dutch-palace

The Mattancherry Palace is a Portuguese palace popularly known as the Dutch Palace, in Mattancherry, Kochi, in theIndian state of Kerala features Kerala murals depicting Hindu temple art, portraits and exhibits of the Rajas of Kochi.

The palace is a quadrangular structure built in Nālukettu style, the traditional Kerala style of architecture, with a courtyard in the middle. In the courtyard there stands a small temple dedicated to ‘Pazhayannur Bhagavati’, the protective goddess of the Kochi royal family. There are two more temples on either side of the Palace, one dedicated to Lord Krishna and the other to Lord Siva. Certain elements of architecture, as for example the nature of its arches and the proportion of its chambers are indicative of European influence in basic Nāluketttu style.The Dining Hall has carved wooden ornate ceiling decorated with a series of brass cups. The palace also contains rare examples of traditional Kerala flooring, which looks like polished black marble but is actually a mixture of burned coconut shells, charcoal, lime, plant juices and egg whites. The unique flooring, done with a mixture of burnt coconut shells, lime, plant juices and egg-whites., is fascinating. It could easily be mistaken for a piece of black marble. The walls of the palace interiors will please the aesthetic sense of a visitor with their intricate mythological mural paintings in rich warm colours. The breathtakingly beautiful mural paintings in the Royal Bed Chamber depict the entire story of Ramayana. The painting covers about 100 square meter and it is believed to be done between the 17th and 18th centuryThe murals that adorn the staircase walls are of Hindu gods and goddesses while the Royal Ladies room on the ground floor has paintings depicting the story of Kumarasambhavam by the great writer Kalidasa. There are five other panels in the room depicting Krishna Leela and Shiv Leela.

The coronation hall houses life-size statues of the Kochi kings, in their coronation robes, who ruled from the year 1864. These portraits were made by local artists. Some of the robes and headgear shown in the portraits have been kept on display.
Apart from these, there are exhibits of 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 other royal paraphernalia on display in different rooms of the palace. The weapons displayed include sheathed swords, daggers, spears and so on.