Kerala has a treasure of ancient history, rich culture and heritage. Owing to trade connections dating centuries back, Kerala was exposed to a multi-cultural population. The varied populace contributed to the intriguing medley of heritage of Kerala. The magnificent Palaces in Kerala symbolizes different dynasties, communities that existed here. They truly manifests the rich cultural heritage of Kerala.
Kerala is a treasure trove of architectural monuments which displays the rich and historical exhibits. The colossal forts, palaces converted into museums and other relics stand silently as an acknowledgment of the past glory.
Here are 8 of the must visit Palaces in Kerala:
The Mattancherry Palace, Cochin
The Mattancherry Palace is also known as the Dutch Palace. It is located in Kochi. Built around the year 1555, it was a gift by the Portuguese to the Raja of Cochin. The palace is a rich representation of the traditional culture of the royals of Kerala.
The Mattancherry Palace welcomes to its stark white walls and sloping roof. The palace features a number of exhibits, portraits and temple art displaying the lifestyle of the kings of Cochin around the period. Pay reverence to the small temple inside the palace. Do stop to admire the fascinating mural paintings depicting the Hindu mythologies.
Visiting hours: 10:00- 17:00 hours on all days, except Fridays.
Hill Palace, Kochi
Hill Palace in Kochi is the largest heritage museum of Kerala. The palace is noted for its royal collections of erstwhile Maharaja of Kochi. It was built in 1865, as a safe haven to protect the royal women and children from enemy troops.
The Hill Palace complex consists of 49 buildings built in the traditional architectural style. There are 17 galleries flaunting the historical treasures. There are antiques from Japan, China, Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa form the Indus Valley Civilization. Check out the gold crown weighing 1.75 kg, presented to the king of Cochin by King Emmanuel of Portugal. Do not miss to see the old Bible (Hebrew, Old Testament) written on goat skin.
Visiting Time: 9.00 to 12.30 and 14.00 to 16.30 hours on all days, except Mondays.
The Krishnapuram Palace, Kayamkulam
The Krishnapuram Palace is both a royal palace as well as a museum. The rare specimen of traditional architecture of Kerala is a sight not to miss. Located near Alappuzha, it was the residence of the rulers of Kayamkulam Kingdom. The style of the building suggests is was built in the 18th century, though the actual age is unknown.
The Archaeological Department of Kerala preserves the exquisite architecture as well as treasures housed in it. It features exhibits of the royal palace, belongings of the occupants, elaborate artwork, traditional weapons and statues of deities. Explore the rooms, corridors, underground escape routes and the scenery.
Visiting hours: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm on all days, except Mondays.
The Paliam Palace, Chennamangalam
The Paliam Dutch Palace located in the district of Ernakulam in the village of Chennamangalam, is one of the architectural splendors of the state. It is believed to be around 450 years old. Dutch renovated this palace. It was then presented to the Paliath Achans, ministers of the King of Cochi in appreciation of their valiant efforts.
The Paliam Palace features elaborate and intricate Dutch architecture. The erstwhile residence of the ministers also sheltered the King in time of need. It houses a collection of historic documents and relics. It is a great Muziris Heritage Site to be explored.
The Shakthan Thampuran Palace, Thrissur
The Shakthan Thampuran Palace features a mix of the architectural styles of the Dutch and of Kerala. It also known as the Vadakkekara Palace. The actual date of the place remains unknown. It was re-constructed in 1795. Now the palace is maintained by the Archaeological Department of the state and made into a museum in the year 2005.
The palace is actually named after a legendary king, Shakthan Thampuran. The landmark of chronicles the golden era of the King of Kochi. Explore the extremely well-built interiors that keep the temperatures blissful even in warm days. Witness traditional architecture of Kerala mixed with European flavor. The galleries in the palace exhibit bronze statues, sculptures, Megalithic artifacts and Numismatics.
Visiting Time: 10:00- 17:00 hours on all days, except Mondays.
Padmanabhapuram Palace complex is one of the most admired examples of traditional Kerala architecture. Built entirely of wood and dating back to the 16th century, visitors cannot absolutely miss this. The palace is located in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu state but is maintained by the Government of Kerala Archaeology Department.
The old palace of the Rajas of the erstwhile Travancore (1550 to 1750 AD), it is a fine memory of the era and exquisite style of architecture. The charm of the place is created by antique interiors, intricate rosewood carvings and sculptured decor. There are also vivid 17th and 18th century murals. Walk through the palace as it takes you on a journey to the days gone by.
Visiting Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM on all days except Mondays.
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Koyikkal Palace, Thiruvananthapuram
Koyikkal Palace is an outstanding double-storey palace, built in traditional Kerala architectural style. Nestled in picturesque beauty with sloping roofs, the palace belongs to the medieval Indian history. The construction of the palace was initiated by Umayamma Rani of Venad Royal Family, in the 17th century.
Koyikkal palace has now been renovated as a museum. The palace houses a Folklore Museum and a Numismatics Museum. The artifacts housed here represents the lifestyle of the Keralites during different periods. Check out brass/copperware and wooden kitchenware. There are also rare and historically valuable collections. It is a remnant of the trade relation of Kerala in the bygone ages.
Visiting Time: 9:00– 17:00 hours on all days except Mondays.
The Kanakakunnu Palace
A popular landmark of Kerala, the Kanakakunnu Palace is an attraction worth checking out. Located in Thiruvananthapuram, in the vicinity of the Napier museum, it is an impressive vestige of the colonial era built by the Kings of Travancore.
The Kanakakunnu palace has large sprawling grounds around it. The palace built by the royal family was used to entertain guests. The interiors are regal with stunning chandeliers, murals and other décor. The palace also acts a yearly venue for cultural programs. The All India Dance Festival also known as Nishagandhi festival is celebrated here. Enjoy the sights and allure of the royal Travancore dynasties’ home.
Visiting Time: 10:00- 17:00 hours on all days except Mondays.