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.
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
The palace is a standing proof of the exquisite Kerala architecture and houses brilliant woodworks.
Each lotus motif in the wooden ceiling is unique in design…
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.
A fine detailing on wood add the charm and reminds us the talent of the artisans those days …
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.
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…
Part of the dance hall …
A big hall now bare, which can accommodate around 1000 guests, and where ceremonial feasts were held, on auspicious occasions.
A King’s toilet facility made in granite! (It must be a luxury those days!)
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.