The Palace in Padmanabhapuram can best be described as a poem in wood.Incidentally, it is the world’s largest palace in wood. The intricate carvings and woodwork are according to the Thachu Sastra which translates to The Science of Carpentry, which is unique to Kerala.
Gleaming Corridors and Polished Floors
The King’s bedroom
This wooden cot was a gift made by the Dutch to the Maharaja and was made from the wood of 64 different types of medicinal plants and trees.
The Queen’s dressing room
King Marthanda Varma built the Navarathri Mandapam in 1744 A.D. Built of a solid rock, the building is 66 feet long and 27 feet wide.Famed for the unparalleled architecture and exquisite carvings , the building speaks of the rich cultural and artistic tradition of Kerala. It was here that various cultural programmes were conducted during the Navarathri festival. The dance floor was polished to mirror like perfection so much so that it is known as Kannadi thara or Mirror Floor.
A word about the flooring in this and many other parts of the palace: It was laid using a unique combination of egg-whites, Jaggery. lime, burnt Coco-nut shells, charcoal and river sand and polished until it shone like a mirror.
This building was constructed for accommodation of visiting foreign tourists and dignitaries.
About the Palace Museum in my next post!