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Padmanabhapuram palace


Padmanabhapuram palace,  situated in the southern most tip of India  is considered to be the biggest wooden palace in Asia. The palace complex was constructed around 1601 A.D by Travancore king Iravi Varma Kulasekhara Perumal.


Location : 55 km away from Thiruvananthapuram on the highway to Nagarcoil-Kanyakumari, 15 Km from Nagercoil and some 30 Km from Kanyakumari. You can either set your base camp in Thiruvananthapuram or Kanyakumari and make a visit to this palace.



Timings: The palace is open between 9 Am to 4.30 Pm all days except Mondays and National holidays.

Padmanabhapuram palace covers an area of around 7 acres. The complex consists of individual structures linked by a maze of corridors, colonnades, verandahs, courts and constructed of  teakwood and granite and stands within the massive stone walls of 30 ft.

Picture 1

Icon8  The sprawling complex consists of:

  • Mantrasala, literal meaning, King’s Council Chamber
  • Thai Kottaram, literal meaning, Mother’s Palace – believed to have been constructed before 1550
  • Nataksala, literal meaning, the Hall of Performance, or of Performing Arts
  • A four-storeyed building at the centre of the Palace complex
  • Thekee Kottaram, literal meaning, the Southern Palace

Picture 2


The palace is a standing proof of the exquisite Kerala architecture and houses brilliant woodworks.

Picture 3   Picture 4









Picture 5 

Picture 6

Icon5  Each lotus motif in the wooden ceiling is unique in design…

Picture 8

Icon7  The floors are made with a special compound of crushed shells, coconuts, egg-white and juices of local plants that gives a high quality polish that is remarkable even now after 400 years.

Picture 7

Icon8  A fine detailing on wood add the charm and reminds us the talent of the artisans those days …

Picture 9   Picture 10







Icon7   A wooden cot made of up to 64 wooden pieces of a variety of medicinal tree trunks… An entire room filled with old Chinese jars, all gifts by Chinese merchants.

Picture 11


Picture 12









Icon8  Women folks of the royal family sit behind this wooden barrier and use the openings to see the       cultural programs in the ground floor hall… there by staying away from the men’s glare…

Picture 14   Part of the dance hall …

Picture 13

Icon7  A big hall now bare, which can accommodate around 1000 guests, and where ceremonial feasts were held, on auspicious occasions.


Icon8  A King’s toilet facility made in granite! (It must be a luxury those days!)

Picture 15

   A granite sculpture … 


  • There are 108 rooms and some portions of the palace are closed for public view to protect it from damage.
  • A variety of weapons (which were actually used in warfare), including swords and daggers are in display.
  • The palace also exhibits brass lamps, wood and stone sculpture, a variety of furniture and large mirrors made of polished metal.
  • A gallery of paintings depicting incidents from the history of Travancore can also be viewed in the palace.
0 24 October, 2009 Third Eye October 24, 2009

About the author

He is the lead man of GingerChai and plays the multi role of chief author, editor, business development and also of a chaiwala! (Tea maker!) He is the master brewer at Ginger Chai.

View all articles by Lakshmi Rajan


  1. mani padma

    You have done quite a number of additions in the features of photo speaks. third eye. It has dramatised the effect a lot. Minute details have been shown in the photographs which has again increased tthe visual appeal. Over all the article clicks.Wekll researched and thorough, but I don’t know if this wil work in JITC, cos shall I say it here or mail you. Let me mail you.

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