Built and gifted by the Portuguese to King Veera Kerala Varma during the year 1555(estimated), this royal palace shows a glimpse about the lifestyle of the royalties of Kochi (erstwhile Cochin). Mattancherry Palace is one of the finest examples of architecture that blends the Kerala and Portugal styles. The basic structure of the palace is a traditional naalukettu (quadrangular) with a center courtyard. However, Portugal influence can be noticed in the arches and proportions of the palace. The palace also houses the royal family deity – Pazhayannur Bhagavathy. Mattancherry Palace is home to some of the finest collection of Hindu murals. The mural collection includes depictions of Guruvayur Krishna, works of great poet Kalidasa, and scenes from great epics like Ramayana and Mahabharatha. The royal palace also houses portraits of kings, palanquins, weapons, coins, and much more. Today, the palace serves as a museum cum art gallery welcoming history and art lovers.
When Vasco da Gama along with his group of explorers landed at Kappad, they were welcomed by the Cochin King. They were given rights to build factories and do business. Later, attacks from Samoothiri of Kozhikode (King of Kozhikode) were met and repulsed by the Portuguese which in practicality made the King a subject of Portuguese. This later followed plundering of a nearby temple which evoked the fury of the King. In order to calm his fury and appease the King, Mattancherry Palace was built and gifted to the King by the Portuguese. Since then many alterations and changes have been made to the palace by the subsequent Kings. Years later in 1663, the Dutch carried out major changes on the palace and it came to be known as the Dutch palace also. The main attractions of the palace are its murals and portraits of the Kings.
The palace contains hand-painted murals dating back to the 16th century. Some of the murals depictions include work from:
- Kalidasa’s poetry and many more.
How to get there
Kochi is well connected through air, rail, water, and road. The nearest airport to Mattancherry Palace is Cochin International Airport Limited (Nedumbassery); the railway station is Ernakulam Junction. You can reach Mattancherry Palace through a bus to Fort Kochi (Anavathil junction bus stop) or take a serene boat ride from Boat Jetty.
Time to Visit
Mattancherry Palace can be visited on all days other than Friday from 10.00A.M. – 5.00 P.M.
- Pazhayannur Bhagavathi Temple
- Paradesi Synagogue
- Jew Town
- Fort Kochi Beach
- Chinese Fishing Nets