The Koyikkal palace stands between Ponmudi hill station and Kuttalam waterfalls which is about 18 km away from Thiruvananthapuram city. It was built for Umayamma Rani of the Venad royal family who ruled the state in the 16th century. The palace is a large double storied traditional nalukettu with slanting gabled roofs and an inner courtyard.
It now houses a Folklore Museum as well as Numismatics Museum set up by the Department of Archaeology in 1992.
A treasure house of quaint musical instruments, the Folklore Museum also has models of folk arts and household utensils. Oorakkudukku, a device for intellectual exercise used by Yogis, and Gajalekshmi, a lamp representing the goddess of prosperity – Lakshmi are other interesting exhibits. The exhibit includes rare articles like ‘Chandravalayam’, a tiny musical instrument used as an accompaniment while reciting the ‘Ramakathappattu’ (the story of Lord Sree Rama)’ ‘Nanthuni’, a sweet sounding percussion instrument made of string and wood and are used while singing the ‘Onappattu’ and ‘Nanthunippattu’ during Onam (the harvest festival of Kerala).
The Numismatics Museum is the only one of its kind with unique architectural style. Coins found here belong to different parts of the world as well as to different eon. Amaida, a Venetian coin, believed to have been presented to Jesus Christ, is found in this museum. The most valuable among Indian coins found here are ‘Karsha’, nearly 2500 years old.
Rasi, the world’s smallest coins are also on display, as also Sreekrishna Rasi, one of the traditional coins issued by local kings around the 10th Century and the first modern gold coin of Travancore, the Anantharayan Panam, which was in circulation in the 15th and 17th centuries. Around 374 Roman gold coins, each worth around Rs.5 million now, depicts Roman gods and goddesses like Hercules, Ceres, Mars, Venus and Genius and rulers like Hardin (AD 117 – 138) are also among the collection.