Home Decorating Pick Up a Piece of Indian History: Antiques Shopping in Kerala

Pick Up a Piece of Indian History: Antiques Shopping in Kerala

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We’re a travel-loving bunch here at Fresh American, and one of our favorite parts of exploring new places is finding hidden-gem décor shops—boutiques where we can get our mitts on all sorts of unique finds for the home. Such was the case on a recent trip to Kerala in southern India, where we came across Heritage Arts, a treasure trove of antiques and accents from a variety of periods throughout Indian history.

Located in the unfortunately named Jew Town, the main shopping district in Mattancherry, Kochi, Heritage Arts is a museum showroom with a jaw-dropping collection of products. Founded in 1989 by antiques aficionado N. B. Manju, this warehouse features everything from larger-than-life carved teak statues to elegant furniture, decorative plates, wooden boxes, bowls and baskets, and jewelry. The standouts include the store “mascot”—an exquisitely detailed statue of the elephant god Ganesha—and the massive rearing horse at the front of the shop to the 107-year-old aranmula palliyodam (snake boat) that stretches across most of the length of the store, and the wood headboards and bamboo settees bedecked with royal ornaments.

But Heritage Arts is the kind of antiques store where you could look for hours and still not see everything. Good thing the Manju family also runs the next-door Ginger House restaurant, where we ate one of our most memorable meals of the trip. Simply take a load off while enjoying the lush coastal view, enjoy some ginger rice with cashews and the tiger prawn curry, then head back to the shop for another round of browsing.

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