Krishnapuram Palace in Alleppey, Kerala
Located in the Alappuzha district of Kerala, the Krishnapuram Palace is a well-maintained museum and palace and is one of the popular destinations for tourists in Alleppey. Maintained by the archeological department of Kerala this magnificent palace has ancient exhibits on display. The design and structure of the museum is proof that it is very old which have been built as per the architectural style of the state. It stands near the Krishnaswami temple in the locality. There is a lake inside the complex and possesses an underground route as an option to escape from enemies. The palace is located left to NH 47 and is near to the Kayamkulam town.
After winning in the battle between Odanad and Travancore in the year 1746, the king of Travancore, Marthanda Varma decided to build this palace. This place was built after demolishing a previous palace that was built there by the king of Odanad. The palace was initially started with just a one-storied building with a pond adjacent to it. There was also purpura and a temple in the complex and was managed by the Prime Minister of Kerala. The structure of the building has been designed in the western and traditional style. Presently there is a three-storied structure in the building complex which got modified in the year 1950 by The Archeological Department of Kerala according to modern style. It is regarded as a heritage building and a protected testimonial that houses an Archeological Museum.
Structural design on Krishnapuram Palace
The structure totally reflects the Karalee style which is also known as pathinarukettu in the South Indian language. The corridors are narrow featured with dormer windows that replicate the Travancore headquarters. Previously the palace was very big in the area but gradually it got destroyed and reduced to a few acres of land. There stands the main building rebuilt by the archeological department of the state. The place was converted into a museum in the year 1950 and artifacts from different locations were brought and kept there. The structure is built out of lateritic stone, angili wood, and rosewood. There are four major open areas in the courtyard center providing proper ventilation to the palace. Windows and doors are placed in such a way so that natural light could flow through the rooms. Overall 22 rooms are there protected with a verandah in front to ensure wall safety from rains. The special features of the structural complex are the spiral staircases, locks and wooden hinges for doors, polished wooden floors, and roof stuffed with Mangalore tiles that increased its aesthetic beauty. Another attractive feature of the building is the underground pond that extended up to the building which helped in maintaining the temperature of the internal rooms.
Belongings of the Museum
The complex as well as museum now houses different antique pieces that are displayed inside it. Ancient paintings, wooden artifacts, stone sculptors, inscriptions, and coins are kept in the treasure house of the museum. Some other outstanding exhibits are:
- The kayakulam Vaal which is the sword of kayamkulam rajas and its unique characteristics brought it to the museum on display. Both sides of the sword is sharpened which is far more dangerous than any other weapon.
- The Buddha statue is regarded as an antique statue of the 10th century which was discovered in the fields of the Alapuzha district.
- Gajendra moksham is a mural painting and is the one and only piece in the whole state. Gajendra who is the king of elephants, salutes his lord Vishnu attaining salvation which means moksham.
Useful information on Krishnapuram Palace
The visiting hours start from 9:30 in the morning till 4:30 in the evening. Duration of 1 to 2 hours is required to fully explore the palace. The entry fee for adults is 10 INR while that of children is 5 INR. Although photography is not allowed shooting is allowed on providing a charge of 25 INR. The palace is closed on Mondays so avoid going on this day every week. The nearest railway station is Kayakulam and Kollam is the biggest station that connects all other major railway stations. September to November is the best time to visit.