Planning for Sightseeing in Kumarakom? Don't Miss the chance to visit the main Tourist attraction in Kumarakom, Kerala.

Driftwood arts in Kerala

A museum that displays a unique collection of superior quality driftwood sculptures of very high artistic value, prepared through a rare and innovative modern art form, Bay Island Driftwood Museum is located in the scenic village of Kumarakom. A visitor would find there a huge collection of root sculptures of various shapes and designs. It is India’s only museum of its kind among museums in Kottayam Kerala and the world’s best at present.This Driftwood arts museum in Kerala stands uncontested as the Unique and Innovative Tourism Project in India.

Our Highlights

Amazing Story Behind


Start of a Hobby

While playing with her child near the sea, and beach, Mrs Raji Punnoose, a School teacher on Andaman Island could visualize a black monkey’s posture amidst the waves in the seawater nearby. She dragged it and after bringing home she could remove the unwanted parts of this driftwood with a hack-saw blade, taking a considerable period of time as the wood she brought home was very hard and heavy. After getting the right posture of the black monkey which was seen getting ready to jump, everybody appreciated it. Gradually, it became her hobby to look for driftwood articles which had the potential to be transformed into meaningful sculptures, after a hit by minor tsunamis which occur in the Andaman sea and nearby water- bodies periodically. She remembers that there were no restrictions on the collection of such items till the end of the last century when she left the shores of the Andaman group of islands for mainland India on retirement. When she was coming to her native place in Kerala yearly, she could bring with her a few driftwood sculpture articles, which finally accumulated into a large collection in a span of a quarter-century.

The Idea to Start a Museum

An artist who used to compete in the Raveendra Nath Tagore Art Gallery, Calcutta inspired the school teacher mentioning that these are very precious priceless exhibits and efforts may be taken to establish a museum to display these fossil driftwood sculptures, for the benefit of the art-loving people of the world instead of keeping them at home. He also cautioned that it may take some time to get publicity and then people who appreciate this form of art will start visiting the museum in larger numbers. He predicted that, in future, the proposed museum may turn out to be a unique point of Importance in the field of this form of art.
During her professional tenure in the Andaman & Nicobar archipelago, a dynamic lady school teacher used to pick up pieces of driftwood deposited by the sea on the sea shores, comprising twisted tree trunks, stumps, roots etc. which had the potential for transformation to sculptures with marginal efforts, thanks to the Bay of Bengal prone to frequent cyclones that make the sea turbulent and unpredictable. Every cyclone brought back many things to the shore as it washed away from it.

“An image of Mother Teresa on the fossil” moulded by Nature underneath the ocean.

Mother Teresa

This was a new invention of Tourists at Bay Island Museum.
On one side of a fossil plank is clearly visible scene of Kargil war in dark yellow colour.
An Indian soldier is standing near Himalaya mounts and three enemy persons are standing in arow against him on the other side. By the first gunfire of the Indian soldier, the first enemy soldier died, Due to human feelings Indian soldier is in tears. His eyeball and tears are clearly visible.
The other side of the plank is totally light yellow coloured showing the clear wrinkled face of the Mother Teresa. This has been pointed out frequently by many foreign tourists. Inorder to test the imaginative power of the visitors, I ask the question “can you name the worldfamous lady with a wrinkled face and her Veil”. Tourists from Albania pointed out to me thatshe was born in their country and migrated to Calcutta later.
Among the tourists at least one in each group is able to identify the image of the world famous Mother.

Major Milestones of



September 1

In 2018, scientists from various parts of the country attended a conference at Kumarakom. After their visit, they gave excellent reviews about the Kottayam museum which helped to bag URF world Record, as the largest Fossil and Driftwood Museum.
September 1

In the meantime, a well-known scholar named Prof. Luis from Kentucky, U S A, visited the museum and rendered very appreciable comments about the museum to the world. Seeing this, a famous artist Prof. Joseph Wheeler from Boston, U S A, visited the museum and his observations helped the museum for entry into the Limca Book of Records. This was followed by the inclusion of the museum in the India Book of Records in 2013.
September 1

In 2004 the Department of Tourism, Kerala in recognition of her achievements, conferred upon Mrs Raji Punnoose, the driving force behind the museum, the award for excellence in tourism for the “Most innovative Tourism Project in Kerala” for the year 2003-04.
September 1

When the museum was incepted in 2001, the news came up in local newspapers. Those who visited the museum in its infant stage started appreciating the sculptures and journalists and writers wrote in various publications including tour and travel magazines published in various parts of the world. The salient features of the museum appeared also in renowned international tourism publications such as Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Onlook Traveller etc, for the guidance of tourists all over the world. Television channels also played a key role in telecasting the important features of exhibits in the museum and interviews with the proprietress. Meanwhile, some of the visitor’s comments came to the notice of the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala about this unique museum of Nature’s Art. The department collected the salient features of the museum one of the main attractions in Kumarakom and added them to the website of the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, Functioning at Kumarakom to extend all help to the museum. The District Collector, Kottayam and senior officers of the Dept of Tourism, rendered valuable guidance for streamlining the growth of the museum.


Driftwood Museum is Kerala’s only special interest tourist destination among tourist places in Kumarakom Kerala. Bay Island Driftwood Sculptures museum in India is a great futuristic asset of Indian tourism. Mrs Raji Punnoose painstakingly recovered these rare objects from the Andaman seas at great risk. The artefacts, created and sustained by the sea waves for millennia, weighing many tons, big and small, collected, improvised, and worth millions on the international market, are permanently exhibited at Kumarakom. The government of Kerala awarded its prestigious Most Innovative Tourism Project award in 2004. The Ministry of Culture, Government of India provided financial assistance to the museum under their scheme, Promotion & Strengthening of Regional & Local Museums during the year 2006-2007.

100 +

Driftwood Sculptures

70 +


20 +

Years Old Museum

1000 +


Raji Punnoose(Curator of the museum)

Mrs Raji Punnoose is the curator and proprietress of the museum. She is a retired teacher from Gov.Model S.S. School, Port Blair (A&N). The concept of this wonderful museum originated in her mind during her two-decade-long career there. She brought these objects weighing many tons and has spent a large part of her savings on them. She started exhibiting these objects in 2001 at Kumarakom. Mrs Raji is the wife of Mr P. P Cherian, Retired Chief Engineer, Ministry of Shipping & Transport, Government of India. The Museum is run by a registered Trust.

Glimpses Of A Few Driftwood Sculptures

These are world-class unique driftwood sculptures India on display; tourists turn up in good numbers to see them; high-level of constructive appreciation from all about the potential and possibilities. Bay Island Driftwood Museum is one of the main popular destinations in Kumarakom capable of unleashing a great spurt in the tourism industry in the state. These are wonderful pieces of art by Mother Nature, collected while floating on the shores of the Bay of Bengal near Andaman & Nicobar Islands, aged millions of years, seasoned in the ocean for centuries and moulded as sculptures through the hydrodynamic process by the sea waves. Simply, wonders of the wild sea, the unseen & foreseen for ages!


Lonely Planet – Tourist guide on South India

Lonely Planet – Tourist guide on South India

It is worth stopping by the Bay Island Driftwood Museum, not least for owner Raji Punnoose’s animated explanations of her life’s work. Inside is a motley collection of driftwood from the Andaman Sea which has been cleaned up and arranged to resemble in all manner of shapes and wildlife. Some pieces have striking resemblances to real life objects, while others take a lot more imagination and prompting from the convincing Ms.Punnoose.

Outlook Traveller –Kerala & Lakshadweep

(Published by Outlook Publishing (India) Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi)

“This unique museum displays ‘the art of the sea’ – chiseled driftwood gathered from the beaches of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal, hence the name. The driftwood pieces were chiseled by curator Raji Punoose, a retired teacher, into shapes that vary from a crocodile found off Port Blair’s Wandoor beach to a sculpture of Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose addressing an audience from wood collected off Mayabunder beach in middle Andaman.’’


The Rough Guide to Kerala and The Rough Guide to South India

(Published by Rough Guides, New York, London, and Delhi, written and researched by David Abram)

“Birds or representation of them, feature prominently in the areas most bizarre visitor attractions, the Bay Island Driftwood museum just off the main road on the outskirt of Kumarakom. While out on rambles along the shoreline of the distant Andaman Islands, school teacher Raji Punnoose used to collect lumps of drift woods, twisted and worn in to shaper resembling animals, birds, fish and people ………. Raji guides visitors through the highlights with a breathless commentary that is as idiosyncratic and entertaining as the pieces themselves. Allow at least an hour for the full tour.”


Kerala (Maps & More) Tourism guide

(Published by Stark World)

This museum is the brain child of Raji Punoose, a teacher who worked in the Andaman & Nichobar Islands for 25 years. She started collecting pieces of drift woods washed ashore and spent hours pruning and giving shape to what had already been shaped by the sea. Located at Chakranpadi, the museum has a stunning array of elegant drift wood sculptures. In its “ferocity” a crocodile looks almost real. The flowers and buds collection is also worth a peek.”

Sunday Supplement

Sunday Supplement, Malayalam Manorama- 9th Dec 2001

“Raji’s each work has its own individuality. She finds potential for sculptures in the bends and slopes of’ raw driftwood pieces. The Sculptor in her renders perfection, without tampering with the naturality of the sculptures already shaped by the sea in a vivid manner. A typical example of this may be noticed in her work ‘The Handicapped Family’. She has a good collection of flowers-buds and those bloomed partly or fully. Her proficiency lies in identifying the most appropriate possible shape or design in the driftwood pieces she collects and then transforming them to the idea she has in mind with talented efforts”


Friday Review, The Hindu, 15th Feb 2002

“Raji Punnoose’s works have a novelty about them. Here is a collection from the beaches of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where she has spent 25 years as a school teacher. During her strolls along the beaches, she used to come across wood pieces washed ashore.

Noticing there blurred shapes she chiselled them to perfection. She has never been trained in any form art and this adds charm to her endeavour. Raji says, she has spent long hours pruning and giving shape to driftwood. Apart from the tribal Jarawa woman, Handicapped Family, Monkey, Lion and Elephant, there are also pieces focusing on the Kargil War and Subash Chandra Bose’s Chalo Dilli Campaign. The Crocodile with all its ‘ferocity’ looks almost real…

The sea continues to fascinate her and she feels it as the greatest sculpture. However, it is in her hands that these dead pieces get a fresh lease of life”


A trip to the ‘Netherlands of Kerala’

Must-visit spot is the Bay Island driftwood museum. This largest driftwood and fossil museum run by Raji Punnoose has a huge collection of root sculptures of various designs and shapes. The pieces are the deposits picked up from the Andaman seashores.

Awards and Recognition

India Book Records Certificate
URF World Records
Limca Book Record

Visitors' words about Bay Island Driftwood Museum

Luis & Qurra Scheker

Like Newton observing the apple fall and finding gravity, Raji Punnoose has the ability to see further than all of us and discover nature’s work and present to us in the form of drifting wood sculptures.

Peter & Deborah

Totally Unique! It is actually genuinely unbelievable that all these could be made by Nature. My favorites were the snakes and the handicapped family. Thank you for an experience we will never forget.

Shehab Hamad

Raji is one of those inspirations which inspire others to follow her. Her passion is contagious. Simply Incredible!

Joseph Wheel

It is simply amazing and the tour guide given by Ms. Raji Punnoose is simply exhilarating. Thank you a lot for making my visit to Kerala a truly memorable one.

David Abram, Rough Guides

Raji Punoose’s commentary is even more wonderful than her vision to see so many pieces on the Andaman wild beaches. Thank you for a memorable visit.

Naomi Lehman & Marina Kreymergak

In the surrounding rice fields and blooming flowers, suddenly one sees a wonder – a gift of the eternity and of a fragile lady who succeeded to bring on her shoulders a treasure to the mankind. Truly captured and excited to find such a museum in India.

G. S. Thackeray S T

Raji Punoose has inspired us in the driftwoods washed ashore on these beaches. At our beaches, we look on and pass over such treasures. I thank you for sharing the artifacts you have collected. They are extra ordinarily presented as real. I thank you for the “guide explanation” given to us.

Zena John

Amazing Collections! Nature’s art perfected by Ms.Raji Punnoose.


These are world-class unique objects on display. Tourists turning up in good numbers to see them, high-level of constructive appreciation from all about the potential and possibilities. It has a great potential, capable of unleashing a great spurt in the tourism industry in the state.The visitor profiles includes ministers, governors, senior officers, judges, lawyers, politicians, professors, architects, scientists, journalists, tourism managers, hoteliers, students etc. Nationals from almost all countries across have stepped in to the museum to see the artifacts.

Bay Island Driftwood Museum, Birds Sanctuary, Pathiramanal Island, Vembanad Lake, and Kumarakom Backwaters are the main places to visit in Kumarakom.

It is one of the most beautiful places in Kerala God’s Own Country. Kumarakom is situated on the banks of Vembanad Lake in Kerala’s backwaters. Kumarakom is surrounded by numerous lakes, canals beautiful backwaters and rich green forests.

The wood which is drifted in the ocean water for centuries and moulded as sculptures with the help of hydrodynamic processes such as beating the waves, scrubbing by shells, corals, sand, stones etc, along with twisting in the currents and decaying in the process, is known as fossilized driftwood. Obviously, they will be centuries old.
Many of the wooden pieces which are tree trunks, stumps or roots, when drifting across the turbulent seas, become more resilient. Having traversed vast distances, what is left of a tree is its sturdiest part which has weathered much inclemency. When a selected few out of them are picked up, cleansed and unwanted parts are removed. They resemble a good extent, familiar shapes of birds animals, reptiles, amphibians, fishes etc

Yes, it is the only place where we can find driftwood arts in Kerala. It is India’s only museum of its kind and the world’s best at present.

About Bay Island Driftwood Fossil Museum

Today, just two things make Kumarakom tourists’ own paradise. Its exquisite backwaters and the exciting Bay Island Driftwood Museum – the Jewel of Kumarakom. It is India’s only museum of its kind and the world’s best at present. It stands uncontested as the Unique and Innovative Tourism Project in India. It displays a beautiful blend of nature’s creativity and an artist’s imagination and remains one of the wonderful repositories of the most fascinating and rarely seen objects.

Directions to reach Bay Island Driftwood Museum

To reach the Museum at Kumarakom

  • Cochin International Airport- then by road to Kumarakom (90kms)
  • Kottayam, then by road to Kumarakom
  • From Ernakulam (Kochi), Alappuzha and Kottayam
  • Connected to Cochin, Alappuzha, Kottayam and Thiruvananthapuram

Location Map and Address