Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Cool Cool Wooden Palace @ Thucklay, T.N

Padmanabhapuram Palace :

It is located 55 kms south of Trivandrum in kulkulam taluk, Tamil Nadu near the NH 47highway junction of Thucklay. The fort and palace is situated in an area of 186 acres. Currently the fort ramparts are surrounded by houses and commercial hub. The palace is restricted to 6.5 acres. The Padmabha Palace consists of 14 palaces of which only 3 are accessible to the public due to the fear of crumbling edifice.

The palace is said to be rebuilt in 1744 AD, wherein an old mud Kalkulam palace was demolished. Over a period of 150 years the extension of the palace took place with subsequent rulers. Marthanda Varma dedicated the Sri Padmanabha temple @ travancore in 1750 paving way for shifting the capital from Kalkulam to Trivancore.

There seems to be some sort of curse after the palace was built fully in 1839 AD the ruler died at an young age of 34, just 9 months into the reign from the palace. The palace was shut for more than 150 years only reopened in 1991 for public viewing. The Vaastu of the palace seems to be wrong, ancient Hindu architectural guidelines for prosperity.

The palace is built with wooden pillars and supports, the ancient laterite stones with bricklime mortar is used along with red inclined tiles to reduce intensity of the rainfall. The palace consists of :

1. Mint
2. Dining Hall
3. Visitors chambers
4. Scholar’s Room
5. Queen’s chamber
6. King’s Bedroom
7. Mural Painting Room
8. Kitchen
9. Water Tank
10. Navarathri Mantapam or dancing chamber

The palace ramparts consists of a museum which is filled with artifacts, ancient coins, weapons of war, puppets, cutlery, throne, etc. This museum was finished in 1993 in line with the palace reopening.

Alas one cannot enjoy the videography, which is probhitively expensive @ Rs 1500/-. One has to be content with still photography. One should not miss this spectacular edifice on a trip to TN or Kerela. The itineary to Kerela or Kanyakumari should definitely include Padmanaba Palace.

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