The Padmanabhapuram Palace is one of the most magnificent monuments of Tamilnadu. It is situated in Kanyakumari district, 15 km from Nagercoil and 55 km South-West of Thiruvananthapuram. The Padmanabhapuram palace was the seat of power of the rulers of Travancore. The palace is known for its planning and military architecture and remained the center of power till 1790, when the capital was shifted to Thiruvananthapuram. The main attractions of the Padmanabhapuram Palace are its sheer aesthetic beauty, murals, innovative designs and time tested wooden carvings.
The palace bears testimony to the architectural excellence reached in
this region and commands admiration and awe from the visitor. The exact
year of the construction of the fort is shrouded in mystery and it is
believed that the fort was built in 1601 A.D. As you enter the
Padmanabhapuram palace, a brass lamp hanging from the magnificently
carved wooden ceiling greets you. It is interesting to note that the
ceiling of the palace has 90 varieties of flowers. A17th century black
bed of seven granite stones is housed in the hall of the Padmanabhapuram
palace. The walls of the Padmanabhapuram palace have wooden planks,
which depict "Anantasyana", Lord Vishnu in reclining posture.
The Council Chamber of the Padmanabhapuram palace is an example of
excellence in wood and inspires awe. The floor, which is made up of a
mixture of burnt coconut shells, laterite, lime and sand shines to this
day. Martanda Verma built the King's quarters in 1744 A.D. It is also
known as "Upparika malika". The courtyard, which leads to this
building served as a parade ground for recruiting soldiers for the army.
There are about 50 murals, depicting Lord Vishnu with his consorts and
Lord Krishna with the Gopis, adorn the walls of the prayer hall. There
are several paintings, depicting incidents in the life of Martanda
Verma, displayed on the corridor leading to the guesthouse. Navarathra
Mandapam, an imposing granite structure, is probably the most beautiful
part of the Padmanabhapuram palace.
When you come out from the gates of the palace into the open, you get
this strange feeling of having relived history and leave Padmanabhapuram
with a bit of history with you.
How to Reach Padmanabhapuram
Padmanabhapuram is a two-and-a-half hour drive from Thiruvananthapuram
on the highway to Kanyakumari. The Kerala Tourism Development
Corporation runs a daily tour to Kanyakumari that stops at
Padmanabhapuram. You can also hire a cab from Thiruvananthapuram.
The nearest railway station from Padmanabhapuram is at Nagercoil, 15 Km
Nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram, 6 km from Thiruvananthapuram
city. There are flights to Gulf, Europe, USA, Sri Lanka, Maldives etc
and Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai (Madras), Bangalore and