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Krishnapuram Palace is the earlier residence of Maharajah AnizhamThirunaalMarthandaVarma of Travancore kingdom, which is architecturally a superb specimen of Kerala style, with dormer windows, narrow pathways and gabled roof. It is also known for a famous pond located within the palace premises.
The palace is constructed with laterite stone and rubble, with teak, angli and rosewood material of the wood construction part of the building, originally spread over 56 acres of land, now reduced to 2.55 acres.
This palace is now a museum at Kayankulam housing impressive items of mural paintings, some of them amazing works of famous artists of Kerala and also some warfare items of yesterday, which one can never imagine to come up of future times
This palace site was originally occupied by Oodanadu Raja Vamsham of Kayankulam, until the later part of the 18th century, when AnizhamThirunalMathandaVarma of Travancore kingdom won Kayankulam raja of a battle and acquired the Palace. Initially, the Maharaja had constructed a single storey building here called Ettukettu, a pond nearby, a temple and an urappura. However, this premises which was held uncared for when the Travancore Kingdom left this place of residence and for quite some time it was of a dilapidated condition. The Archaeological department of Kerala took charge of this invaluable monument of Kerala structure and renovated the same of 1950s. Since then it is held as a protected monument, also housing the Archaeological museum and offices, making this place a wonderful tourism spot.
Different Sections of Museum
Krishnapuram Palace has 16 parts constructed of accordance with VastuSastra prescriptions, with four Nadumattams, which are open areas inside the building complex.
There are 22 rooms around the Nadumattams which are adorned by wooden carvings of admirable Kerala artistry. The woodwork, whether it is of the form of flooring or the door hinges, reflects the Kerala architecture of every part of the building.
One may see an artificial stream appearing as a pleasure point today, which was originally intended to be a secret route to escape at times of emergency arising due to enemy activities.
There is also an underground water point, of the form of a tank, which keeps the hall above cool.
There are a number of Padippuras around the palace compound establishing the status of the building.
Krishnapuram Palace is an admirable archaeological museum rich with archaic items of paintings, inscriptions, megalithic properties, wood based artefacts, brass sculptures, stone sculptures, of which predominant things to visit include
- GajendraMoksham mural painting
- A sword of ancient times, called Kayamkulam Val,
- A tenth century Buddha’s statue and
- Kerala State’s ceremonial utensils
- Copy of Bible written of Sanskrit
GajendraMoksham conveys the traditional story of Lord Vishnu rescuing an Elephant who was held by the Crocodile as the former steped into the river, which is symbolic of the message that one who has devotion to God will have recourse at times of difficulty.
Kayamkulam Val, the iconic sword, with sharp edges on both the ends, is a particular war weapon which is more dangerous than any other type of weapon during wars of those days, which Kayankulam kings were using during 18th century.
The hall called Buddha mandapam houses a 10th century antique of Buddha’s statue which was discovered of the watery fields of Alappuzha district is a rare piece and this Hall itself is laid of a beautifully landscaped garden space with good flower plants of Kerala.
The Bible kept in the Krishnapuram Palace written of Sanskrit had been printed of Kolkata of the 1886, which is one of the rare collections.
Ceremonial utensils of Kerala which are on display include oil lamps, a few miniature figures, and a few works of art.
There are amazing stone columns carved with serpent deities, a few among them arranged of a half circle pattern referred as prabha, guarding the temple deity providing an aura to the idol.
Timings and Ticket Prices
Tourists can visit the museum on all days except Mondays, between 9 am and 5 pm.
Entrance is free.
How to Reach
Kayankulam is 47 km from Alappuzha and the nearest Railway Station is at Kollam which is 39 kms from this place. The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport of about 100 km distance. There are a number buses plying to Kayankulam from various centres of Kerala, while Alappuzha has long distance buses to all important destinations of the Southern part of India.