Kerala, also known as ‘God’s own Country’, has much to offer its tourists. Aside from being blessed with a vast treasure trove of natural beauty, Kerala is also rich in its cultural heritage. Trivandrum, Kerala’s capital city, is rich in heritage monuments as it was also the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Travancore and many of its beautiful palaces are still in existence today. The Kuthiramalika Palace is located close to Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, the world-famous, richest temple in the world.
Most people are unaware that there is a beautiful palace belonging to the erstwhile royal family on the temple’s south-eastern side. Built-in the 1940’s, this palace (formally known as Puthen Malika) is a fine example of Kerala-style architecture and features a double storey structure that’s essentially made of teakwood, rosewood, white marble and granite. The name ‘Kuthiramalika’ literally translates to ‘palace of horses’ as the structure has 122 beautifully carved wooden horses attached to the wooden wall brackets supporting the southern part of the wooden roof. There are 80 rooms here of which only 20 are open to the public. A barefoot walk through the Kuthiramalika palace museum is like entering into a different era befitting the glory and grandeur of the royal past.
The palace was built by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma of the Kingdom of Travancore and now houses a museum too. A tour through the palace museum will give you an insight into the glorious history of this region. Amazingly enough, the silky smooth floor here is made-up of egg whites, limestone, and charcoal, a mix that always keeps it cool. There are two massive thrones on display, one made of 24 ivory tusks and the other made of bohemian crystals. There is an exquisite collection of ethnic jewelry too along with beautiful paintings and wooden carvings. Spectacular works of art in the form of intricately crafted figurines of various deities and an armory are also on display.
Fourteen life-size Kathakali mannequins share space with elegant Greek statues, Belgian and Italian mirrors, crystal chandeliers, musical instruments, and a giant Belgian harpoon. An amazing musical tree that produces 8 different notes on tapping it as well as opulent ivory cradles are also found here. And there is a peculiar illusion painting here of Maharaja Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma that seems to follow you everywhere within the hall!
Getting to Trivandrum is easy as it has great rail and road connectivity as well as an international airport. You could stay over at the gracious Leela Raviz hotel as you enjoy all that Trivandrum has to offer.