Mattancherry Palace

Mattancherry Palace is a storehouse of ancient paintings and art forms. Mattancherry palace situated at Palace Road, Mattancherry, 10 km from Ernakulam city, Cochin, Kerala. Built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Kochi Veera Kerala Varma (1537-65) in 1555 AD. Today, it is a portrait gallery of the Cochin Rajas and notable for some of the best mythological murals in India, which are in the best traditions of Hindu Temple Art. There are stunning murals depicting scenes from the Puranas, Ramayana and Mahabharata adorning the walls of the palace.

The double storied palace building which stands by the panoramic Kochi backwaters has an exquisite collection of murals collectively covering over 300 sq ft of its walls. The themes of these murals have been borrowed from the great Indian epics - the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha, and mythology and legends about the Hindu gods especially Guruvayurappan. Some murals depict scenes from Kumarasambhavam and other works of the great Sanskrit poet Kalidasa. Also on display are royal paraphernalia like weapons, swings and furniture which offer a glimpse of the lifestyle of the royal family.

The exteriors of the Mattancherry Palace are barren with stark white walls and sloping brown roofs. A two-storied quadrangular building with a small temple dedicated to the deity Palayannur Bhagwati in the central courtyard, the interiors of the Palace are in sharp contrast with their beautiful ceilings and painted walls. The Central Hall on the upper storey, once used for the coronation ceremony of Cochin's Rajas, has a beautifully carved wooden ceiling. The Dining Hall's ceiling is ornamented with a series of brass cups but the ceiling of the Assembly Hall is perhaps the best of all. Also on display are royal paraphernalia like weapons, swings and furniture which offer a glimpse of the lifestyle of the royal family.



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