Dutch Palace

Dutch Palace, Mattancherry in Ernakulam built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to Raja of Kochi Veera Kerala Varma (1537-65). The Mattancherry Palace came to be known as the Dutch Palace after the Dutch carried out some renovation and extension work in 1663. This palace of Kerala has now been converted into an art gallery showcasing some of the best paintings and murals of Hindu mythology.

This two-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. A small temple is located inside the inner court that is dedicated to Goddess Pazhayannur Bhagavati, who is supposed to be the protector of the royal family of Kochi. There are temples dedicated to Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva on either sides of the palace. The interior of the palace is decorated beautifully with royal possessions like ceremonial robes, headgear, weapons, palanquins and royal furniture.

The center of attraction of the Dutch Palace is not its ceilings, but the splendid murals on the walls of the rooms. Depicting scenes from Hindu mythologies like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas, these murals are counted as amongst the best in India. The Dutch Palace of Kerala has many more elements of surprise for visitors. There's an entire gallery of royal memorabilia that consist of attires, turbans and weapons, from the days of the rajas of Kochi.