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Kerala Sights

Napier Museum and Trivandrum Zoo

  • Museum Rd.
  • Trivandrum

Updated 10/13/2014

Fodor's Review

In an 80-acre park at the north end of M. G. Road are the many attractions of the Museum and Art Gallery Complex. Each part of the complex requires a special ticket. At the Natural History Museum, a musty collection of animal skeletons, dioramas, and stuffed birds, head straight to the second floor to see an interesting model of a traditional nalakettu home (the traditional home of the Nairs, a warrior clan), complete with costumed figurines and a full explanation.

The art museum's collection of local arts and crafts—including bronze and stone sculptures, ivory ornaments, and musical instruments—is as noteworthy as the building itself, with its almost Cubist pattern of gables, European-style minarets, and a decorative interior. Built in 1874, it was designed by Robert Chisholm, a specialist in Indo-Saracenic design, and was named after Lord Napier, the governor of Madras. Memorabilia donated by the royal family, including a golden chariot used by the Maharaja of Travancore, is displayed in the tiny Sree Chitra Enclave. On the opposite side of the park, the Sree Chitra Art Gallery has an eclectic collection of paintings, including works of the Rajput, Mogul, and Tanjore schools as well as those of India's most famous oil painter, Raja Ravi Varma; copies of the Ajanta and Sigirya frescoes; and works from China, Japan, Tibet, and Bali, along with canvases by modern Indian painters. Trivandrum Zoo, one of India's oldest, occupies another 55 acres within the complex and showcases over 75 species. There's also a snake farm.

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Sight Information

Address:

Museum Rd., Trivandrum, Kerala, 695033, India

Phone:

471-231–8294; 471-231–6275

Sight Details:

  • Rs. 20 per section of the museum; Rs. 40 for a camera; Rs. 75 for a video camera
  • Tues. and Thurs.–Sun. 10–4:45, Wed. 1–5

Updated 10/13/2014

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