July 20, 2010

A 17th century Portuguese Palace - Dutch Palace, Kochi, Kerala, India

Cochin is considered as the commercial capital of Kerala state in India. Cochin aka Kochi and Ernakulam are twin cities. In fact, it can be better considered as a single town. The three main parts of Kochi/Ernakulam are Fort Cochin, Willington Island and Ernakulam.

Mattanchery Palace, which is popularly called as the Dutch Palace, is located at Palace Road, Mattancherry. It was built by the Portuguese in the middle of the 16th century. This structure was taken over in 1663 by the Dutch, who added some improvements before presenting it to the Kings of Cochin. Hence, the palace is also called as the 'Dutch Palace'.

Dutch palace is famous for some of the best mythological murals in India, particularly in the bed chambers. In one section, the entire story of Ramayana is beautifully depicted on the walls. The palace also contains rare examples of traditional Kerala flooring, which looks like polished black marble but is actually a mixture of burned coconut shells, charcoal, lime, plant juices and egg whites. The royal ornaments and the King's Seat are also found in this museum.

The palace also houses weapons used by the kings/soldiers and old coins. The roofs are decorated and walls are adorned with murals.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts

Site Name: Dutch Palace
Site Type: Palace
Highlight: Built by Portuguese in the 17th century CE
City Name: Kochi (Cochin)
Location: Kerala state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Ernakulam
Nearest Airport: Cochin
How to reach: Easily reachable by road, train, and flight
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available in Cochin/Ernakulam
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in Cochin/Ernakulam

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