Mattancherry Palace

Mattancherry Palace or Dutch Place is just 10 km from Ernakulam. Originally built by the Portuguese as a gift for the Maharaja of Kochi perhaps as atonement for the temple they had accidentally damaged, it was renovated by the Dutch later. The palace though simple was unique in those times and it still retains the aura of simplicity and majesty all at once. It was built in 1557 by the Portuguese for Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Kochi, only to be renovated more than a century later in 1663 by the Dutch. There is a Bhagavathi temple in its central courtyard. The palace has been built in the typical Kerala style of palace known as ‘Nalukettu’ that was then in vogue among the aristocracy, nobles and upper classes. It has four separate wings that open out to the central courtyard with the temple.

The double-storeyed palace stands on the banks of the famous backwaters of Kochi providing a wonderful view of the panoramic surroundings. It has a fantastic collection of murals that cover the entire stretch of 300 sq ft of its walls collectively. The themes of these murals are based on some of the most famous Indian epics, Ramayana and Mahabharatha, along with other legends from Hindu mythology, especially those related to Lord Guruvayurappan. The works of the Sanskrit poet Kalidasa such as Kumarasambhavam and others are some of the major inspirations of these murals. The palace also houses a museum that displays royal arms and weapons and other paraphernalia such as swings and furniture that offer a glimpse of the lavish lifestyle of the kings and queens of the past.