one of the oldest teak trees in the world
In nature, teak or ‘Tectona grandis’, is majestic. The oldest surviving tree is about 500 years old and still grows in Parambikulam Tiger Reserve. This old tree is worshipped by Kadar people (a tribal community), calling it as ‘Kannimara' or Virgin tree. According to the tribal belief, blood started to spurt out from its slash when the tree was tried to cut down. Since then the tribes started to worship it.
Inside Nilambur Teak Museum
Nilambur Teak Museum offers numerous resources. You can learn about the habitat, history, cultivation, management and socio-economic aspects of teak plantations. It gives an insight into the significance of this timber in the culture of the state. The numerous artefacts include granary, swing cot, and cloth chest among others, all made out of solid teakwood.
The two stories with different exhibits
The Teak Museum is housed in two stories. The ground floor of the museum exhibits a translight of Kannimara teak, the oldest naturally growing teak tree located at the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary. Some of the other translights exhibited are the life-size replica of the trunk of the largest known teak tree growing in Malayatoor Forest Division, and of a giant teak tree present in the oldest teak tree plantation of nearby Conolly’s plot. These exhibits offers the visitors a glimpse into the teak plantation activities undertaken 160 years ago.
An extensive, full-size root system of a gigantic teak is displayed at the Museum. It is interesting to note that the teak trees does not have a tap root, rather anchored by a network of roots giving it extensive footing to distribute its massive weight over a large area. Teak poles of varying sizes, ages and qualities are also displayed along with the necessary details of their classifications. The depiction of foliage, flowers, fruits and bark of the teak trees provides the visitors with deeper insight to many other characteristics of the tree in addition to informations on teak timber itself.
The various methods of seed-grading, pre-sowing treatments, teak-stump preparations, vegetative propagation, and different stages in the complete growth cycle of teak- from seed to mature tree are also on display in the Museum.
Collection of insects that are seen in teak plantations
Apart from teak, the museum also houses a collection of butterflies, moths, and insects that are found in teak plantations. A separate section of the Museum exhibits the various diseases of Teak Tree. Diseases caused by insects and pests, plantation and other nursery diseases etc..
The portraits of figures like H.V Conolly, Chathu Menon and T.F Bourdillion who helped in successful establishment of teak plantations in the region are also displayed in the Museum. Additionally, you can find a large library on teak and a mini auditorium for audio visual presentations.
The bio-resource nature trail in the museum premise
There is a bio-resources nature trail in the museum campus which passes through heavy growth of shrubs, trees, and bamboos. Fifty naturally grown tree species and 136 endangered tree species of the Western Ghats are planted in this nature trail which is 800 meters long. 58 species of resident and migratory birds are recorded here and a medicinal plant garden with 150 species of plants are also in the trail.
A visit to the Museum will leave you with a wealth of knowledge about one of the most used timber in Kerala. You will leave the Museum impressed with the scale, variety, and the uniqueness of the exhibits displayed.
Reaching Nilambur Team Museum
Nilambur Team Museum, as the name suggest is located in Nilambur, 4 km from the city. There are buses/ taxis to the Museum from the city. The nearest railway station is 3 km away in Nilambur itself.