Renovated Marakkar museum to be opened on October 20
History enthusiasts have a reason to cheer as the renovated ancestral home of Kunhali Marakkar, the Muslim naval chief of the Zamorin, and a museum in the same compound at Kottakkal near Vadakara will be formally reopened on October 20. The museum, donning a new look, will be opened by Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Mullappally Ramachandran at a function to be presided over by K Dasan MLA at 2.30 pm. The Department of Archaeology, which took charge of the monument in 1974, has improved the interior and infrastructure of the years-old building. The restoration of the home and museum involved construction of the surrounding protection wall, redoing the roofing, beautification of the garden, installing LED lights and glass panel and much more. For good presentation and effective conservation of artifacts, the museum has been lit up with Light Emitting Diodes (LED). “If ordinary lights are used, chances for deterioration of the displayed materials are high. Hence we decided to replace such lights,” says Archeology Department Assistant Editor K V Sreenath. With an aim to provide more information on Kunhali Marakkar, the history of the hero has been arranged in glass panel in both English and Malayalam. Another attraction is a schematic map of the Kunhali Marakkar Fort. The museum was closed for renovation work in November last year. “We did not make any alterations in the structure while restoring the protected monument,” says officer in charge, Jeeva Mol. Of the `10 crore allotted by the Department of Archeology for the works, `8.75 crore was spent on the renovation work and the rest was used for the beautification of the garden in the front yard. Eyeing history enthusiasts, the Department of Archeology has brought in Portuguese coins, Veerarayan coins and Neolithic age stone axes. “Hope the site will become a major tourist attraction,” says Jeeva. A guide book and brochure that give comprehensive ideas on the museum and the ancestral home of Marakkar will be released on the same day. The entry fee is `5 for adults and `2 for kids.