From Humble Beginnings to World-Class Museum: The Story of Bay Island Driftwood Museum
Nestled in the scenic village of Kumarakom in Kottayam, Kerala, the Bay Island Driftwood arts museum in Kerala stands out as a unique and innovative tourism project in India. It is the only museum of its kind in the country and has been recognized as the world’s best at present. The museum boasts a vast collection of root sculptures of various shapes and designs, showcasing the creative possibilities of nature’s raw material.
But how did this museum come to be, and what makes it such a remarkable destination for visitors from all over the world? The answer lies in the story of the museum’s founder, Mrs Raji Punnoose. arts museum in Kerala
Mrs Punnoose’s love for driftwood sculptures began in her childhood. She would often accompany her father on his fishing trips, and during one such trip, she found a piece of driftwood that caught her eye. She took it home and, with some help from her father, transformed it into a beautiful sculpture.
From that moment on, Mrs Punnoose was captivated by the creative possibilities of driftwood. Over the years, she collected pieces from her fishing trips and began to create more sculptures of her own.
Her passion for driftwood artistry led her to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where she discovered a vast collection of root sculptures crafted by local artists. She was struck by their beauty and uniqueness and decided to bring them back to Kerala, where she founded Bay Island Driftwood Museum in 2001.
At the time of its founding, the museum was small, with only a few sculptures on display. But Mrs Punnoose’s dedication and hard work soon paid off, and the museum began to attract visitors from all over the world.
In 2003-04, the Department of Tourism, Kerala, recognized Mrs Punnoose’s achievements and conferred upon her the award for excellence in tourism for the “Most Innovative Tourism Project in Kerala.” This recognition helped put the museum on the map and cemented its status as a must-visit destination for art lovers and tourists alike.
Over the years, the museum has grown in size and reputation, attracting more visitors and accolades. In 2013, the museum was included in the India Book of Records, and in 2018, it bagged the URF World Record as the largest fossil and driftwood museum after receiving rave reviews from scientists who attended a conference at Kumarakom.
What makes the Bay Island Driftwood Museum truly unique is the diversity of its collection. The museum boasts sculptures of animals, humans, and abstract designs, each crafted with meticulous attention to detail. The sculptures showcase the incredible creative possibilities of driftwood and the skill of the artists who crafted them.
Apart from the root sculptures, the Kottayam Museum also houses a collection of fossils that are over 20 million years old, providing visitors with a glimpse into the geological history of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The museum’s success is a testament to Mrs Punnoose’s vision and dedication. She transformed her childhood love for driftwood sculptures into a world-class museum that has put Kerala on the map as a hub for driftwood artistry.
In conclusion, the Bay Island Driftwood Museum is a fascinating destination that showcases the creative possibilities of nature’s raw materials. From its humble beginnings to its world-class status, the museum’s story is one of passion, dedication, and innovation. So, if you’re in Kerala, be sure to visit this one-of-a-kind museum and witness the marvels of driftwood artistry for yourself.