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Poonjar Palace


A wonderful demonstration of the royal grandeur of the past days, the Poonjar Palace is one of the best attractions in Kottayam. The palace also houses an amazing collection of vintage furniture and antique items including jewel box, weapons, statues, palm lead engravings, a palanquin, huge chandeliers, grain measures, various kinds of lamps, sculptors of Lord Nataraja, a treatment bed called a droni made from single piece of wood. Another prime attraction here is a conch, which is used once in a year, during an annual religious event.

Mainly made of wood, the palace is a wonderful example of traditional Kerala style of architecture. A replica of the very popular Mennakshi Amaan Temples of Madurai is located close to the palace. Another popular attraction near the temple is the Sastha temple.

History

Poonjar palace was constructed by the Poonjar Maharajas, an ancient dynasty of the Travancore royal family. The place was the seat of Poonjar kingdom and is believed to be 600 years old. Manavikrama Kulashekhara Perumal founded Poonjars, which belonged to the Pandyan rulers of the Sangam Age. In 1152 AD, the then ruler made Madurai their home, after Tamil civil wars. He carried three statues of their ‘Kula Devi’, Goddess Meenakshi and built Meenakshi temple, on the banks of the River Meenachil. King Manavikraman obtained land from the Thekkancoor rulers to build the palace.

Best Time to Visit: October - March

Getting there:

Nearest railway station: Kottayam railway station (30 km)

Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport (76 km)



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