Have you ever been to a Dutch Palace in India? Mattancherry Palace near Kochi is also known as Dutch Palace. Let's see what makes this palace interesting!
During 15th and 16th centuries, Kochi was a major trading centre for spices and other commodities that attracted the Portuguese and Dutch among other global traders. The place was also a home to the royal family of Kochi.
In 1555, the Portuguese built a stunning palace using a blend of traditional and European architectural styles. This wonderful piece of architecture was gifted to the erstwhile King of Kochi Raja Veera Kerala Varma, and the palace served as his residence from then. For around two centuries, the palace was the residence for the royal family, and all the important events related to the coronation were held here.
Photo Courtesy: Ranjith Siji
After the Dutch renovated the palace in 1663, the palace came to be called as the Dutch Palace. Today, this beautiful structure is one of the major tourist attractions of Kochi. The architecture of the palace, which has a Nalukettu style that is specific to Kerala, the in-house gallery and the temples at the palace premises make the Mattancherry Palace a must-visit tourist spot in Kerala!
There are two temples on the either side of the palace, dedicated to Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva respectively. The inner courtyard of the temple holds a shrine of Pazhayannur Bhagavathy, the protective deity of Kochi royal family.
Interiors of Mattancherry Palace
The mural collection in Palliyara (King's chamber) is something an art lover would not want to miss. The themes of these mural range from the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata to those of Hindu deities and other characters related to the Hindu mythology.
Photo Courtesy: Mark Hills
The gallery also has a display of the weapons, furniture, umbrellas, coins and other items used by the Kochi royal family, which gives us a glimpse into the royal lifestyle of the family.
Since the Mattancherry Palace in Kerala was declared a protected monument in 1951, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has been managing the palace. This architectural wonder has been restored by ASI and is open to visitors from 10am to 5pm on all days except Fridays.
Other places that you can explore in Kochi include Fort Kochi, Bolghatty Palace, Wellington Island and Kochi Beach. Take a trip to this land that transports you to a colonial past of Kerala!
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