A visit to Padmanabhapuram Palace was something I had been planning for a long time. As it turned out the visit was very enjoyable.

A 16th century palace built almost entirely of wood, in traditional Kerala style of architecture, replete with carvings and sculptures, a delight to lovers of art and architecture!

A few quick facts and then it’s mostly photographs.

Padmanabhapuram Palace is  near the town of Thuckalay in Kanyakumari District of Tamil-nadu in South India. It is 20 kms.from Nagerkoil and 50 kms fromTiruvananthapuram,  at the foot of the Veli Hills which form part of the Western Ghats.

It was the ancient capital of the Travancore Kings for many centuries and remained the centre of power  till 1790, when the capital was shifted to Tiruvanandapuram. Though it is in the state of Tamil-nadu, it is a monument protected by law and under the care of the Government of Kerala.

Click on this link for more details from a World Heritage Centre/Unesco website http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5897/

We had to leave our footwear at a special counter near the entrance.

Now for the pics.!

Inside the fort

Padmanabapuram palace



This is where the King held discussions with his ministers. A special feature here are  the Kilivathil of which there are eleven. A kilivathil is a tiny window, the shutters of which are beautifully decorated with mirror-work in different hues. Chinese model sittings that adorn the Mantrasala are rich with carvings. The floor is typical of the rare technology that was in vogue.

The Mantrasala where the King held discussions with his Ministers

Large Courtyards and stately buildings housing the huge dining hall
Large Courtyards and stately building housing the Grand dining hall

The Grand dining hall is very big. It was called Ootupura meaning-dining area.The kings of Travancore were known for their generous hospitality.Over 2000 people were served free meals in this Grand dining hall on a daily basis.Each storey of this two-storeyed building is built to accomodate one thousand people at a time.The huge Chinese jars which were used to store pickles are exhibited in the Ground floor.

The dining hall

Jars for pickles in the grand dining hall

Stone water troughs in the dining hall

Stone troughs to store water in the dining hall.

Thai Kottaram

This part of the palace dates back to an even earlier period.It is called The Mother Palace or Thai Kottaram.

PP Palace 5DSC00757

The boarded up entrance to a secret underground passage that leads to another palace about a kilometre away.





  1. I love visiting and exploring temples and museums. This post of yours has left me in awe of this grandeur palace and the museum. The striking clicks show the places beautifully. Now I wish to see this place and get the first hand experience of its majestic beauty.


    1. Hi Ketki,
      Do visit Padmanabhapuram Palace.You wont be disappointed.The truth is that the palace is more beautiful than what the pics convey.Thanks for the nice comment which has led me to your blog site.What a lovely site you have and I enjoyed reading your post on Parthasarathy temple.
      Have a wonderful day! – Sheela


  2. I was thrilled to have visited the Padmanabhapuram palace and almost missed a flight back home . Loved your shots . They took me down memory lane .


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