Padmanabhapuram PalacePadmanabhapuram Palace, a wonderful 16th century palace is located in the urban centre of Padmanabhapuram in Kanyakumari district. Located just 20 km away from Nagercoil (Nagerkovil) and 50 km away from the metropolis of Thiruvananthapuram, Padmanabhapuram Palace stands firm, even today with rich history painted all over its majestic walls. Padmanabhapuram was once the capital city of the former kingdom of Travancore. Even though the Padmanabhapuram Palace is situated in the district of Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, the palace is administrated and maintained by the Government of Kerala!
Architecture of Padmanabhapuram Palace
The far-famed palace is situated at the bottom of the Veli Hills, which is a portion of the Western Ghats mountain range. The Padmanabhapuram Palace was constructed by Iravi Varma Kulasekhara Perumal around 1601 CE. The Maharaja of Travancore, King Anizham Thirunal Veerabaala Marthanda Varma (1706–1758) who governed Travancore for almost 29 long years, reconstructed the palace in around 1750 CE.
The Padmanabhapuram Palace complex comprises of a lot of unique structures:
King's Council ChamberThe King's Council Chamber in the palace also known as Mantrasala is regarded as the most incredible division of the entire palace. The council chamber feature windowpanes, with glossed isinglass, which prevent the high temperature and the dusty particles, and the interior design of the boardroom stays chill and benighted. Delicately designed framework comprising of decorative designs made of strips of wood or metal can be witnessed all over the chamber. The flooring is also attractively done in a way that the feel of the surface could not be replicated in any other building.
Queen Mother's PalaceThe Queen Mother's Palace, also known as Thai Kottaram is considered as the oldest division of the palace complex. Reflecting the traditional Kerala architectural patterns, the Queen Mother's Palace features an inner court, known as 'nalukettu'. In nalukettu, slanting roofs from all the corners taper downward. Four mainstays on four nooks bear the roof. The Thai Kottaram also features a chamber of solitude also known as ekantha mandapam which exhibits intricate wood sculptures and designs.
Performance HallThe Performance Hall is also known as Nataksala is comparatively a new construction, built at the command of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma, who ruled Travancore. The Nataksala feature granite columns of substantial quality and shining black flooring.
Also, the hall showcases a wooden structure that has been enclosed, with eyeholes, for the royal women to enjoy the performance.
Central MansionThe Central Mansion is a four storied large and imposing mansion situated at the centre of the palace complex. The mansion was constructed during the sovereignty of illustrious King Marthandavarma.
- Ground Floor of Central Mansion - Royal Treasury
- First Floor of Central Mansion - King's Bedrooms
- Second Floor of Central Mansion - King's Resting and Study Rooms
- Top Floor of Central Mansion - Worship Chamber
Southern PalaceThe Southern Palace is also known as Thekee Kottaram is almost 400 years old and the space serves as a heritage museum, displaying age-old household items and objects and oddments.
Some of the other important features of Padmanabhapuram Palace include:
- Charottu kottaram - Secret passage (now barricaded) for emergency escape
- 300 years old clock tower which still keeps ticking
- A separate room filled with presents from Chinese merchandisers
- Picture gallery portraying incidents from the Travancore history
- Variety of daggers and swords actually used during war
- Bathing pond
- Variety of furniture
Quick Facts:Padmanabhapuram Palace Location:
Padmanabhapuram Village, Near Thuckalay, Kanyakumari, Pincode - 629702
Contact Number: +91-4651-250255
Timings: 09:00 am to 01:00 pm and 02:00 pm to 04:30 pm (all days except Mondays and national holidays)
Entry Fee: Rs. 10 per adult; Rs. 2 per children
Approximate Visit Duration: 2 to 3 hours
Parking charges applicable
Nearby Places of Interest:
Sasthan Coil Temple: 2.1 km
Arulmigu Aaltharai Amman Temple: 6.5 km
Udayagiri Fort: 1.5 km
Nearby Places to Stay:
Park Beach Hotel: 12 km
JS Homestay: 14 km
Parvathi Residency: 13.5 km
Nearest Bus Stand: Thuckalay Bus Stand (located in the NH 47)
Nearest Airport: Trivandrum International Airport (IATA: TRV, ICAO: VOTV)
Nearest Railway Station: Nagercoil Junction Railway Station (NCJ)