Mattanchery Palace also popularly known as the Dutch Palace is located in Mattanchery, Kochi. Inside this palace you have huge collections of mural paintings, portraits and even exhibits of stamps or coins used during the colonial times. The Kerala style architecture gives it the aesthetic look and it is huge with an area occupying 300 square feet of its wall.
History of Mattancherry Palace
Mattanchery Palace was built by the Portuguese in 1555 and it was gifted to the Raja of Kochi. This was a gesture to compensate for the damage done to a temple nearby. Later on Dutch came into power and they took control over Mattancherry. This palace was further renovated and extended by the Dutch. Hence it got its name. Soon it was under the governance of British East India Company. After Independence in 1951 this palace became the property of the government and restoration work was undertaken. It was converted into a museum in 1985 and has large exhibits of mural painting as well as weapons, headdresses used by the Kochi Maharajas. In 2007, restoration of this palace was undertaken by the Archeological Survey of India. The idea is to preserve the structure and bring it up to international standards.
Architecture of Mattancherry Palace
The palace is magnificent and follows a Kerala style architecture which is called the Nalukettu. This two storied building has four separate wings that open out to the courtyard in the middle. There is also a small temple which worships the 'Pazhayannur Bhagavati' who is considered to be the protective God of the royal family. On either side of the Palace you can spot two other temples which are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna. The flooring has also been done with a lot of detail and looks like black marble. The ceilings are decorated and the arches give it a European touch.
Mural Paintings and Exhibits
Mural Paintings depicting the Indian mythology is the highlight of this place. Colours appear rich and each painting looks unique with its elegant style. These are very valuable and they can be dated way back to 16th century. The royal bedroom chamber has various painting taken from Ramayana right from the time Dasaratha was sacrificed to Sita’s return from imprisonment in Lanka. In other rooms you also have painting of marriage of Parvati and Shiva. Five major panels showing Krishna Leela and Shiva Leela can also be seen in this palace. On the upper floor you have painting of sleeping Vishnu, Goddess Lakshmi, coronation of Rama and Lord Krishna lifting Mount Govardhana. Other than the paintings you also have large exhibits of dresses, palanquins, headdresses, stamps and coins used by the Kochi Maharaja. In the hallway you can see huge portraits of Kings and on display you have weapons like swords, daggers, spears and axes. Again there are five different palanquins on display of which the ivory palanquin is the most famous of all.
Timings: Visiting hours is between 10am -5pm; it’s open all days except on Fridays.
Mattancherry Palace Address: Near Mattancherry Bus Stop, Jew Town Road, Mattancherry, Kochi, Kerala - 682002
Phone no.: 0484 222 6085