Padmanabhapuram Palace:

             Padmanabhapuram Palace is located at the distance of 40kms (approx) from Kanyakumari. The Padmanabhapuram Palace is located at Padmanabhapuram Fort, close to the town of Thuckalay, Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu but but administered by the Government of Kerala state. The palace complex is inside an old granite fortress around four kilometers long. The palace is located at the foot of the Veli Hills, which form a part of the Western Ghats. The river Valli flows nearby. The palace was constructed around 1601 AD by Iravi Varma Kulasekhara Perumal who ruled Venad between 1592 and 1609.It is believed that the Thai Kottaram was built in 1550. The maker of modern Travancore Anizham Thirunal Marthandavarma(1706 -1758 ) who ruled Travancore from 1729 to 1758 rebuilt the palace in 1n around 1750. King Marthaanda Varma dedicated the kingdom to his family deity Sree Padmanabha, a form of Lord Vishnu and ruled the kingdom as Padmanabha dasa or servant of Lord Padmanabha. Hence the name Padmanabhapuram or City of Lord Padmanabha. In the late 18th century,precisely in 1795 the capital of Travancore was shifted from here to Thiruvananthapuram, and the place lost its former glory. However, the palace complex continues to be one of the best examples of traditional Kerala architecture, and some portions of the sprawling complex are also the hallmark of traditional Kerala style architecture. This palace may be the best to visit in anybody's pleasure trip to Thiruvananthapuram, if you are interested in history.

The Padmanabhapuram Palace complex consists of several structures:
  • Mantrasala; literal meaning, King's Council Chamber.
  • Thai Kottaram; literal meaning, Mother's Palace(It meant the mother's palace, where the mother of king resides) – believed to have been constructed before AD 1550.
  • Nataksala; literal meaning, the Hall of Performance, or of Performing Arts.
  • A four-storeyed building at the centre of the Palace complex.
  • Thekee Kottaram; literal meaning, the Southern Palace. 
The Padamnabhapuram Palace complex has several other interesting features. The clock tower in the palace complex has a 300 year old clock, which still keeps time. A big hall now bare, which can accommodate around 1000 guests, and where ceremonial feasts were held, on auspicious occasions. A secret passage, now blocked, through which the king, his immediate family members, and their entourage could escape to another palace, located several kilometers away in the event of any emergency. Name of this palace is Charottu kottaram. An entire room filled with old Chinese jars, all gifts by Chinese merchants. A variety of weapons (which were actually used in warfare), including swords and daggers. Brass lamps, wood and stone sculpture, a variety of furniture and large mirrors made of polished metal. A gallery of paintings depicting incidents from the history of Travancore. A wooden cot made of up to 64 wooden pieces of a variety of medicinal tree trunks.Polished stone cot, meant for cool effect.

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