Chirakkal, about six kilometres north of Kannur town, was once the capital of the local rulers and a known centre of folk arts and culture. In recognition of the place’s importance as a cultural centre, the Kerala Folklore Akademi has been set up here.
The Akademi was established in 1995 at the Chirakkal Kovilakam, the home of the erstwhile Chirakkal royal family. The building is close to the Chirakkal Lake. The tranquil ambience of the fort and its proximity to the lake has given it a place on the tourist map of Kerala.
The 130-year-old building of the Akademi, constructed in accordance with the Kerala style of architecture, houses the administrative departments of the Folklore Akademi, a folklore museum and a library. The Akademi aims at the preservation of the folk culture and heritage of Kerala. It also strives to ensure the welfare of folk artistes.
A visit to the Folklore Akademi gives one an insight into the artistic heritage of Kerala. The museum preserves costumes, headgear and other paraphernalia and hundreds of other objects related to the folk arts. These include life-size models of performers of the ritualistic temple dances like Theyyam and Patayani, tribal musical and percussion instruments, farm implements, weapons, photographs of various art forms and so on.
The Akademi also gives information about the martial art form of Kalaripayattu, the dance forms of Marathukali and Poorakkali, ballads like Vadakkanpattu and Vedanpattu and so on. Folk plays like Godavari, mural paintings called Todikkalam and Muslim art forms like Oppana and Arabana are well represented here. Objects used in other ritual arts like Kuthurathib, Devakoothu, Kaliyootu, Mudiyettu etc too are on display. The Akademi also promotes learning and research on folk arts like Chavittu natakam, Garudan thullal and so on.
The library, a knowledge hub of folk arts, is frequented by researchers, scholars and connoisseurs of the traditional arts of Kerala. The Akademi also publishes books and periodicals from time to time.
Chirakkal is about 6.5 km from Kannur bus stand.
Chirakkal , Kannur Kerala