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Padmanabhapuram Palace

Padmanabhapuram Palace is a Travancore Era Palace located in Padmanabhapuram, Kalkulam taluk of Kanyakumari District, Tamil Nadu. The palace complex also houses an old granite fortress around four kilometers long. Since the palace is located at the foot of the Veli Hills, the river Valli flows nearby. The palace is all wooden and remains well maintained. It murals, floral carvings and black granite floor attracts visitors from far and wide.

Palace Interiors
The interior of the palace is beautiful with detailed rose carvings and sculptured décor. The murals of the palace dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries. The temple boasts windows of coloured mica, royal chairs with carvings from the Far East and the great 'Thaikkottaram', the Queen Mother’s palace with painted ceilings, adding a unique charm to the entire palace.

The shiny black floor of the Durbar Hall was made out of a combination of egg white, jaggery, lime, burnt coconut, charcoal, and river sand. There are so many things that make this palace an architectural wonder. The palace has secret underground passages, famous medicinal bed in the King’s bedroom, mural paintings, and pictures of Lord Krishna, a temple dedicated to Goddess Saraswati, open air swimming baths, and fish carvings and hanging brass lanterns that have been continuously lit since the 18th century.

Unique Rooms
Council Chamber – The most beautiful part of the entire palace complex is the King’s Council Chamber. The chamber has windows with coloured mica that keeps the heat and dust away, while the interior of the chamber remains cool and dark. The floor is dark and is made of a mixture of varied substances, including burnt coconut shells, egg white and so on.

Queen Mother's Palace – This is the oldest construction in the entire palace complex. Constructed in traditional Kerala style, there is an inner courtyard, called ‘nalukettu’. Four pillars on four corners support the roof.

Performance Hall – This is a relatively new building constructed during the rule of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal. There is a Nataksala or the hall of performance here, which has a wooden enclosure, with peepholes, where the women of the royal household used to sit and watch the performance.

Central mansion – This four storeyed building is located at the centre of the palace complex. The ground floor houses the royal treasury. The first floor houses the King's bedrooms. The second floor houses the King's resting and study rooms.

Southern Palace – The southern palace is as old as the ‘Thai kottaram’ (Mother's palace). The palace now serves as a heritage museum, exhibiting antique household articles and curios. Collections of items give an insight into the social and cultural ethos of that period.

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