Keladi Museum and Historical Research Bureau Museum of Archeology and Culture Folklore Museum
Keladi Museum
The Keladi Museum is the only rural museum of manuscripts, sculptures and paintings which has a research centre and publication wing.

About the Museum:

KELADI is now a small village, Six Km from Taluk Head quarters Sagar in Shimoga District. It is the I Capital of Keladi Dynasty who ruled between 1499 to 1763. After Vijayanagar Empire some of its splinter principalities declared independence. One such provincial polity was Keladi, which later flourished into an empire holding the key to maritime trade of rice, spices and other indigenous goods and controlling practically all navigable parts on the western coast from Kerala to Karwar. Keladi rulers were also patrons of art and culture. Many important scholarly and literary works were produced during their regime. Keladi produced famous rulers like Shivappa Nayaka, Venkatappa Nayaka, Queen Chennammaji, and Veerammaji. The name synonymous with discipline. Keladi rulers were also patrons of art and culture. Many important scholarly and literary works were largely produced during the Keladi regime (1499-1763) in the regional history of the nation in particular India in general. ? The Moghul Emperor Aurangazeb had once sent a huge army to capture Raja Ram son of Shivaji and to take over the Maratha Kingdom Rajaram requested protection from many kings but few were willing to incur the wrath of Aurangazeb. He finally disguised himself as a monk met Keladi Chennamma and narrated his conditioin. The brave queen sheltered RajaRam at the risk of facing Aurangazebs army, which her soldiers boldly faced and emerged victorious later. A flag pillar in front of the Keladi temple has portrait carvings of Rani Chennamma and Raja Ram.

The museum established in 1960 was taken over by Kuvempu University in 2005 and added research and training centre.

This Museum has a rich collection of antiques from 4th century to 20th century.
Palm leaf manuscripts 3000
Paper manuscripts 1500
Kadatha ( Records on cloth ) 300
Historical documents 1500
Coins 400
Sculptures 150
Arms & Armoury 50
Wooden sculptures 50
Paintings 50
Keladi and other state Monuments Photos 50
Clothes 10
Others 100

Collection of Manuscripts : Keladi Museum
The ancient manuscripts repository has a rich collection in Keladi Museum. Sanskrit, Kannada, Telugu, Modi, Marathi and Tigalari scripts relating to history, literature, Veda, Agama, Astronomy, Astrology, Art, Dharma Sastra, Medicine (Ayurveda), Mathematics veterinary Science, Advaita, Dwaita, Visistadwaita, Jaina, Islam etc., Multiple folded Kadatas (Raj Records Kadjams) and filing system of erstwhile kings and their courts for a complete year written using soft stones (Balapa) on cloth seasoned with tamarind paste and charcoal - reveal stories fame by frame when unfolded. Ancient Tigalari manuscript is rare repositories in the Keladi museum is great contribution to the manuscriptology. A few scholar like Dr. Gunda Jois and Venkatesh are working in the field.

The institute has reference library of 4000 books relating to History of Keladi and neigbouring Kingdom, Indian History, Art and Archaeology, besides Old Periodicals, Journals and other research oriented books. It provides facilities to scholars for research. Rich collection of manuscripts in Sanskrit, Kannada, Telugu, Modi and Tigalari script relating to history, literature, astrology, astronomy, art Dharmasastra, medicine, mathematics, veterinary science, etc., The establishment of a research centre and publication wing by this less known rural museum is a milestone in the mission of knowledge dissemination.
Museum Collection
Among Sanskrit manuscripts, mention may be made of a commentary on Jayadeva’s gitagovinda, a copy of Bhattoji Dikshita’s Siddhantakaumudi. The Smrtidarpana of Ravisomayaji is being published. There are very valuable manuscripts on Music, Bharata’s Natya Sastra and Yakshagana. The works on Ayuraveda relate to herbs bhasmas and Veterinary Science. Among Kannada manuscripts, Kumaravyasa Bharata, Jaimini Bharata, Dasa Sahitya, Basavapurana, Sabara Shankara Vilas, Keladi Venkannana Kiritagalu etc., Among Yakshagana Manuscripts, Abhimanyu Kalaga, SriKrishnarjuna Kalaga and Sri Krishna Charita are noteworthy. Historical Documents in the museum include those of Peter Mundy, Pietro Della Valle, letters of Haider Ali, Sir, M Visvesvaraya, Sir Mirzea Ismail, H.H.Jayachamaraja Wodeyar and Rajaji. Rare artifacts and Other collections : Images Slide 42 Keladi Museum. - Museum has a large collection of rare objects which includes Mysore, Hyder, Tipu regimes Coins, swords, combs, coins, brass idols and soldiers attires, Palmleaf 15000 entries and historical records, copper in scriptions, paintings and several antiques of the Keladi period are displayed in the museum. Among the art objects, the betel nut crackers, locks and keys, weights, utensils with artistic carvings,Hero stones, Sati stones nisidi stones, statues of Jain tirthankaras, Kalabhairava and Chennakeshava etc., are display.
  • This museum is a treasure house that epitomize rule of this Urs dynasties and deserves to be well preserved.  -   G.C.R.Subramanian,IAS
  • It is a pleasure to see such a priceless collection of manuscripts and other artifacts, they are remarkable well preserved. My best wishes.-   Miss. Selja,           Central Minister for Culture.
  • Today I fulfilled my long-cherished dream of visiting Keladi, the original capital of Keladi Nayakas. It was great pleasure to visit the Keladi Museum. Under the leadership of Dr.S.R.Rao the staff are doing excellent work, conducting research about the Keladi lperiod and maintaining the museum and archives here. I wish all strength to their elbows and their noble efforts.   -   B.K.Bhattacharya.IAS, Finance Secretary to Govt. of Karnataka.
  • I am very happy to see the Museum at Keladi. The articles here are preserved with great care. I requires no ordinary faith and desvotion to history to run this museum at a far off corner of the State. I wish that this museum receives greater encouragement. D.M.Chandrasekar,High Court Judge. One of the very rare collection as far as the Talegere is concesrn, I have not such a wonderful collection. This museum need great support to preserve the great history of our culture and Records. I thank Dr. Gunda Jois (Dr. Venkatesh Jois) for his effort. I Wish long life. The Justice of Lokaykta, Bangalore.