July 27, 2010

The second best Palace of South India - Padmanabhapuram Palace

Padmanabhapuram Palace is the second most famous palace in South India, after Mysore Palace. It is located inside the Padmanabhapuram fortress at the foot of Veli Hills, which is a part of Western Ghats. Padmanabhapuram Palace is located at a distance of around 20 kms from Nagercoil and 50 kms from Thiruvananthapuram. The nearest town of Padmanabhapuram is Thakkalai. Even though Padmanabhapuram Palace is located within the Tamil Nadu state border, the palace is administered by Kerala Government's archaeological department. Moreover, Padmanabhapuram palace stands as an example for Kerala architectural style.

Padmanabhapuram Palace was built by the Travancore king named Iravipillai Iravivarma Kulasekhara Perumal in 1601 AD. After the capital of Travancore kingdom was shifted from Padmanabhapuram to Thiruvananthapuram in the late 18th century AD, the Padmanabhapuram palace lost its glory.

Padmanabhapuram palace is one of the beautiful monuments in South India. It is considered as an excellent example for the typical Kerala style of architecture and palace. The most beautiful portion of the palace is the King's council chamber aka Mantrasala. The floor is dark coloured and is made of a mixture of various substances, such as burnt coconut shells and egg. Mantrasala has windows with colored mica, which keeps the room cool and dark.

The Mother's Palace aka Thai Kottaram is a section in the palace which has beautiful wooden carvings. There is a separate hall named 'Natakasala', which was used for dance and music performances. The four storeyed building located in the center of the palace has various rooms including the king's bedroom, worshipping place with a lot of beautiful mural paintings depicting Hindu puranas, and the rooms displaying various weapons. The speciality of the king's bed is that it is made up of several Ayurvedic herbs. There is another bed which is made in such a way that it remains always cool. There is a separate building named Southern Palace which house some antique items for display. There are some rooms in the palace which is used as museum for displaying royal ornaments, vessels, weapons, and idols. There is also a small temple dedicated for the Goddess Saraswati, which is closed nowadays.

Padmanabhapuram Palace is definitely a place which you must visit in South India.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:

Site Name: Padmanabhapuram Palace
Site Type: Palace
City Name: Padmanabhapuram
Location: Around 20 kms from Nagercoil/50 kms from Trivandrum; Located in the Kerala border, Tamil Nadu state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Nagercoil
Nearest Airport: Trivandrum
How to reach: Easily reachable by road from Thakkalai, Trivandrum, Kanyakumari and Nagercoil
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available in Trivandrum and Nagercoil
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in Trivandrum, Nagercoil, and Thakkalai

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