Positioned in the heart of the Thiruvananthapuram city, Kanakakunnu Palace is one of the most popular palaces of Kerala. The property lies close to the very well-known Napier Museum and has well-maintained grounds where a number of cultural events are organized every year. The palace has an eye-catching red-colored façade and typical Kerala-style roof.
Commissioned in the 19th century by the then Travancore ruler, Kanakakunnu Palace was originally a royal guest house and the venue of royal functioning. Placed on the top of a small hill, the palace is surrounded by green meadows and offer wonderful mesmerizing views. Thousands of people visit this palace on a daily basis.
Sree Moolam Thirunal, a popular Travancore ruler, constructed Kanakakkunnu Palace, during his reign in Travancore region, from 1885 to 1924. He built the palace as a guest house for his imperial guests and for organizing royal parties. Another Travancore ruler, Swathi Thirunal, renovated this palace and added a vast tennis court in the ground of the palace. This palace was also used by him as his summer resort for a few years. This structure also finds its name in the list of heritage monuments, compiled by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).
Highlights of the Palace
The red-colored façade and typical Kerala-style structure add an interesting character to the Kanakakkunnu palace. Some wonderful pieces of antique capture your attention at the entrance of the palace. The brilliant structure of the palace showcases the lavish lifestyle of Thirunal rulers, who were aficionados of art. Peaceful surroundings and wonderful views are the other highlights.
Sooryakanthi Auditorium and Nishagandhi Open-Air Auditorium are two of the main structures of the Kanakakkunnu palace complex. These two are used for organizing important cultural events of the city. One of the most popular cultural events in Thiruvananthapuram, All India Dance Festival, also known as Nishagandhi Festival, is organized here by the state Tourism Department, yearly. This dance festival held at the Nishagandhi Open-Air Auditorium, attracts views and performers from all across the globe. Another popular event is the week-long Food Festival, held in the open grounds.
Best Time to Visit
October to March is the best time to visit Kanakakunnu palace as per the weather. This is also that time of the year when these festivals are held here.
Palace- 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (closed on Monday)
Museum- 10:00 AM – 04:45 PM (Tuesday to Sunday), and till 01:00 PM (Wednesday)
Nearest railway station: Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station (3 km away)
Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport (5 km away)