Mattancherry Palace (Dutch Palace)

In 1555, as a symbol of goodwill, the Portuguese generously bestowed the Mattancherry Palace upon the Raja of Kochi, Veera Kerala Varma (1537–65). Later, in 1663, the Dutch undertook a renovation, earning the edifice its alternative name, the Dutch Palace. This architectural masterpiece seamlessly blends European and Keralan influences. However, the true marvel within lies in the exquisitely preserved Hindu murals adorning the royal bedchamber. Dating from the 17th to the 19th centuries, these intricate and vibrant artworks vividly portray scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Puranic legends.

The Mattancherry Palace, often referred to as the Dutch Palace, stands as an eminent historical edifice situated in the neighborhood of Mattancherry within the vibrant city of Kochi, located in the Indian state of Kerala. This majestic palace has garnered widespread recognition as a beloved tourist destination and an enduring symbol of historical significance within the region of Kerala.

History:
Constructed in 1555 by the Portuguese and presented as a goodwill gesture to King Veera Kerala Varma of Cochin, the initial structure of the Mattancherry Palace boasted a modest Portuguese architectural style. Subsequently, in the 17th century, the Dutch East India Company undertook substantial renovations and alterations to the palace, hence earning it the appellation “Dutch Palace.”

Architecture and Design:
The Mattancherry Palace is a remarkable testament to a fusion of architectural styles, harmoniously blending elements from Portuguese, Dutch, and traditional Kerala architecture. This two-story palace encircles a central courtyard and boasts a roof crafted from wood, adorned with meticulously designed gables and sloping tiles.

Internally, the palace’s interiors are enriched with exquisite murals and frescoes that vividly portray various episodes from the Ramayana and other mythological narratives, in addition to dignified portraits of the Cochin royal family. These celebrated murals stand as both exquisite works of art and valuable historical records, offering profound insights into Kerala’s rich cultural and historical heritage.

Mattancherry Palace Today:
The Mattancherry Palace, also known as the Dutch Palace, is meticulously preserved and managed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) today. It functions as a museum showcasing an extensive collection of historical artifacts, paintings, and other items that vividly represent the rich cultural and artistic heritage of the region. Tourists, history enthusiasts, and art lovers alike frequently visit this splendid destination in Kochi.

Exploring the Mattancherry Palace allows visitors to meander through its various rooms, where they can marvel at captivating murals and gain insights into the area’s rich history via the exhibited items. This palace provides valuable glimpses into Kochi’s royal history and serves as a testament to the amalgamation of diverse cultures that have significantly influenced the history of Kerala.

Originally constructed by the Portuguese and popularly known as the Dutch Palace, the Mattancherry Palace is located in the heart of Mattancherry, Kochi. This architectural gem, set in a traditional Kerala style, features four wings that open into a charming quadrangle. It’s conveniently situated just across from the Boat Jetty, which was erected by the Portuguese as a gesture of compensation for the local temple’s destruction. In 1555, they presented this palace to an Indian King.

While the Portuguese initiated its construction, it was the Dutch who subsequently renovated and lent their name to it. The palace’s floors were crafted using organic materials like plant juices, burnt coconut shells, and egg whites. Within its walls, you’ll encounter a treasure trove of artifacts from the royal family of Kochi, including antique weaponry and period furniture. The exquisite murals adorning the palace depict scenes from the Ramayana and other Hindu epics, believed to have been painted between the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Mattancherry Palace welcomes visitors from Saturday to Thursday, operating between 9 am and 5 pm. To gain entry to the palace, a fee of Rs. 5/- is required.

Museum Visiting Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM
Museum kept open in all days except Friday

Getting there
Nearest railway station: Ernakulam, about 10 km
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 42 km
Location : Mattancherry, Kochi, Kerala 682002
Coordinates : 9.9583° N, 76.2594° E
Phone: 91 484 606 8716
Entry Fee : Rs. 5/-

Mattancherry Palace ( Dutch Palace ) – Location, Entry, Photos

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