Century-old Puthenmalika to undergo Rs40 lakh facelift!

The place once housed some renowned paintings of Varma before they were shifted to other state-run museums.

The century-old mansion, Puthenmalika at Kilimanoor Palace is all set to undergo a major facelift without losing its old world charm and grandeur.

The State Archaeology Department has launched a restoration programme to protect the time-worn Puthenmalika designed and built by world-renowned painter Raja Ravi Varma. Built at the turn of the last century the mansion is located within the compound of his ancestral home Kilimanoor Palace. The place once housed some renowned paintings of Varma before they were shifted to other state-run museums. At present the two-storey building houses no paintings.

Puthenmalika which speak of some significant episodes about the life story of Varma, itself is a great archaeological treasure.

State Archaeology Department said that, they have come across some damage to its roof and the walls. Seeking to check leakage of the roofs, the department experts plan to fix some intermediate aluminium sheets in between the tiles. The damage of the walls, made of lime, would be given a new touch. Some artefacts, including decades-old mud-jars in the building, would also be given a facelift as part of the renovation programme. The challenge is to ensure the stability of the structure without affecting its original texture. The total cost for the renovation of Puthenmalika is estimated at Rs 40 lakh.

The challenge is to ensure the stability of the structure without affecting its original texture.

Puthenmalika which speak of some significant episodes about the life story of Varma, itself is a great archaeological treasure. So it becomes a matter of paramount importance to restore the building to its former glory.

Though Kilimanoor Palace is a protected monument, its ownership is still in the hands of the royal family members. Located about 50 km away from here, the Palace complex houses a number of traditional structures, ponds, art gallery and so on.

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