Manuscript Library karyavattom

September 1, 2018
by

Manuscripts are the valuable evidence of the bygone periods and while traversing through the artifacts at the Manuscript Library at Karyavattom, near Trivandrum this becomes more evident. The institution is considered to be the largest Manuscript Library in India.
Though a lot of wisdom turned into ashes and ignorance still poses an obstacle to many to hand over rare manuscripts for preservation, the manuscript library at Karyavattom, near Trivandrum, has managed to amass a good amount of knowledge bundles through extensive search. The story of Oriental Research Institute and Manuscript Library functioning under the University of Kerala began in 1908, when a new library department was founded by the royalty of erstwhile Travancore. It was formed for the publication of rare and old Sanskrit manuscripts. Tharuvai-Agraharam Ganapati Sastri was appointed the first curator of this library. Situated at the picturesque setting of the Karyavattom Campus of Kerala University, the library symbolizes the convergence of Eastern and Western architecture.
From the Daivagamam Bhasha of 1521 to Bhasa’s Sanskrit plays, about 65,000 manuscripts, including handmade paper scripts and transcripts, are on display at the library. From Philosophy, Mimamsa, Nyaya, Mantra, Tantra, Astronomy to Nataka, Ithihasa, Attakatha, Tullal and Folklores, the exhibits at this institution provide access to a diverse collection of forgotten treasures. The scripts found in the library vary from Grantha, Nandinagari, Vattezhuttu, Kolezhuttu, Tamil, Telugu, Burmese and so on.
Narayaneeyam, written in praise of Lord Vishnu by Melputtur Narayana Bhattathiri in AD 1738; Srimad Bhagavatham, complete Bhagavata wrote in Malayalam script are few of the exotic exhibits of this treasure house. Roopaprasna, astrological manuscript used for predicting one’s future evokes curiosity among the visitors. The library serves as a testimony for the richness of our heritage.
Students and research scholars may use the library for reference by presenting an official letter. The general public and other visitors may visit the library on payment of the requisite entry fee. The timings are from 11 am to 3 pm.