“Fascinating Ancient Palace.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 June 2015 NEW
Although this palace is located in Kanyakumari district of the state of Tamil Nadu, it was built in the 16th century by the Rajas of the erstwhile Travancore when Padmanabhapuram was the capital city of the kingdom of Travancore. The Palace is a fine specimen of Kerala’s indigenous style of traditional architecture. Even now it is maintained by the Govt. of Kerala’s Archaeology Department.
We visited this palace on the way from Poovar (Kerala) to Kanyakumari. After passing the town of Marthandam and crossing the Neyyar River on the Kerala border, we arrived at the Tamil Nadu town of Thuckalay where the palace is located. There is an entry fee of Rs.35 per person and Rs.50 for a camera. It is closed to the public on Mondays.
As you enter you will see a clock tower with a 300 year old clock which still keeps time. Once you are inside it is as if you have been transported into a completely different world by a time machine. There are at least 50 to 60 rooms in different sections of the palace, and there is an attendant in each of the rooms to guide you around that room.
The antique interiors are replete with intricate rosewood carvings and sculptured decor. The shining floor of the Durbar Hall is made from a weird combination of natural ingredients which include egg whites, jaggery, lime, burnt coconut shells, charcoal and river sand. In the Raja’s bedroom there is a 64 piece wooden bed made from a variety of medicinal trees. There is an entire room filled with Chinese jars all gifted by Chinese merchants. There are 17th and 18th century murals, windows with coloured mica, hanging brass lanterns which have been lit continuously since the 18th century, carved figures holding oil lamps, on columns made from jackfruit wood, and fish carvings on the ceilings. A part of the palace is now a heritage museum exhibiting antique household articles and curios.
This palace is a must visit in your tour of Southern Kerala, especially if you are interested in history
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Visited November 2014
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