Though Padmanabhapuram palace is administered by the government of Kerala and is also the palace of the erstwhile Travancore kingdom, it is geographically situated in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. Beautifully nestled amidst hills which form a part of western ghats, this palace is situated at a distance of 50 kms from Thiruvananthapuram, where the present Travanacore royal family resides. Built in the early 17th century, the palace lost its glory once the royals moved to Thiruvananthapuram in the late 18th century. This palace which holds a special place amongst all palaces of the royal family is well managed by the archaeological department of the government of Kerala and attracts numerous tourists.
|Entrance to the palace|
|Carvings on the exteriors|
The palace boasts of quintessential Kerala style architecture which has been explicitly displayed everywhere. External structures, roofs and pillars portray magnificent wood and stone works which would leave every visitor spellbound. Also it has numerous guides appointed by the government to help the visitors understand the culture and history of the palace. The inner rooms, corridors, floors, kitchens, dining area, inner courtyard, performance hall, king's council chamber, clock tower, queen's dressing room etc have been well maintained. The palace pond however has a different look with green water and weeds.
|Queen's dressing area|
|King's seating area to watch chariot racing|
|A peep hole view to the performance hall|
|Temple inside the complex|
The wood carvings on the pillars and the roofs look exquisite with intricate works. Years of labour has gone into the making of those lovely creations. Also displayed are the medicinal cot of the king, the stone cot, swings, hanging lamps, paintings depicting various ceremonies and portraits of the rulers. The complex also has a small temple and a southern palace which now serves as a museum and has a huge collection of artillery, curios and house hold items of the royal family.
|Wood carvings on pillars|
|Wood carvings on roof|
|Displays at the museum|
|Displays at the museum|
Padmanabhapuram palace still looks majestic, exhibits a lot of grandeur and is definitely one of the best preserved palaces in the country. A visit to the same will definitely help to delve deep into the history of the Royal Kingdom of Travancore.
Signing Note- Lose yourself amidst marvelous carvings, palatial rooms and magnificent heritage of the palace.
Route- Thiruvananthapuram- Neyyatinkara- Thuckalay- Padmanabhapuram
Distance- 53 Kms