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.!
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 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.
Stone troughs to store water in the dining hall.
This part of the palace dates back to an even earlier period.It is called The Mother Palace or Thai Kottaram.
The boarded up entrance to a secret underground passage that leads to another palace about a kilometre away.