Palm-Leaf Manuscript Museum

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    In News

    • The Kerala government will inaugurate a palm-leaf manuscript museum with modern audio-visual technology at the Central Archives, Fort, in Thiruvananthapuram.

    About the museum 

    • It is set up by the Archives Department.
    • Cost would be ?3-crore.
    • The museum has eight theme-based galleries where select manuscripts from one of the biggest palm-leaf collections in the country will be displayed.
    • The other galleries are:
      • Land and people.
      • Administration.
      • War and peace.
      • Education and health.
      • Economy.
      • Art and culture – the Mathilakom records (a collection of 3,000 cadjan manuscript rolls possessed by Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple). 

    What is the Palm-leaf manuscript?

    • These are manuscripts made from dried palm leaves.
    • Palm leaves were used as writing materials in the Indian subcontinent and in Southeast Asia reportedly dating back to the 5th century BCE.
    • Their use began in South Asia and spread to other regions, as texts on dried and smoke-treated palm leaves of Palmyra palm or the talipot palm.
    • Their use continued till the 19th century when printing presses replaced hand-written manuscripts.
    • One of the oldest surviving palm leaf manuscripts of a complete treatise is a Sanskrit Shaivism text from the 9th-century, discovered in Nepal, now preserved at the Cambridge University Library.

    Source: TH