Mattancherry Palace in Cochin
Popularly, the Mattancherry Palace is known as the Dutch Palace and is one of the topmost tourist places of the state. It was built around 1545 C.E and it was built by a Portuguese. This was constructed in form of a present to give to King Veera Kerala Verma of Kochi. This palace is the reminiscent of the influence of the Portuguese and the Dutch culture. In terms of historical and architectural perspectives, this is one a kind palace and museum. It was built to please the kings because they had plundered a temple nearby. The rajas and the kings made a lot of renovations and changes to the palace. The palace went under the hands of the Dutch and because of this a lot of extensions of the palace are in the Dutch style. It is because of this that it is known as the Dutch Palace. It is 12 kms from Ernakulam. It is situated on the banks of the backwaters of Kochi which makes it more picturesque. The palace was also included in the tentative list of the UNESCO world heritage sights. This palace is the home of the royal deity of Pazhayannur. This palace is one of the tourist destinations of the country.
Kerala is famous for having a unique and an exquisite style of architecture throughout going on in the state and one of its finest examples is the Mattancherry Palace. The main architectural style of the palace is fine blend of colonial and Keralite styles. Kerala has an unconventional style of Nilukettu in its architecture and this palace is typically built according to that. The palace has four buildings that are set around the quadrangle. It is a double storyed palace that has a beautiful and amazing collection of the murals. The European style of architecture can also be seen in the palace as the design of the arches and the dimensions of its chambers are in European styles. The dining hall has a wooden ceiling which is elaborately decorated. The floors of the palace have an exceptional Kerala style flooring done. They display the look of the polished black marble but it is made of mixed burned coconut shells, charcoal, plant juices, lime, and egg whites. This looks amazingly beautiful.
The murals of Ramayana and Mahabharata and some more murals of the Gods like Lord Krishna of Guruvagur temple. Along with the murals, the work of the Sanskrit poet, Kalidasa, has also been depicted on the walls. All these murals together cover an entire of 300 sq km in the palace. These and some more murals give the idea of the lives of the Royals over there. A life size portrait of the king of Cochin can be found there, daggers, axes, sheathed swords, etc. They have a collection of the Kerala murals that depicts exhibits and portraits of the Rajas of Kochi. There are also some murals of Indian mythologies that are found in the Hindu temples. The palace has a central courtyard with long and spacious halls which is also the specialty of the palace. There is a temple of Goddess Bhagvati in the courtyard. On the two sides of the temple there are the temples of Krishna and Shiva. This palace is the best way to depict and find out the culture and the lifestyle of the kings and the royals of the bygone era.
The bed chamber of the king of the Palliyara is one of the top attractions of the palace that is located in the South west corner.
The palace is open on all days except for Fridays for the public to come for touristy purposes. It is open from 10 am to 5 pm every day. It is at a distance of about 10 km from Ernakulam and 42 kms from Cochin airport. One can take a boat or the bus service from Ernakulam to reach the palace.