Padmanabhapuram Palace is a magnificent palace complex that was built by the rulers of Travancore, a former princely state that spanned across the present-day Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The palace is located in Padmanabhapuram, a small town in the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, but is owned, controlled and maintained by the government of Kerala.
The palace is a splendid example of traditional Kerala architecture, with its intricate woodwork, exquisite carvings, mural paintings and artistic craftsmanship. Padmanabhapuram Palace also showcases the rich history and culture of Travancore and its royal family. Famous tourist attraction in Kanyakumari, Visit during Kanyakumari One day Tour By cab
Location of Padmanabhapuram Palace
Padmanabhapuram Palace is located at Kanyakumari District, Chakala, Thuckalay, Padmanabhapuram, Tamil Nadu 629175, India. It is about 20 km (12 miles) from Nagercoil, 39 km (24 miles) from Kanyakumari town and 52 km (32 miles) from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. The palace is easily accessible by road, rail and air from different parts of Kanyakumari and nearby areas.
Timing/Entry Fees Padmanabhapuram Palace
Padmanabhapuram Palace is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday (excluding public holidays) between 09:00 am and 12:30 pm. There is an entry fee for visiting the palace, which is Rs. 35 for adults, Rs. 10 for children and Rs. 200 for foreigners. There is also a camera fee of Rs. 50 for still cameras and Rs. 2500 for video cameras. Visitors are requested to follow the rules and regulations of the palace authorities and respect the local customs and traditions. Visitors are also advised to avoid littering and damaging the palace premises.
How to Reach Padmanabhapuram Palace
There are many ways to reach Padmanabhapuram Palace from different parts of Kanyakumari and nearby areas. Some of the common modes of transport are:
- By Road: Padmanabhapuram Palace is well-connected by road with various parts of the city and nearby towns. There are many buses, taxis, auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws that ply to and from the palace. The palace road, also known as NH44 or Beach Road, runs parallel to the coast and has signboards indicating the direction to the palace.
- By Rail: Padmanabhapuram Palace can be reached by train from various railway stations in Kanyakumari and nearby areas. The nearest railway station is Eraniel, which is about 6 km (4 miles) away from the palace. Other nearby railway stations are Nagercoil, Kanyakumari and Thiruvananthapuram. From these stations, one can take an auto-rickshaw or cycle-rickshaw to reach the palace.
- By Air: Padmanabhapuram Palace can also be reached by air from various airports in Kanyakumari and nearby areas. The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, which is about 52 km (32 miles) away from the palace. Other nearby airports are Madurai, Coimbatore and Chennai. From these airports, one can take a taxi or a bus to reach the palace.
Things to Do/Must See Padmanabhapuram Palace
Padmanabhapuram Palace offers a historical and cultural experience for visitors who want to admire the beauty and elegance of Kerala architecture, as well as learn about the history and heritage of Travancore and its royal family. Some of the things to do and see at the palace are:
- Exploring the architecture: Padmanabhapuram Palace is a marvel of Kerala architecture, with its wooden structures, exquisite carvings, mural paintings and artistic craftsmanship. The palace complex consists of several buildings, such as:
- Poomukhamalika: The main gateway which is the portal to the most important section of the palace complex. It has a clock tower on the left corner that was installed in 1832.
- Mantrasala: The audience chamber where the kings held important meetings with ministers. It has a sloping roof with wooden beams and brackets that support it.
- Thai Kottaram: The oldest building in the palace complex that dates back to 1550. It was used as the mother’s palace or queen’s residence. It has a four-pillared inner courtyard with a wooden cot that is said to be made of 64 medicinal woods.
- Nataksala: The performance hall where cultural programs were held for the entertainment of the royal family and guests. It has a wooden stage with carved pillars and a balcony with intricate filigree work in wood.
- Uppirikka Malika: The four-storeyed building that was used as the king’s residence. It has a meditation room, a bedroom, a worship room and a study room. It also has a secret passage that leads to the nearby Charottu Kottaram, which was used as an escape route in case of emergencies.
- Visiting the museum: Padmanabhapuram Palace has a museum that showcases various artefacts, weapons, paintings, coins, furniture and other items that belong to the Travancore royal family and the palace. The museum also has a gallery of mural paintings that depict scenes from Hindu epics and legends.
- Enjoying the view: Padmanabhapuram Palace offers a scenic view of both the hills on one side and the fields on the other side. Visitors can also see the Padmanabhapuram Fort, which is a granite fortress that surrounds the palace complex. The fort has four gates and bastions that were built for defence purposes.
- Exploring the surroundings: Padmanabhapuram Palace is located near other attractions and places of interest in Kanyakumari, such as:
- Thiruvattar Adikesava Perumal Temple: A Hindu temple that is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is one of the 108 Divya Desams or holy abodes of Vishnu. It has a Dravidian style architecture with a gopuram or tower and a mandapam or hall.
- Mathur Aqueduct: An engineering marvel that is the longest and highest aqueduct in Asia. It was built in 1966 to carry water from one hill to another across a valley. It has a height of 115 feet and a length of 1240 feet.
- Thirparappu Waterfalls: A natural waterfall that is located on the Kodayar River. It has a height of 50 feet and a width of 300 feet. It is surrounded by lush greenery and rocky terrain.
Significance of Padmanabhapuram Palace
Padmanabhapuram Palace is not only a tourist attraction but also a significant place for Kanyakumari and India. Some of the reasons why Padmanabhapuram Palace is important are:
- It is a historical site that showcases the history and heritage of Travancore, which was one of the most powerful and prosperous kingdoms in South India. The palace was built by the Travancore rulers who ruled over the present-day Kerala and Tamil Nadu from 1729 to 1949. The palace witnessed many important events and personalities in Travancore history, such as King Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma, who dedicated his kingdom to Lord Padmanabha, King Dharma Raja, who helped the British against Tipu Sultan, King Swathi Thirunal, who was a patron of arts and music, etc.
- It is a cultural site that reflects the influence and integration of different cultures and communities in Travancore. The palace is a blend of Kerala, Tamil and European styles of architecture, with its wooden structures, granite walls, mural paintings, stained glass windows, etc. The palace also has inscriptions in Malayalam, Tamil, Grantha and Devanagari scripts, which indicate the linguistic diversity of the region.
- It is a spiritual site that connects with the beliefs and traditions of Travancore and its royal family. The palace is dedicated to Lord Padmanabha, who is the presiding deity of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Travancore and Kerala. The palace also has various temples and shrines within its premises, such as Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Sri Ramaswamy Temple, Sri Krishnaswamy Temple, etc.
Some of the frequently asked questions about Padmanabhapuram Palace are:
- Q: Is photography allowed at Padmanabhapuram Palace?
- A: Yes, photography is allowed at Padmanabhapuram Palace for personal use only. However, visitors are requested to be respectful and discreet while taking photographs and not to disturb or offend anyone.
- Q: Are there any facilities or amenities at Padmanabhapuram Palace?
- A: Yes, there are some facilities and amenities at Padmanabhapuram Palace, such as toilets, drinking water, benches, parking, etc. There is also a souvenir shop where visitors can buy books, photos, CDs, etc. related to Padmanabhapuram Palace and Travancore.
- Q: Are there any other attractions or places near Padmanabhapuram Palace?
- A: Yes, there are some other attractions or places near Padmanabhapuram Palace, such as Thiruvattar Adikesava Perumal Temple, Mathur Aqueduct, Thirparappu Waterfalls etc.
Padmanabhapuram Palace is a magnificent palace complex that was built by the rulers of Travancore, a former princely state that spanned across the present-day Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The palace is located in Padmanabhapuram, a small town in the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, but is owned, controlled and maintained by the government of Kerala. The palace is a splendid example of traditional Kerala architecture, with its intricate woodwork, exquisite carvings, mural paintings and artistic craftsmanship.
The palace also showcases the rich history and culture of Travancore and its royal family. Padmanabhapuram Palace is a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to admire the beauty and elegance of Kerala architecture, as well as learn about the history and heritage of Travancore and its royal family in Kanyakumari.