Thiruvananthapuram, formerly called as Trivandrum, is the capital city of Kerala and also a major tourist destination of the state. The city has some amazing palaces, temples and museums that take you to the glorious past of the region.
Kuthira Malika, which is translated to 'Horse Mansion', one of the unique attractions of the city. Located close to the famous Padmanabhaswamy Temple, this attraction can also be covered on a trip to the temple.
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The palace was built by Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma, who was a ruler of Travancore in British India. The structure gets its name Kuthira Malika from the 122 horses that were carved into the southern roof of the palace. The official name of the palace is 'Puthen Malika' which means 'new mansion' in Malayalam.
Architecture of Kuthira Malika
Kuthira Malika is built using typical Kerala style of architecture, with sloping roofs, pillared verandahs, enclosed courtyards and the wooden carvings. The palace has 16 main rooms and each room is unique in its intricate carvings and other images that adorn the room.
It is said that it took 4 years for 5000 Vishwabrahmins to complete the construction of the palace. The materials used to build the structure include teak wood, rosewood, marble and granite. The palace roof is made of wood, and has 42 beams to support the carvings.
Another unique aspect of the palace is that the palace floor is made of materials like egg whites, charcoal and limestone, making it cold even during hot climatic conditions. There is a concert venue in the palace that has traditional sound reflectors of 50 clay pots that are hung upside down from the ceiling.
Kuthira Malika Museum
Out of the 80 rooms in total, only 20 of them is open to the tourists in the form of a museum. This museum holds several things that were used by the Travancore royal family like Belgian and Italian mirrors, crystal chandeliers, 14 life-size Kathakali mannequins, musical instruments, paintings, traditional furniture, Greek statues, armaments and ivory cradles of various sizes. The museum also has a large collection of idols and statues in marble. You can also find two royal thrones here, one made of 24 elephant tusks and one made in Bohemian crystal.
The courtyard of the palace is venue for Swathi Sangeethotsavam, also known as Kuthira Malika Festival. This yearly music festival is held to commemorate the legacy of Swathi Thirunal. This festival takes place from 6th to 12th January every year. Leading Carnatic and Hindustani artists perform during the festival.
How to reach Kuthira Malika
Kuthira Malika can be reached by road fom the city of Thiruvananthapuram. Here is how to reach Thiruvananthapuram.