Zenfolio | Ravi Kappagantula | Padmanabhapuram Palace, Kerala

Padmanabhapuram Palace (Tamil: பத்மநாபபுரம் அரண்மனை, Malayalam: പത്മനാഭപുരം കൊട്ടാരം) is located in at Padmanabhapuram Fort, in Padmanabhapuram, Kanyakumari District, Tamil Nadu, India. Padmanabhapuram is the former capital city of the erstwhile Hindu kingdom of Travancore. It is about 20km from Nagercoil, and about 50km from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The palace complex is inside an old granitefortress 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 founder of modern Travancore, KingAnizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma (1706–1758) who ruled Travancore from 1729 to 1758, rebuilt the palace in 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. 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 ground floor houses the royal treasury. The first floor houses the King's bedrooms. The ornamental bedstead is made of 64 types of herbal and medicinal woods, and was a gift from the Dutch merchants. Most of the rooms here and in other parts of the palace complex have built-in recesses in walls for storing weapons like swords and daggers. The second floor houses the King's resting and study rooms. Here the King used to spend time during fasting days. The top floor (called upparikka malika) served as the worship chamber of the royal household. Its walls are covered with exquisite 18th century murals, depicting scenes from the puranas, and also few scenes from the social life of the Travancore of that time. Ths top floor was supposed to be Sree Padmanabha Swamy's room. This building was constructed during the reign of King Marthandavarma. He was also designated as Padmanabha Dasa and used to rule the Travancore kingdom as a servant of Sree Padmanabha Swamy.
Main Palace - Front view - 1DS_0235Clock Tower - 1DS_0211Kuthirai Villakku - Horse Symbol Traditional Oil Lamp - 1DS_0111Carvings within the Wooden Roof inside the main palace - 1DS_0112One of the King's Chair - 1DS_0114King's Council chamber - Mantrasala - 1DS_0115Dining hall - for 1000 guests - 1DS_0120Doors within the Palace - 1DS_0142King's Bedstead - 1DS_0147King's Beadstead - From Dutch - 1DS_0151Original Belgian Mirror - 1DS_0154Central view of the Palace interior - 1DS_0159A small temple Inside the palace - 1DS_0206The King address the common man from this balcony - 1DS_0171The southern Palace within the main palace grounds - 1DS_0106Inner Courtyard of the Southern Palace - 1DS_0230