Location: Near Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Founded By: Iravi Iravi Varma Kulasekhara Perumal
Founded In: 1601
Timings: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Best to Visit: November to May
Padmanabhapuram Palace is a beautiful monument, situated in a small
village near Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala. The
distance between the two places is approximately 65 km. The palace is
situated inside an old granite fortress, which is around four km in
length. It was constructed somewhere around 1601 AD, under the patronage
of Iravi Iravi Varma Kulasekhara Perumal, the erstwhile ruler of
The capital of Travancore got shifted from here to Trivandrum in the
18th century. Located at the foot of the Veli Hills, Padmanabhapuram
Palace serves as the perfect example of traditional Kerala architecture.
With the river Valli flowing nearby, it presents a picturesque sight.
There are a number of structures, including a sprawling courtyard, which
make up the entire complex of the Padmanabhapuram Palace of India.
Mantrasala (King's Council Chamber)
Mantrasala, or the King's Council Chamber, is the place where the king
used to hold consultations with his ministers. It is a magnificent
structure, adorned with colored mica windows and exquisite latticework.
The flooring of the chamber is also very tastefully done in dark color
and has a perfect finish. It has been constructed with a mixture of
diverse stuff, like burnt coconut shells, egg white, etc.
Thai Kottaram (Mother's Palace)
Thai Kottaram, also known as the Mother's Palace, dates back to the
mid-16th century. It has been deigned as per traditional Kerala
architectural style and is believed to be the oldest structure in the
entire palace. There is an inner courtyard, called 'nalukettu', with
sloping roofs and four pillars that seem to be supporting it.
Ekantha Mandapam (Chamber of Solitude)
Ekantha Mandapam is known as the 'Chamber of Solitude' and is situated
in the southwest corner of the Mother's Palace. The chamber is festooned
with elaborate woodcarvings, of which the most beautiful one has
meticulous and attractive floral designs.
Nataksala (Hall of Performance)
Nataksala is the place where dance performances used to take place. The
hall was built under the aegis of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal, the
erstwhile ruler of Travancore. It is also known as the Hall of
Performance and has solid granite pillars and gleaming black floor. The
wooden enclosure of the hall has peepholes, which were used by the royal
ladies to watch the performances.
The central building of Padmanabhapuram Palace is a four-storied
structure, situated in the heart of the palace. The top floor of the
building, known as Upparikka Malika, used to serve as the private
worship chamber of the royals. The walls of the top floor have been
ornamented with exquisite murals that date back to the 18th century.
Most of these murals exhibit scenes from the puranas, while some depict
the social life of the Travancore during that time.
Just below the worship chambers are a number of rooms, one amongst
which was once the bedroom of the King. The ornate bedstead of the ruler
can still be seen there. It was received as a gift from the Dutch
merchants and is composed of 64 types of herbal and medicinal woods.
Almost all the rooms of this building have built-in recesses in walls,
which were used for storing weapons like swords and daggers.
Thekee Kottaram (Southern Palace)
Thekee Kottaram is the name given to the southern palace, which is
believed to be as ancient as the Thai Kottaram. Presently, it has been
converted into a heritage museum, where one can see antique household
articles and curios being displayed.