|The Kanakakunnu Palace, TrivandrumHolidify|
The state of Kerala has many beautiful palaces built by the colonial rulers as well as by the local Maharajahs. Invariably, most of them were built in impressive Kerala style, consisting mostly of quality wood. Many of the palaces were designed to suite the tropical climate as well as the Monsoon season that will bring in plenty of rain.
Located near the famous Napier Museum in the capital city of Thiruvanthapuram, Kerala Kanakakkunnu Palace was built by Travancore King Sree Moolan Thirunal (1885−1924). This palace has a unique architecture typical of Kerala style design and in the bygone days it served as a residence for the royal family. Later Swathi Thirunal, one of Travancore’s popular rulers and who composed numerous classical carnatic songs, made improvements to the palace, including the addition of Tennis courts. He also used the palace as a summer retreat for a few years. It was once the main venue for royal banquets.
This simple, but elegant palace has massive resplendent crystal chandeliers and a variety of beautiful, rich royal pieces of wooden furniture. Their affluent style of living was in conformity with their royal status as a ruling class in the state of Kerala. Their taste for music and arts was quite well-known.
The palace complex and its sprawling grounds are now a venue to many cultural programmes and an All India Dance Festival (Nishagandhi Annual Festival) is held in October to March organised by the Department of Tourism every year. During this period the classical Indian Dance performances by well- trained dance troupes from many parts of India are conducted every day. Countless people, including foreigners attend the colorful festival. countries every year.