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Padmanabhapuram Palace in Thuckalay, in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, is a prestigious monument of Kerala.

Padmanabhapuram Palace

Fast Facts

Location Kanyakumari District, Tamil Nadu
Nearest Airport/Railway Station Thiruvananthapuram International Airport / Nagercoil Railway Station
Nearby Attractions Puthenmalika Palace Museum, Kovalam Beach, Museum Complex, Attukal Bhagvathy Temple
Best Time to Visit November to May

Padmanabhapuram palace is located inside the Padmanabhapuram Fort whose expanse is almost four kilometers. The magnificent palace is located in Thuckalay, in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, at the foot of Velli hills which are a part of the great Western Ghats. River Veli, one of the prominent rivers of Kerala, flows nearby giving the palace a picturesque view. The palace is divided into five different parts - Mantrasala, Thai Kottaram, Nataksala, Uppirikka Maliga and Thekee kottaram, each of these portions is meant for different purposes. Mantrasala was king's council chamber, Thai Kottaram used to be the mother's palace, while Nataksala was the place for recreation. Then there is a portion which is four storied called Uppirikka Maliga and the Southern Palace or the Thekee Kottaram. The palace is well preserved by the Government of Kerala Archeology Department, which takes care of its protection and maintenance. The palace is constructed in the traditional nalukettu style of architecture, because of which it sports a courtyard exactly at the middle of the palace.

Padmanabhapuram Palace was constructed by Iravi Varma Kulasekhara Perumal in the year 1601. He was the ruler of Travancore from 1592 to 1609. But, it is considered that the whole structure of the palace wasn’t built in one go. It was constructed and renovated time and again in the course of history. Supposedly the Thai Kottaram was built in 1550 a lot earlier than the construction of other portions of the palace. The king Anizham Thirunal Marthandavarma reconstructed the entire monument in the year 1750. Later, King Marthaanda Varma dedicated the whole city to his family deity Sree Padmanabhan, who is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that he himself ruled the kingdom as the servant of Lord Sree Padmanabhan. Therefore, the palace derived its name from this whole incidence.

The word Padmanabhapuram literally means the city of Lord Sree Padmanabha. The capital of the state was shifted from here to Travancore and henceforth the palace lost its former glory. However, even after that, the palace stood as an exquisite example of traditional Kerala architecture. Thai Kottaram is the oldest building of the Padmanabhapuram Palace complex, while the latest construction is the Nataksala, as it was built during the reign of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal who was a connoisseur of art and theater. He ruled the kingdom of Travancore from 1829 to 1846.

Apart from its commendable structural design, the palace has a number of interesting features. The clock tower which is a part of palace complex is 300 yrs old, but it is still accurate. There used to be a secret passage inside the palace from where the king and the family of the king could be transferred to another palace several kilometers away, at the time of an emergency. The palace stores a number of artifacts. An entire room filled of Chinese jars, variety of weapons, a gallery of paintings depicting the history of Travancore and a wooden cot made up of 64 different pieces of wood which are of medicinal quality.

How to Reach

By Road

The palace is a little remotely placed. Public transit is not a viable option, so it is advised to travel by a private vehicle or take a taxi.

By Air
The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport from where it is easy to travel to a number of destinations, in India or abroad.

By Rail
Traveling by train in India is an exotic experience altogether and if one is comfortable with the idea of traveling by train then the nearest railhead is Nagarcoil. Nagarcoil is located 15kms from the Padmanabhapuram Palace.

Alwaye Palace | Bolghatty Palace | Cheraman Juma Masjid | Paradesi Synagogue | Koyikkal Palace | Krishnapuram Palace | Mattancherry Palace | Padmanabhapuram Palace | Poonjar Palace | Sakthan Thampuran Palace

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