If you are interested in museums, and want to trace the history of the police force, then the Sardar Vallabhai Patel Police Museum is the place to visit in Kollam, set in the beautiful green state of Kerala, better known as ‘Gods own country’. This museum is the brainchild of the then Inspector General of Police, B. Sandhya, IPS. He had always been interested in sharing with the general public the history of the Police Department in Kerala and to observe the efforts and sacrifices made by them for the public. His dream turned to reality in 2000 when the Sardar Vallabhai Patel Museum was formally opened.
The museum traces the history and growth of the police force in India and is strategically located just opposite the Kollam Junction railway station within the premises of the eastern police station. The museum is dedicated to Vallabhai Patel, an honorable barrister and statesman, who was also known as the ‘Iron Man of India’ and passed away in 1950. He is considered as one of the founding fathers of Free India who played a key role in its Independence as well as for integration into an independent nation. He rose to the position of leadership of the National Congress party from where he organized the Quit India Movement. He was, later on, made the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of free India and was affectionately known as the ‘Patron saint of Indian civil servants’ for establishing the modern all-India services system. Hence, the honor of naming the Police museum after him.
Some of the great thoughts of Sardar Vallabhai Patel included:
‘It is the prime responsibility of every citizen to feel that his country is free and to defend its freedom is his duty’.
‘My only desire is that India should be a good producer and no one should be hungry, shedding tears for food in the country’.
‘Manpower without Unity is not a strength unless it is harmonized and united properly, then it becomes a spiritual power’.
‘Every citizen of India must remember that he is an Indian and he has every right in this country but with certain duties’.
‘By common endeavor we can raise the country to a new greatness, while a lack of unity will expose us to fresh calamities’.
‘Non-violence has to be observed in thought, word and deed. The measure of our non-violence will be the measure of our success’.
‘Religion is a matter between the man and his Maker’.
‘Caste, community will rapidly disappear. We have to speedily forget all these things. Such boundaries hamper our growth’.
The Police Museum in Kollam affords you a glimpse of the amazingly large display of arms and ammunitions used during the 18nth and 19nth centuries. The star exhibit of the museum is the Martyrs Gallery which’s exhibits includes guns, bullets, machines, ammunitions, police arms and a diversity of other weapons. All these artifacts are kept in an old mansion with four open courtyards, one of which is used for displaying investigation information regarding DNA tests, photos of police dogs and precious medals earned by brave policemen of different ranks. The museum also displays developments in the police force over the years. Another popular attraction of the museum is the Natural Calamity section which houses the devastating photographs of the tsunami in Kollam in 2004 and images of the more recent Malanada fireworks accident.
A huge 1.1 ton concrete statue of Vallabhai Patel, lovingly sculpted by Police Constable Santosh was unveiled in 2005 and garners the center of all visitors’ attention.
So if you are interested in exploring the unknown facts about the Kerala Police Force, the galleries of this popular museum are open all days from 9am to 6pm daily, except on Sundays.
Other places of interest in Kollam include the majestical clock tower, the historical Thangassery lighthouse and the beautiful and serene Thangasseri and Thrimullavaram beaches where the azure Arabian Sea and the swaying palms lull you into a state of complete and perfect peace. Then there is the amazing Ashtamudi Lake and its world famous backwater cruises that you cannot miss. A ride through its mystical silent waters as you peep at the island after island of lush green beauty with glimpses of towns and villages and laughing children in-between, followed by the amazing sunsets over the lake waters make for an unforgettable memory.
Kollam can be easily accessed by roads and railways as its well connected to other cities. Those coming by air can land at the Trivandrum airport, which is just about a 70km drive away. Numerous hotels, inns and lodges are available in Kollam to fit all pocket sizes. The global standard Raviz hotel also makes for a forgettable stay on the banks of the lake.