teak-museum-nilambur

Teak Museum is located 4 km from Nilambur, a town in the Malappuram district of Kerala, south India. Teak occurs naturally in India with the main teak forests found in Kerala.The museum, a two storey building, is the world’s first teak museum and is operated by the Kerala Forest Research Institute. The exhibits include comprehensive information on aspects of the use of teak in their exhibits and articles on the subject. The museum provides extensive information of value historically, artistically and scientifically.The museum was established in 1995 on the campus of the centre of Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) because of the historical significance of teak to the area. The world’s first teak plantation was planted in Nilambur in the 1840s by the British.

The fascinating abundance of information on this wonder tree attracts an entire horde of tourists to visit this museum throughout the year. The extensive root system of a 55-year-old teak tree exhibited in the portico for welcoming the tourists is itself metaphorical of the past, present and future of the museum.The ground floor of the double-storied museum exhibits a translite of Kannimara Teak, the oldest naturally growing teak tree located at the Parambikulam wild-life sanctuary and the life-size replica of the trunk of the largest known teak tree growing in the Malayattoor forest division. Another translite of a giant tree present in the oldest teak plantation in the Conolly’s Plot at Nilambur offers the visitors a glimpse into the teak plantation activities undertaken 160 years ago. Some of the other other attractions here are the traditional granary and a miniature model of sailing vessel called Uru made of teak wood.

Teak poles of varying sizes and qualities obtained during the process of ‘Thinning’ of teak plantations are also displayed along with the necessary details of standard classification of teak poles. The depiction of foliage, flowers, fruits and bark of the tree gives us a deeper insight in to the other characteristics of the teak. Here, one can also find the large stump of a 480-year-old teak tree brought from Nagarampara forest range in Kottayam division.

Detailed description on the flower, fruit and natural regeneration of teak as well as the prominent characteristics of these species of trees are exhibited in the first floor of the museum. In addition to this, the various methods of seed-grading, presowing treatment, preparation of teak stumps, vegetative propagation of teak and the different stages in the complete rotation cycle of teak from seed to mature tree are also on display.Apart from teak, the mueusm also has a collection of over 300 butterflies, moths and insects found in teak plantations. Another exclusive section in the museum deals with the various physical disorders of teak, disease-causing insects and pests, plantation and other nursery diseases.Some of the special attractions of the Teak Museum at Nilambur are a series of interesting paintings portraying tree felling operations, a collection of photographs on the phonological events of teak at different seasons, exhibits on traditional harvesting tools and wood samples of different ages from various parts of the world.