Far from the madding crowd, in a pretty little place named Thuckalay near Kanyakumari, is situated the historic marvel Padmanabhapuram Palace as a reminder of a bygone era. Located 64 kms from our capital city this historical destination will haunt you forever with its architectural opulence and rustic charm.
Padmanabhapuram is well-known as the former capital of the Travancore Kingdom. It is believed that the palace was built by the ruler of Venad, Iravi Varma Kulasekhara Perumal, around 1601 CE and was later rebuilt by King Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma.
Even though the place comes under the State premises of Tamil Nadu, it is owned by the Government of Kerala. The wooden palace is built in an indigenous Kerala style architecture with intricate rosewood carvings, astounding sculptures and murals. With its mystic aura, the palace allures tourists from far and wide to witness its ravishing beauty enhanced by unique rooms, huge spacious halls, a 300-year-old cloak, rooms filled with historical curios like Chinese jars, weapons, antique furniture, brass lamps and so forth.
The "poomukha malika" or the entrance to the palace, has a triangular arch leading to the portions named "poomukham", "manthrasala", "natakasala" and "manimeda".
The king used to meet his guests at the poomukham. The engraved wooden ceiling of the triangular arch has 90 different flower carvings. The rare exhibits here include a "Kuthirakaran Vilakku" (horseman lamp), a cot made of seven granite pieces and a Chinese chair presented to the King by visitors from China.
The "mantrasala", a room on the first floor of the "poomukham", is where the King took administrative decisions. The ceiling and "thulangal" (beams) of the room has fine carvings. The room has a single gable (mukhapu) and eleven small windows (kilivathil) with stained glasses. The Chinese style seats are embellished with neat engravings.
Manimalika, a clock tower with a fine gable, is situated to the north of the "manthrasala". The weight-driven clock was built by a local blacksmith. It's sound can be heard in a three-km radius.
The oldest structure in the complex is the "darbhakulangra kottaram" or "thaikottaram" built by the Ravi Varma Kulasekhara Perumal who ruled Venad from 1592 C.E to 1610 CE. The nalukettu-style structure has an "ekantha mandapam" (chamber of solitude). Kannithoonu, a pillar carved out of a single wood, has fine engravings.
Padmanabhapuram Palace will surely take one on a trip through Kerala’s rich architectural legacy and the classic days of a forgone era.
Visiting hours: 0900 hrs to 1700 hrs
|Adult||Rs. 35.00 /-|
|Adult (Foreign National)||Rs. 300.00 /-|
|Children (5-12 yrs)||Rs. 10.00 /-|
|Children (Foreign National)||Rs. 100.00/-|
|Still Camera||Rs. 50.00 /-|
|Video Camera||Rs. 2500 /-|