Padmanabhapuram Palace

Padmanabhapuram Palace is a Travancore -era palace located in Padmanabhapuram, Kanyakumari District, Tamil Nadu. It is owned and maintained by the Government Of Kerala.Padmanabhapuram is the former capital city of the erstwhile Hindu Kingdom of Travancore. It is around 20km from Nagercoil, and 50km from Thiruvananthapuram city. The palace is complex inside with an old granite fortress around four kilometers long. The palace is located at the foot of the Veli Hills, which forms 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 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. The Palace though surrounded entirely by the State of Tamil Nadu is still part of Kerala and the land and Palace belongs to the Government of Kerala. This Palace is maintained by the Govt.of Kerala Archaeology Department. The antique interiors are replete with intricate rosewood carvings and sculptured decor. The palace also contains 17th and 18th century murals. One can see: the musical bow in mahogany, windows with coloured mica, royal chairs with Chinese carvings, 'Thaikkottaram' or the Queen Mother's palace with painted ceilings, rose wood and teak carved ceilings with 90 different floral designs. Durbar Hall of the palace has a shiny black floor specially made from a combination of egg white, jaggery lime, burnt coconut, charcoal and river sand, granite tubs to cool curd and buttermilk, secret underground passages, the King's bedroom with a four poster medicinal bed, mural paintings, pictures of Lord Krishna, hanging brass lanterns lit continuously since the 18th century, open air swimming bath, granite dance hall, Saraswathi temple, large earthen urns, room for scribes and accountants, carved figures on columns holding oil lamps, pooja rooms with jackfruit tree columns, fish carvings on the ceilings, enormous teak beams, Belgian mirrors and an outer cyclopean stone wall fitted together without mortar.