Museum Complex, Trivandrum Palayam
The Museum Complex or Palayam in Trivandrum is located at the northern end of the city in a large public formal garden. The area consists of museums, art galleries, a zoological park, a botanical garden, churches and markets.Visitors can begin at the park gate and stroll through the park for sightseeing and a chance to shop at the Connemara Market. The market has a granite entrance and was established two centuries ago.
The Napier Museum is the centerpiece of the park, housed in an Indo-Saracenic building from 1880. Napier Museum was designed by Chisolm, an architect noted for his eclectic architecture and created to honor Lord Napier, the governor of Madras.The exhibits include a rare collection of archeological and historic artifacts such as 12th C bronzes, 15th C woodcarvings, temple chariots, stone idols, gold jewelry, ivory carvings, musical instruments and a model of the Guruvayur temple.The carnival-like interior of the Napier Museum is striking and worth a visit all on its own! The structure boasts a "natural" air conditioning system.East of the Napier Museum is the Natural History Museum, which houses a wood and stucco house, the traditional residence of the Nair warrior family. The ethnographic collection includes a traditional courtyard house featuring dancing and an elephant procession.
Botanical and Zoological Park
The Zoological Park was established in 1859 and is one of the largest in India. The spacious animal enclosures are set among woodlands and lakes to provide a simulated natural habitat for the animals.The Zoo contains a large collection of animals, over 75 species, from India and abroad. Among the indigenous wildlife are the lion tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Nilgiri Tahr, Indian Rhino, Asiatic Lion, and Royal Bengal Tiger. The aviary and reptile house is an additional attraction as well as the aquarium on the beach that offers a selection of fish and other marine creatures and plants.The Botanical Garden has many diverse plants and trees as well as a lake that forms part of the zoo.
Shri Chitra Art Gallery
Shri Chitra Art Gallery situated north of the Napier Museum exhibits a collection of Indian art including examples from early to modern schools of work. Shri Chitra is considered one of the most famous art galleries in Kerala. Paintings by Raja Ravi Varma, one of India's foremost artists, are displayed along with a variety of works from Mughal, Balinese, Rajasthani and Rajput, miniature paintings and Tanjore paintings embellished with semi- precious stones.Exotic works from China, Japan, Tibetan Buddhists and South India are also worth viewing!