My love for antiquity always pushes me to look for museums and palaces wherever I go. Mattancherry Palace was one such gem that we discovered while roaming around the lanes and by-lanes of
Cochin, Kerala. The beautiful quadrangular building flaunts a traditional Kerala style of architecture. But when I learned that the Dutch had done most of the renovations of the palace, my
curiosity for it increased multifold.
When we entered into the premise of Mattancherry Palace, it was only 10.30 am in the morning. There were only handful of visitors so we were able to check out every item in a most peaceful and noiseless ambience. The budget-traveler inside me leapt into joy when we were charged only Rs.2 per person for the entry.
The neatness around the place made me thank to the caretakers in my mind as they had put visible efforts to keep the area tidy, without much monetary reward in return. From the entrance, we
learned that this palace remains open for the tourists throughout the week from 10.00 am-5.00 am.
The history of Mattancherry palace is equally arresting. It was built by Portuguese as a gift to the royal family of Cochin. Later, the Dutch owned this and did extension work as well as renovation.
The collected artifacts by the kings of Cochin, the breath-taking murals depicting incidents from Hindu epics were all very well-maintained and extremely informative. I have a weakness for the history of South India and the one hour we spent inside Mattancherry Palace, gave the opportunity to collect ample pearls of wisdom to me.
Some of the aspects that I insanely loved in Mattancherry Palace were- the ivory palanquin, the vast collection of stamps and coins, the illustrations of the upper floor, the portraits of the Cochin kings to name a few. But what took the cake was the ‘Palliyara’ or the ‘king’s bedchamber’. The goose bump-inducing wooden ceiling and wall paintings still visit me in my dreams.
Photography and mobile phone are prohibited inside the palace. Though my photography-loving friend was rueful about it throughout, I simply loved it. Till now, Mattancherry Palace is one of the most carefully persevered and enriching museums visited by me.