Mattancherry Palace

Weather :

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : Adult: INR 2,
Kids (up to 15 years): Free

Timings : 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Closed on Firdays)

Mattancherry Palace, Kochi Overview

Popularly known as the Dutch Palace, the Mattancherry Palace is a Portuguese palace in Mattancherry, Kochi, in the state of Kerala. Mattancherry Palace is now a museum displaying paraphernalia belonging to the rajas of Kochi. Visit this destination to learn about the fascinating history of Kerala through the medium of irreplaceable artefacts and embellishments.

The grandeur of Mattancherry Palace lies in its simplicity and it is built in the typical Kerala style mansions reserved for the nobility. The four separate wings of the Mattancherry Palace surround a central courtyard which has a temple as well. It features murals depicting portraits and exhibits of the Rajas of Kochi. They have been painted in warm colours using the tempera technique and consists of a portrait gallery of the Cochin Rajas and beautiful mythological murals.

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History of Mattancherry Palace

When Vasco Da Gama landed at Kappad in 1498, he was welcomed by the Kochi rulers who were given the exclusive rights to construct factories. The Portuguese despised the repeated attacks of Zamorians, and thereby the Cochin Rajas had become vassals of the Portuguese. The Mattancherry Palace was originally built by the Portuguese who later gifted it to the King of Cochin in 1555. The Portuguese influence was further supplanted by the Dutch, who took over Mattancherry in 1663.The Dutch then carried out some extensions and renovations in 1663, and since then the palace was popularly known as the Dutch Palace.

Murals in Mattancherry Palace

The Mattancherry palace has a large number of murals illustrating the Ramayana, a few scenes from the Krishnan Lila and various gods and goddesses in different positions. Some of the notable murals include Lakshmi seated on the lotus, the coronation of Rama, sleeping Vishnu, Shiva and Parvati seated with Ardhanariswara and other goddesses, and Krishna lifting Mount Govardhana. The paintings are attributed to the artistic bends of mind of Veera Kerala Verma. The murals are executed in the best traditions of Hindu temple art, which are religious and decorative.

Other murals depict scenes from Kumarasambhavam and other works of the Sanskrit poet Kalidasa. Everyday items such as weapons, swings, Dutch maps of old Kochi, royal palanquins with floral designs, silver sequined gowns, royal umbrellas make of silk and brass, the ceremonial royal sword and furniture belonging to the royal family are also on display here.

Architecture of Mattancherry Palace

The palace is quadrangular in shape, having a Nalukettu style of architecture (traditional Kerala style of architecture) with a hint of European influence in the arches and the chambers. The Mattancherry Palace has a courtyard in the middle consisting of three temples dedicated to 'Pazhayannur Bhagavati', the protective goddess of the Kochi royal family, Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva respectively. The dining hall has an ornate wooden ceiling decorated with a series of brass cups. There are rare examples of traditional Kerala flooring which is a mixture of burned coconut shells, charcoal, lime, plant juices and egg whites and looks like black marble.

How To Reach Mattancherry Palace

To reach the Mattancherry Palace, you can hire cars, taxis, ferries and autorickshaws. You can even opt for hired bicycles or enjoy the 30-minute walk along the busy Bazaar Road to reach the palace.

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