To get the true essence of a place you must walk through its history. There would be no better way than traversing this path, than by visiting a place of historical significance. One of the most significant historical sites you can visit while you are in Kerala is the Dutch palace, which is situated in Mattancherry that is 10 km from Kochi city. This structure was built by the Portuguese and was later gifted to the Maharaja of Kochi, Veera Kerala Varma in 1555 AD. Before being christened the Dutch Palace, the palace was referred to as the Mattacherry palace. The Dutch carried out several extensions and renovations that improved this structure and thus led to the change in name.
Today, the Dutch palace houses portraits of the Maharaja’s of Kerala as well as a collection of some of the best mythological murals, which are a true representation of Hindu Temple Artwork. As you walk across the compound of this building, you would be able to find a portico in the south and two arches that are a characteristic feature of Portuguese architecture. The exterior of the palace has dominant European characteristics. However, you wouldn’t fail to notice subtle integration of Kerala tradition incorporated in this structure. The palace is divided into two floors and has a traditional Kerala courtyard in the middle referred to as ‘nalukettu’.
As for the interiors of the palace, they have wooden panels that exhibit various accessories used by the Rajas. Their weapons, robes, headdresses and furniture serve as the main attractions of the exhibit. Apart from that you would be able to several magnificent murals that depict the Mahabharata, Ramayana and the legends of the puranas, like Kumara, Vishnu, Durga and Shiva. These paintings cover over 1000 sq ft and have exhibits that date back to the 16th century to id 19th century. So, if you are a art buff then you must visit the Dutch Palace and walk down the history of Kerala.
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