Padmanabhapuram Palace

Wooden Palace Of Kerala

Padmanabhapuram Palace

Location : Thakkaly, Tamilnadu Boarder
Built In : Travancore Architectural Style
Speciality : Wooden Palace
Best Time : November To May

The Padmanabhapuram palace is one palace that has to be visited by tourists who pour in from all over the world. It is a magnificent wooden palace which was built in the 16th century by the rulers of Travancore. This traditional palace is well preserved in the present day world. The wooden carvings seen in the temple give a clear idea of the traditional architectural style of kerala. It is situated in the state of Tamilnadu and can be reached by traveling 54 kms from Trivandrum. The black glossy granite floor has withstood the test of time and the carvings of flowers seen in the palace are so exquisite that travelers keeps their eyes glued to it. A lot of 18th century murals can be seen the specially designed pooja room of the palace and in the upper floors. People can get a chance to witness the greatest testimonies of the traditional Kerala architecture in this gorgeous palace.

The Palace :

When one gets an opportunity to visit the palace, an experience of a lifetime can be gained. The architecture is sure to take everyone by surprise. Granite and teakwood structures are seen all over the place with specially designed artistic work. The buildings interconnected with it appear to glide along with this marvelous work. Ceilings as well as the floorings are styled with precision and the tiles and floral carvings are a treat to the eyes. The carved screens add more richness to the entire structure.

The Mantrashala :

When touring the palace, we can be surprised to see a wonderful area just above the place where the first floor entrance is placed. The place has illumination provided through clear panes of colored mica. This is the council chamber or the so called 'manthrashala'. One fascinating feature of the chamber is that the seats and walls are so unique from the other palaces. natural air-conditioning is made available by using special herbs soaking in water. They are filled into the box benches used for the members. The flooring is no exception to rarity. It is made by using a special technique of using a combination of sticky sugarcane extract, egg, white lime, burnt coconut and sand. The floor thus appears to glow and has a great attractive power.

The 'Ekandamandapam' or "the lonely Place' has all the features to keep travelers spell bound. The extraordinary paintings done on the floor is a sure attraction. This place is located in the oldest part of the palace which is said to have had a trapdoor, which was used as a secret passage to another palace. The passage has been destroyed years back. The specialty of the lonely place is the loose ring that is attached to a certain column and the unique feature is that the column and the ring are both carved by using a single piece of Jack wood.

A lot of aspects have been considered while designing the Rajas bedroom which is believed to have been designed by capable workmanship. It is a known fact that the rajas and maharajas of those times were made to get adorned elaborately in the best attire. Special significance was given to miniatures of Krishna and Belgian Mirrors when getting adorned. The Rajas bed is a four poster one with artistic carvings of human figures and birds. The bed is made up of a combination of sixteen types of medicinally efficient wood. The symbol of a snake that is believed to be associated with Ascepios, a Greek physician is seen on the central motif. Separate quarters were provided for women and were separated from the other rooms.

Another place of interest is the dance hall. It stands in front of the Goddess saraswathi shrine and is designed in the Pandya style. The stone columns appear to have a lot of luster and are very attractive to the eye. The dance performances were seen by the staff through the holes present in the wall while the women of the royal family saw it through special screens on their sides.

How To Get There :

Keeping in mind that Padmanabhpuram is just about 65 km south east of Trivandrum, travelers can make good use of the Thampnoor bus facilities available from Trivandrum. It is also advisable to board buses that go to Nagerkoil or Kanyakumari alighting at Thakkaly. Special Kanyakumari tours that are organized by KTDC provide easy access to the place.

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