Drizzling rain falling on the asbestos roof of the balcony woke me up from the nightmare. It was 6 AM and Mr. Cock was crowing at its best gives me a flavor of rural village with the aroma of filter coffee tantalizing in the air… Sunrays behind the mountain spangled the skyline affirmed the rain wouldn’t spoilsport our second day trip.
First day of our trip flew with church hoping spree and filled with visit to some of the prominent churches in and around Kanyakumari.
The pristine beaches of the fishing town Uvari offers serenity, besides the renowned Kappal Matha Church and Uvari Anthoniyar Church. The radiant façade of Punniyavalanpuram Velankanni church, the lost church of Athisaya Manal Matha and the miraculous ThiruKalyana Matha Shrine behold the perfect goodness of God! Mesmerizing beauty of Manapad with blue lagoons and natural aquifer is very splendid…
We started to Padmanabhapuram Palace from Nagercoil around 9 AM with all the kids and with our undeniably scrumptious meal for the lunch. Recalling our earlier trip here, it’s the most skipped place due to time constraint. Whenever I pick the palace, someone will pick the beach and everyone will end up there… And, today it will be not missed!!!
Mountains cladded in dark clouds and breezy wind makes your journey enticing and assert that there’s going to be a downpour. On the way, you could enjoy seeing rubber plantations and every home dotted with lush greeneries makes you feel energetic and lively for those coming from the mundane concrete world!!
Nestled in the foothills of Veli, a part of Western Ghats, Padmanabhapuram Palace is an awesome historic-heritage place with its mystique architecture and considered the best-preserved till date in the borders of Kanyakumari under the administration of Kerala. The fine wooden architecture of this place makes it untiring for the tourists to flock here. It is located in Padmanabhapuram, in the town of Thuckalay of Kanyakumari District which is 20 KM from Nagercoil.
Padmanabhapuram Palace is an awe-inspiring work of Indigenous Kerala architecture and deemed as largest wooden palace in Asia. It was built by Iravi Varma Kulasekhara Perumal in 1601 AD and it offers an awesome sight to behold, with its large Mantrasala (King council’s chamber) and Thai Kottaram (Queen Mother’s Palace), Nataksala (Auditorium) and Valiya Oottupura, a double storied building, Thekkae Kottaram and Ambari Mukhappu.
Once the capital shifted to Thiruvananthapuram, it’s left untouched and the palace lost its lust! When the flourished kingdom of Travancore has moved, it became a desolate place. And, today it is maintained by the administration of archaeological department of Kerala.
Lazz went to get the ticket and we were asked to leave the foot wear outside. That’s how we could share our part to keep it clean! Make sure to buy a ticket for camera as well. Without that, you’ll not be allowed to take any pictures…
First stop was at the entrance called ‘Poo Mukham’ (Portico of the building) and the two wooden brackets with a soldier on horseback adjoining the stone pillar exhale the aesthetic architecture of Kerala to welcome you! And, you’ll be thrilled to see the 200 year old clock still functioning in the adjacent clock tower.
The most striking feature of Poomukham is the decorative sculptural work on wooden ceiling carved with exquisite lattice work of 90 different floral, made out of rosewood & teak wood combination. Bewildered, I began to look closely at every floral motif… The Brass Horse lamp (Kuthira vilaku) is another striking feature that lets you rotate the lamp in the desired direction without oscillating it back. You could also see an arm chair gifted by Chinese, a granite cot, and a collection of onavillu, a bow-shaped instrument as exhibits.
With intricate woodwork on the roof beams and polished floor, King Council’s Chamber emerges mystically in the faded light!
We merely walked through the palace observing the architecture and listening to our guide narrates the history. Valiya Oottupura, a double storied building located in the southern side of Palace has been used for dining purpose during feasts and it is a spacious area which could accommodate more than 1000 people at a time.
You could spot large jars in the ground floor gifted by Chinese merchants to the King of Travancore.
The walls of Uppirikka Malika are beautifully adorned with Mural paintings of Lord Krishna.
Navaratri Mandapam was meant for conducting cultural programs during Navratri.
The polished floor is said to be made of mixture of lime, burnt coconut shells, tender coconut water, sand and other plant extracts along with secret ingredients. It still retains its sheen till date!
I love the Kulappura in Thekkae Kottaram which overlooks the pond. Who wouldn’t love a pool at their backyard? Wish, it’s maintained clean!
Ambari Mukhaphu at the east end of Thekkaetheruvu Malika is yet another piece of attraction and craftsmanship of Kerala Architecture. It’s a bay window, resembles a howdah or ambari, to overlook the chariot races and address people during feasts.
After an hour and a half, we came out of the palace. There’s an archaeological museum on the left with exhibits of sculptures, stone inscriptions, ancient armories, and antiques of bygone era.
As we ended, it started to rain heavily. We had to wait for 30 minutes in the museum before we could step out to board our cab.
Next halt was Mathoor Hanging Bridge also known as Mathur Aqueduct.
Here’s our 3 Days Kanyakumari Itinerary to plan your trip efficiently !