Situated in Kochi of Kerala, the Hill Palace Tripunithura is a well known archeological museum built in the year 1865 with a total of 49 buildings in the palace. The Maharaja of Cochin used it as his administrative official residence. It has been built in traditional structure with attractive architectural design. The overall museum complex is comprised of many parts such as a heritage and archeological museum, a deer park, children’s park and pre historic park. There are also many medicinal plants of rare species in the museum campus. Previously it was just an administrative office which is presently converted to museum by the State Archeology Department of Kerala.
Being the greatest archeological museum in Kerala it is being visited by huge number of tourists every day. In the 17th century, the king of Cochin had his royal official kingdom in Thrissur but as on those days they had matrilineal traditions, accordingly the office was shifted to Kochi at the seat of his Queen. Thereafter the king ruled under the authority of Queen’s sovereign. Their son Prince Varma was raised later on to become the king of Tripunithura. For the advantage of the Prince the royal Hill Palace was constructed with minimum initial structures. Gradually it was extended by adding more other buildings in the complex. The palace which was being used as office of the royal secretary was then constructed as imperial residence of the king and his descendents. In the year 1980, the Royal Family of Cochin handled it to the Department of Archeology and was then opened to public in the year 1986. Presently the site is also famous for film shooting by Malayalam Film Industry.
There are many galleries such as Weapons’ gallery and Horse Cart gallery that showcase artifacts of historical significance. The exhibits displayed in the museum are of 14 categories that include crown, ornaments, and paintings, stone and marble sculptures, weapons, coins, majestic beds, epigraphy samples, Inscriptions and many more. The belongings of the museum are hugely contributed by the Royal Family of Cochin. Some other parts of it demonstrate the Archeology Department of Kerala and Paliam Devaswom who is the oldest male family member of Paliam dynasty. One of the major attractions of the Museum is the crown studded with valuable stones.
The visiting hours starts from 9 to 12:30 in the morning and then 2 to 5 in the afternoon. The museum is kept open on all days of the week except Mondays and all other national and state holidays. Exploring the museum could be completed within two to three hours. It charges 10 INR for children as entry fee. Visitors are not allowed with shoes inside the main building. Summers are very hot in Kerala due to tropical climate. Monsoon brings good amount of rainfall. So regarding al these conditions, the best time to visit there is winter season that starts from October and continues till March. At this time the weather remains very pleasant and wonderful making it perfect time for the tourists.
Convenience is not a problem in the city. There is bus stoppages located near the museum, one in Kaliguchira and other is Hill Palace Bus Stand. Ernakulum is the nearest railhead at a distance of 10 km from the spot and the closest airport is Cochin International Airport located 35 km away from the museum.
While you are in Kochi to explore the museum you may visit the nearby attractions as well. Marine Drive, Kerala Folklore Museum and Theatre, Sea India Foundation which you visit could in one day including the museum.
The architecture used in Hill Palace Tripunithura is that of Kerala style. Other than Indian exhibits in the museum, there are also artifacts of Japan and China. The children park is opened till 6 in the evening. Research on heritage history and manuscripts are done in the centre of Heritage studies related with National Mission for Manuscripts. Restaurants and places to stay are located close to the museum. Altogether the Hill Museum is a perfect spot to know about the royal history of the region.
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