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Arackal palace getting restored to receive tourists
C S Narayanan Kutty in Kannur |
May 14, 2005 15:31 IST
The dilapidated remnants of Kerala's only Muslim royal family, known for its immense contribution to religious harmony and rich maritime trade ties, is getting a new facelift with the restoration of the palace's lost glory and splendour.
The renovation of the nearly 200-year-old building, known as Arackal Kettu, which once functioned as the collectorate of the Arackal royal family that looked after day-to-day administration and vast maritime trade, is in its final stages and likely to be opened to the public early next month.
The restoration work on the building overlooking the Arabian sea commenced a few months ago after the state tourism department took control of it.
They then shifted its precious documents and manuscripts, most of which were spoilt by white ants, and other articles to the state archaeological department's Kozhikode office for preservation.
The manuscripts dating from 1776 to 1996, include an invaluable 55 documents that relate to maritime trade ties, papers on the Lakshadweep trade agreement signed by Arackal Bibi, believed to be the founder of the royal family, and the Dutch and Madras government legislative documents.
The palace has a big darbar hall and over 20 spacious rooms that were renovated using lime plaster and rare window glass panes at an estimated cost of Rs 96 lakh.
There are many versions on the origin of the Arackal royal family.
One relates to them as an offshoot of the Chirackal-based Kolathiri royal family, which had been a significant force in the region.