After a wait of more than two decades, work has finally begun on the proposed Thakazhi museum. The foundation stone of the museum, dedicated to the memory of Malayalam’s celebrated writer Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, was laid close to Sankaramangalam, the residence of the writer at Thakazhi in Kuttanad, on Tuesday.
The museum, according to officials of the Thakazhi Smaraka Samithi, is designed in such a way that it will help visitors take the imaginative leap into the world of Jnanpith laureate’s important literary works and characters. With a wooden bridge, ‘padipura,’ ‘erumadam’ (tree house) and so on, the museum is based on vintage Kuttanadan style showcasing its rich heritage and traditions. It will have a library, audio and visual rooms, along with spaces for displaying articles used by the legendary writer.
A Kuttanadan touch
“The work on the museum will begin in the coming days. The structure with a Kuttanadan touch will be constructed in an environmentally friendly manner. We hope to complete the entire work in a year,” said K.B. Ajayakumar, secretary, Thakazhi Smaraka Samithi.
The project comes to fruition following relentless efforts by the late writer’s children and the Thakazhi Smaraka Samithi led by its chairman and former Minister G. Sudhakaran.
Following the death of the writer in 1999, the State government acquired Sankaramangalam in 2001 and converted it into a memorial-cum-museum under the Department of Archaeology. Back then the government had announced that a museum of international standards would be constructed. In 2009, the government bought 25 cents of land close to Sankaramangalam from the children of the literary titan for the purpose. However, the project got delayed on various accounts. It was put back on track after the government earmarked ₹5 crore for the renovation of the monument of Thakazhi in the 2019-20 State Budget.
Cost of ₹6.5 crore
The museum will be constructed by the Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society at a cost of ₹6.5 crore under the Department of Culture. Officials, meanwhile, said that steps were being taken to transfer the ownership of the monument (Sankaramangalam house) from the Department of Archaeology to the Department of Culture. The foundation stone of the museum was laid by Minister for Culture Saji Cherian.