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19 May 2024, Edition - 3232, Sunday

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A treasure trove for history lovers

U Bharath


Pudukkottai: The 104-year-old Government Museum in Pudukkottai is second only to the Government Museum in Egmore, Chennai, in terms of collections, number of galleries and exhibits.

Established by the erstwhile rulers of Pudukkottai, the Thondaimans, the museum boasts of amazing collections in a sprawling 15,000 sqft area.

King Marthanda Bhairava Thondaiman set up the museum in the year 1910 as per the charter given by the British. The king, it is learnt, apparently evinced keen interest in setting up the museum. He converted one of his guest houses at Tirukokarnam into museum.

With rare collections and galleries related to Archeology, Geology, Zoology, Anthropology, Botany, Numismatics, Philately and Arts and Crafts, the museum also boasts of separate galleries for birds and fish. However, an 18 feet-long skeleton of blue whale is the unique exhibit that attracts everybody’s attention.

Stone Age implements including Megalithic Burial Urns (an ancient practice of disposing off the ashes of the dead in huge urns),which are found aplenty in the district are on display here.

Abound in rich manuscript collections, this museum is a treasure trove for history lovers and researchers to delve deep into history, folklore, iconography and geology of the region. Historians and scholars flock to this museum and a number of scholars have used the resources of the museum for their research and doctoral thesis.

Recently, during the centennial year the Government allocated funds and renovated the museum, An auditorium was constructed at a cost of Rs. 60 lakhs and all the galleries were modernised.

“A rare granite idol of Goddess Durga, brought from Kattumavadi village, is the latest addition to the museum. The museum is a favourite place for the visitors visiting the historically-rich Pudukkottai,” said S. Rajamohammed, former curator of the museum.

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