Popularly known as the Dutch Palace, the Mattancherry Palace is a Portuguese palace in Mattancherry, Kochi, in the state of Kerala. The edifice of the Mattancherry Palace perfectly reflects the beauty of the contents that lie inside. Standing against the backdrop of the scintillating backwaters of Kerala, the double-storied palace rises in deep contrast against the sublime blue sky. In addition to being an important historical place in Kerala, Mattancherry Palace also doubles up as a museum with a fascinating display of paraphernalia belonging to the royals of Kochi.
Fort Kochi is a seaside town in the south-western part of Main Kochi which is known for its old-world colonial charm. The place still holds on to every single historical change it has gone through over the centuries. We can see remnants of British rule all over the country. But tourists flock hear all around the year to have a glimpse of how Portuguese or Dutch colonialism affected parts of India. The quaint city is dotted with similar structures and has an overall ambience that keeps reminding you of the historic colonial powers that once ruled over the place.
Built almost 300 years ago, Bekal Fort is considered as one of the largest and most preserved forts in Kerala. Narrating a story of its past, the fort stands in its full glory and grandeur. It is visited by numerous visitors every year. Nestle in the lap of nature, Bekal Fort is a historic fort surrounded by a beautiful beach offering an enchanting view of Arabian Sea from its high observation tower where once the cannons were placed. The Bekal fort is a popular historical place in Kerala to visit with friends and family.
Bolgatty Palace is located in Bolgatty Island of Kochi and is one of the oldest existing Dutch palaces that is situated outside Holland. It is an exquisite example of the Kochi style of architecture. Built-in 1744 by Dutch traders, it was later extended, and gardens were landscaped around it. Green gardens, azure skies and the virgin charms of Kerela are aplenty at the Bolgatty Palace. Owing to its picturesque surroundings and rich history, the building has also served as the Governor's palace for the commander of Dutch Malabar and was the home of the British. Today, it has reestablished itself as a luxury hotel and is a favourite among couples.
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Famous for its exquisite rock and wall carvings, the pre-historic Edakkal Caves are naturally occurring alcoves located in the Wayanad district of Kerala. The caves measure at a massive length and width of 96 and 22 feet respectively and lie 1200 metres above the sea level. Owing to its precarious location, one needs to trek for one and half hour to hit the cave entrance, and another 45 minutes to reach the mouth of the cave. The Edakkal caves are of historical and archaeological significance as it has carvings that date back to the Neolithic era, the late Stone Age. The stonework in the interior of the cave is estimated to be as old as 5000 BC to 1000 BC.
Thalassery Fort is an ancient monument in Thalassery also known as Tellicherry which is a town in the Kannur district of Kerala. It is situated on the Thalassery beach on a rocky cliff. The fort is now supervised by the Archaeological Survey of India and comprises of a large gateway as well as a lighthouse. Near the fort also lies the bungalow of the sub-collector, St. Rosary Church and Brennen cemetery. This historical place in Kerala has also experienced the making of the Malayalam movie Pazhassiraja.
Located at Tripunithura, The Hill Palace is the largest archaeological museum in Kerala. It was built in the year 1865 and was once the Imperial Administrative offices and official residence of the Maharaja of Cochin. Just as the name suggests, the massive palace is located on a hill and has a beautiful garden. Built in 1865, the Palace complex consists of 49 buildings in the traditional architectural style, spreading across in 54 acres. The palace is also famous for being the backdrop of various movies. The most popular amongst them is the Malayalam movie Manichitrathazhu.
The Palakkad Fort in Kerala is a beautiful historical place in Kerala that has gently integrated its high walls with its surrounding green gardens. One of the most well-preserved forts in the state of Kerala, the Palakkad fort was built in the 1766 AD by Hyder Ali and is now a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India. This picturesque fort is located in the heart of Palakkad town at the foothills of the Sahyadris range in a labyrinth of dense forests and crisscrossing cascading rivers. The mighty fort is spread over an area of 60,702 square meters and is immensely famous for its architecture, which displays the efficiency of the French craftsman.
Shakthan Thampuran Palace situated in the town of Thrissur marks the royal residence of the king of Cochin and has been a famous tourist attraction because of its historical value. Popularly known as Vadakkekara Palace, its heritage value and dates back to the time of the King of Cochin named Rama Varma Shakthan Thampuran. The king was a very generous ruler, and the duration of his reign was known as the 'Golden Age of Kochi'. The beautiful palace with an amalgamation of Kerela and Dutch style of architecture is a stunning historical place in Kerala and should not be missed out.
Pazhassiraja Museum located on East Hill has been named after the great Pazhassiraja Kerala Varma of the Padinjare Kovilakom of the Kottayam Royal Family. The museum is famous for its various archaeological ruins such as antique bronzes, ancient paintings and the historical umbrella stones etc.
The Pallippuram Fort is located in Pallippuram, on the northern extremity of the Vypeen Island in the Ernakulam district of Kerala in southern India. The mighty fort was built by the Portuguese in the year 1503 and is the oldest European Fort that exists in the country to date. Today, it stands majestically as the oldest surviving European monument in India amidst the lush greenery and the glistening skies, unharmed by the pollution and destruction that is characteristic of the modern day cities. As if the abundant beauty of south India was not enough, the Pallippuram Fort adds grace and charm to the region. A visit to this fort is indeed a must to explore and understand the rich history of Kerala.
Formerly known as Ganapativatom; Sulthan Bathery, located in the Wayanad district of Kerala, is a quaint and peaceful town. The place came to be known by its new name after the great ruler, Tipu Sultan of Mysore, invaded the region and used the Jain Temple located here as a battery. The pleasant weather in this beautiful town, coupled with excellent opportunities for shopping and spectacular historical places makes the town of Sulthan Bathery a popular tourist destination that is visited by tourists all year round. Stopovers such as the Edakkal Caves, Chethalayam Falls and Ambalavayal Heritage Museum make this town an exciting historical place in Kerala.
Known For : Thevalli Palace Amritapuri Mahatma Gandhi Beach and Park
Steeped in rich past, entangled with a unique culture and attributed with nature divine, Kolam lies on the southwest coast of India and has many more hidden treasures troves to be explored. It is one of the oldest ports in the Arabian Sea bustling with the activities since the time of ancient Rome. Chinese, Arab, Portuguese, Dutch and British, all have tried their hands on trading spices and cashew crops from this famous port.
Best Time: September to February
At a distance of about 15 km from Kannur is the town of Peralassery, known for its Peralassery Subrahmanya Temple. It is believed that on their way to Lanka to free Goddess Sita, Lord Ram and Lord Laxman, stopped at the temple for a while and they left a bangle here. A significant religious and historical site, do visit this one if you find yourself in the town of Peralassery.
Known For : Perunthenaruvi Waterfall Thriveni Sangamam Konni Forest Reserve
Pathanamthitta, in southern Kerala, is a town immersed in spirituality and mysticism. Blessed with several ancient temples and historical places in Kerala, it is renowned as headquarters of pilgrimage in Kerala as Sabarimala is situated in the Pathanamthitta district. It is a land of untouched beauty awash with pristine rivers, lofty mountain ranges and sprawling coconut groves.
Best Time: September to February
Close to the Napier Museum, the Kanakakunnu Palace was built under the rule of Travancore King. Today, the palace is host to a plethora of cultural programs that are held on its premises. It is a famous historical place in Kerala.
The Krishnapuram Palace is a palace and museum that is located in Kayamkulam, at a distance of 47 km from Alappuzha. This magnificent palace was built during the reign of a Travancore King, Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma and is well known for its mural paintings and architecture. The palace is built in the traditional architectural style of Kerala, with a gabled roof, narrow corridors and dormer windows, and is close to the Krishnaswamy Temple at Krishnapuram. The Krishnapuram Palace is currently maintained by the Archaeological Department of Kerala and contains a variety of exhibits that once belonged to the Palace and its former occupant. Known as the 'Gajendra Moksha', this mural painting covers an area of around 53 square feet and has a rich historical value attached to it. The double-edged sword Kayamkulam Vaal can also be found here.
Located at about 3 km away from the Western Gate of the Guruvayoor temple, this sprawling mansion with luxurious courtyards was established from the ruins of the Punathur. The palace houses 65 elephants, all offered by the devotees. These elephants are forbidden to work anywhere else, except in the service of the Lord during temple processions and ceremonies. Many of the star elephants have a huge fan-following.
Halcyon Castle was as a family retreat built for the royal family of Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bai. The castle is located in Travancore in God's Own Country, Kerala. The splendid castle is an example of the traditional architecture of Travancore. The beautiful expansive lawn all around the magnificent castle is a treat to the eyes. The castle was sold to the Government of Kerala after which a hotelier bought it and opened it to the public as a 5-Star Hotel in Kovalam. There have been several owners of the hotel till date. However, the majestic Halcyon Castle never fails to attract tourists from all over the world.
Anjengo Fort, situated 12 km off Varkala at Anjengo, is believed to have been built in the 17th century. Presently the fort is protected by the National Heritage monuments. The cemetery in the fort shelters the deceased occupants of the fort. The popular Muthalapuzhi Lake is situated very close to the Fort. Autos or cabs can be taken to reach the fort.
A huge majestic palace bounded by a boundary of massive walls is Poonjar Palace situated in Meenachil Taluka. The palace is adorned with a fascinating collection of various type of furniture and antiques which includes grand chandeliers, jewelry boxes, statues, grain measurer, weapons and palm leaf engravings. Tourists will also see a beautiful sculpture of Nataraja, a palanquin and a thoni for Ayurvedic massages crafted out of a single piece of wood.
Aryankavu is an important pilgrim hub in the Kollam District where lies an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Sastha. The mural paintings on the pillar and walls are quite fascinating. During the month of December, Mandala Puja are organized which are one of the most sought after events in the temple. Palavari waterfall located just 5kms away is also a major tourists spot.
Matri Dei Cathedral, built in Roman style of architecture is one among the older churches of Malabar. It traces back its history to 1513 AD and houses a 200-year old Portrait of St. Mary. It is also referred to as Mother of God Cathedral.
Which of these historical places in Kerala have you already visited?