Documenting a rich past

Step into this museum and you will come face-to-face with the centuries-old history of Tulu Nadu. We are referring to the Rani Abbakka Regional Study Centre and Museum on B C Road in Mangalore.

TULU NADU’S HERITAGE: A painting of Rani Abbakka. Photos by the authorThe main force behind the museum are Prof Tukaram Pujari and Prof Ashalatha Suvarna. The museum houses several objects that were in use at least 100-200 years ago.

There are agricultural tools and other artefacts that were in use hundreds of years ago, all reflecting the rich culture and heritage of the Dakshina Kannada region.

In addition to the museum, the Rani Abbakka Study Centre offers excellent opportunities for research students.

The centre was started in 1995 in a small way, and has now gone on to become an important centre for the study of culture and society. The centre also regularly organises workshops and programmes to keep the heritage of the region fresh in the minds of people.

An art exhibition, held in December last year portraying the life and times of Rani Abbakka, is a case in point. The exhibition was aimed at bringing to canvas the life of the brave queen of the region who took on the Portuguese at least 450 years ago. As many as 26 well-known artists participated. Mumbai’s noted artist Vasudev Kamath brought the queen alive on his canvas, while Bellary’s V T Kale portrayed the scene where sacks of rice and other grains are being loaded onto a ship by the queen’s people.

Dakshina Kannada was a major exporter of grains at that point in time. Bangalore’s K N Ramachandran’s painting depicted the queen’s army all set for battle. Mangalore’s artist Kandan G portrayed the scene where the queen met Italian traveller Pietro Delavale.

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