Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mattanchery Palace

Mattancherry Palace also known as Dutch Palace is one of the remarkable
landmarks of Cochin, that stands tall with the pride, valour and glory to depict the presence of Portuguese in the region. It is a remarkable monument with outstanding architecture and carries immense importance from historical point of view. Apart from all, it is also an important tourist attraction of Cochin, visited by hundreds of visitors from across India and abroad while on their Cochin tou 

Historical and Architectural Significance

Fort Kochi was an area that the Raja of Cochin gifted to the Portuguese in gratitude for their help in war against “Saamoothiri of Kozhikode”, his arch enemy. The palace was the then constructed by the Portuguese as a present for the raja in the years around 1577. After the Portuguese were defeated by the Dutch they further added to the renovation and extension of the palace in the year 1663. The palace since then is popularly known as the Dutch palace. The architecture that this palace exhibits is that of the Kerala style- Nalukettu; which was a form of architecture for the houses of aristocrats and nobles. This form of architecture consists of four separate wings that open out to a central courtyard. The central courtyard of the palace holds a temple dedicated to the goddess Bhagavathi who was considered to be the protector of the royal family. Though the architectural design is that of the traditional Kerala style, influence of European theme can also be seen. 

The Palace and things of Interest

The palace is double storied and looks of the backwaters of Kochi. Murals are the most eye catching pieces of architecture that adorns the palace. The themes that they are based upon are mostly that of the epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata. They also depict myths and legends of the Hindu gods along with works of the Indian poet Kalidasa. The portraits of the royal family and the rajas of Cochin also adorn the walls of the coronation hall. 

The other displays that are a sight to see are those of weapons, carved furnishings and swings. The carved woodwork of the ceiling in floral designs in the hall is something worthy of praise and awe. The ceremonial robes, ivory palanquin, howdah, royal umbrella, stamps and coins are some of the other exhibits that you can see on display at the palace.

Attractions in and Around 

After visiting the palace you can visit the Pardesi Synagogue which is a place of worship for the Jews. This particular place of interest is also an ancient one and was built in the year 1568. The Mattancherry jetty and the Jew town are also in the vicinity where you could take a boat ride and shop for antiques respectively. 

Visiting Hours

The palace is open every day at 10 am and closes at 5 pm; however on Fridays the palace is closed to visitors.

Getting There

The nearest railway station is located at Ernakulam which is at a distance of 10 kms from where you could take a taxi to the palace. If you are travelling by air you can get down at the Cochin International airport from where you have to drive a distance of 42 kms. 

Accommodation

The Marina house is a grand place. This particular resort also serves as a fuelling station for the yachts and restocking of food items for the next journey. This resort has 24 deluxe rooms that include four suites and is one of the most famed places to stay in.

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