Ayurveda Museum

That's me at the entrance of the museum
 On a not so busy tarred road, three kilometres from Ollur railway station in Thrissur district, lies a tiny village: Thaikattussery. As the unrelenting April sun seems determined to drain you, coconut groves and paddy fields which grow nearby rush to your rescue by offering to neutralise the heat. A well-planned wooden gate, opposite the Vaidyaratnam Corporate office, allows one to spot a statue of Jagadguru Sri. Adi Sankaracharya seated on a granite slab with a Sanskrit shloka inscribed below it. The Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda Museum, established by the Ashtavaidyan Thaikattu Mooss’ Vaidyaratnam Group of Institutions is the first museum in India dedicated to promoting health tourism.

Regarded as an upaveda (subsidiary), the knowledge of Ayurveda is firmly rooted in the millennia old Vedic knowledge systems. Hence, Ayurveda is the oldest form of healthcare in the world. Simply put, Ayurveda means the science of life which by itself is a system of holistic medicine by achieving a perfect balance between man and nature, thus furthering the ideals promoted by Indian culture. The inception of Ayurveda in Kerala is roughly dated to the time when Lord Parasurama, the sixth avatar of Vishnu roped in the Ashtavaidyan families to preserve and disseminate the knowledge by maintaining its purity.

A bird's eye of the Ayurveda Museum (Pic Courtesy: Ayurveda Museum)
Diorama Presentations (Pic Courtesy: Ayurveda Museum)
Housed in an old traditional spacious two storied main building, built in the traditional architectural style of Kerala, the walk around the museum begins with a short introductory video that depicts the origins, growth and development of Ayurveda in an audio-visual theatre. Visitors are then taken on a leisurely stroll to observe diorama presentations which map the history of Ayurveda from the mythological to the modern age. In each of them, there are presentations referring to kayachikitsa (general medicine), balachikitsa (paediatrics), grahachikitsa (psychiatry), oordhvangachikitsa (ophthalmology and ENT treatments), salyachikitsa (surgery), damshtrachikitsa (clinical toxicology), jarachikitsa (rejuvenation therapy) and vrushachikitsa (reproductive medicine).

As one walks further into the first floor, the evolution of Ayurveda is narrated using a slew of media such as artifacts, sculptures, scriptures and pictures. A pleasant and unexpected surprise is a 3D gallery. These developments narrate the manufacturing process of Ayurvedic medicines and treatment techniques that have been evolved and prescribed over the years. The museum also houses sculptures of Dhanavantri, Adi Sankaracharya, Lord Buddha, Acharya Vagbhatta among others. The museum also has procedures of Ayurveda along with local specialities that have been followed in the previous years while also developing initiatives to preserve the science for future generations.

With a rich and diverse collection of rare manuscripts, books and documents along with scriptures which were used by the traditional Ashtavaidyans of Kerala, a digital library stocked adequately with a huge CD collection based on ayurveda, the museum owes much of its immortal contributions to the Ashtavaidyan Eledath Thaikkattu Mooss family, a part of which is also narrated in the Aithihyamala, which is a collection of century old stories from Kerala. This leads us to the conclusion that the museum is a tribute to the highly revered Ayurveda gurus.

A visit to Ollur or nearby Thrissur would be incomplete without a stopover at the Ayurveda Museum, thanks to the ardent endeavour of the Vaidyaratnam Group of Institutions. The various modalities of Ayurveda which have been observed in the years gone by and the modern age are granted a new lease of life here. For its importance in promoting medical tourism to presenting a cache of rare antiquities, the Ayurveda Museum communicates the rich history about India’s tryst with medical science. 


Anonymous said…
The post is more like reading a brochure than a travel journal. :/

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