Architecture in sand

Napier Museum, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

Throwback to our last summer holiday.. 

We are in desperate need of summer here, or at least a bit of spring. Two months ago someone spotted daffodils, and we were rejoicing about the soon to come summer (or spring). And the most ironic change in weather followed where we got a week full of snow. In March, in Ireland! And to think we had had a walk in the beautiful sunshine just a few weeks ago in January. Right.

So the weather today is foggy. Yesterday it rained. Tomorrow the prediction is for cloudy. I am not trying to be boring, weather is indeed an obsession out here.

So last summer we had gone and seen the Napier Museum in Thiruvananthapuram. Museums are a particular favourite of mine as one is not expected to do anything more than casually stroll about, gazing in rapture at the exhibits. Seriously, who can understand those inscrutable fellows who get bored in such a delightful setting? It is like a paradise for low energy people like me.

So the museum. It was probably our first outing as a family to see the sights of our native place. There are vendors selling salted mangoes and popcorn outside the gates. A really long row of small shops selling who knows what, just before that.

When we enter there is an option to go see the zoo, but I think we were a bit late for that. There is an art exhibit housed in one of the buildings, and it depicts history of Thiruvananthapuram, there is a chariot and some artifacts.

There was a bus parked in the complex with Malayalam books in it to buy. 

You have to cross over the sandy park to reach the actual museum. It is beautiful architectural design, and we had a nice time walking around looking at the exhibits. The museum is supposed to showcase art and natural history. Plenty of figurines, pottery, swords, musical instruments. There is jade pottery from the far east. We kept our attention focused on stopping the kids from getting a hold of all those precious things on display. 

But the most striking part of the museum is its architecture, both outside and within. Inside, the ceiling is very high, and stairs run up to the upper floor. The stairs and upper floor are closed to the public, they are probably too fragile to endure regular handling by the multitudes. 

The work and design is beautiful, all done in a time when there were fewer mechanised tools to create it. We loved the colourful brickwork and terracotta roof tiles. 

We sat down on the lawns of the park afterwards, trying to defend our meagre stash of biscuits and bananas from the crows. We also walked to the canteen, it is sort of reserved for the staff and police who work in and around the museum. But we managed to get hot tea and an even hotter fried snack, which I forgot the name of. 


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