The best Tourist place in Kanniyakumari District Padmanabhapuram Palace
Padmanabhapuram palace is actually a Palace complex. The complex of 14 palaces spread over an area of 6.5 acres. So it is unique feature of ancient Kerala architectural skill. In the beginning it was a small palace. But the successive rulers added one after the other and at the end of the 18th century it attained its present status. The most important buildings in the palace are
Thaikottaram or Mother Palace:
Thaikottaram is the oldest building in the palace complex. This is also known as Darpakulangara koyikkal. This palace is built according to the kerala architectural style. The Ekanthamanda-pam or open verandah in the palace is built of finely carved wooden pillars decorated with specimens of indigenous style of wood carving. The foundation pillar of the palace is carved out of a single jack fruit-tree.
The name “Uppirikka” is derived from the word “Upariaka” which means a multi storeyed building. This building was constructed in 1750 A. D. by Maharaja Marthanda Varma. Marthanda Varma built this palace for dedicating it to Lord Sri Padmanabha. So it is considered as a sacred palace for washing feet before entering into the rooms.
The building consists of four storeys. The ground floor was used as the royal treasury. The wooded cot exhibited in the first floor is a medicinal cot made up of 64 pieces of medicinal wood. The second floor was used as the Maharaja’s resting room during religious fasting. Only second and third floors have verandas on four sides.
The murals on the four walls of the topmost story popularly known as “Upprikkamalika” of this magnificent palace are well preserved and display the stylistic of the 17th and 18th century architecture.
A wooden cot is arranged here on this floor in the belief that Lord Vishnu the chief Deity would recline on it every day. At one corner a Ceremonial Sword is placed on a stool covered with red cloth and it is taken to Thiruvananthapuram every year during Navarathri Pooja Festival.
Indra vilasam Palace:
This two storeyed residence for foreign dignitaries is built in the colonical style. Dalava Ramayyan is the man who built this palace. He is the Prime Minister of the great Marthanda Varma (1729-1758) the founder of modern Travancore. It was here that the rulers interviewed distinguished visitors. Fr. Paulinus Bartalomeo the author of the book “A Voyage to the East Indies” is reported to have stayed at Padmanabhapuram. The whole interior of Indra Vilasam Palace is shady and cool and admits plenty of air and light through big doors and windows.
The mandapam was originally made of wood. But was rebuilt in store under the directions of Marthanda Varma (1729-1758) or Darma Raja (1758-1798). It was used for dance and musical performances. Also music, dance and other entertainments were conducted every year during the Navarathri Festival.
The wood screened chambers at the south east corner of the hall were used to accommodate the king and other royal members in order to witness the perfomances in the mandapa. The architecture of this mandapa seems like Vijaya Nagara style. It is a contrast to the simplicity of wood dominated structure of the palace complex.
Archeological Museum in Padmanabhapuram palace:
A museum block at the south west corner of Padmanabhapuram palace was constructed by the department of Archaeology. The construction of the building was originally started in 1962. Later it was redesigned in accordance with the style and structure of the old palace complex and was completed towards the close of 1993.
The most important exhibit in the Museum:
- Stone inscriptions and copper plates
- Weapons and implements
- Stone images and sculptures
9.00 A.m to 5.00 P.m ( Monday Holiday)
Nearest railway station Nagercoil about 16 Kilometers
Nearest Airport: Trivandrum International Airport 52 Km away
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