|Nedumpuram Palace, Tiruvalla, Astrolika.com|
Nedumpuram Palace, Tiruvalla, in Pathanamthitta District is a famous palace in Kerala that belonged to the branch of the Kulasekhara dynasty that ruled the principality of Udayamangalam in Northern Kerala.
The family belonged originally to the Valluvanad royal line of ascension. When Tipu Sultan of Mysore raided the Malabar region, considering the grave situation and safety, the royal family took refuge under the patronage of the King of Travancore. Then there was a division of the family into two branches establishing principalities within Travancore in Mariapalli and Tiruvalla. The present palace is at the earlier location of a palace that belonged to the Raja of Tiruvalla.
|Tiruvalla, Kerala. www.thiruvalla.com|
Built in traditional Kerala style architecture of "pathinaru kettu" structure ( meaning 16 blocks) that divides the building into four self-contained blocks of rooms with indoor open courtyards connected to each other. It is most made of choice teak wood and in several places teak beams support the structure. At present the building is in disrepair. Characteristic of kovilakam style, single block of this architecture is referred to as Nalukettu. It is simply a single dwelling place for many families made of carved and slotted wood, exception being foundation and flooring. The sunken courtyard, open to sky, is used for observing ritualistic ablutions and to grow plants. From here rooms can be accessed. There is temple inside dedicated to family deity and this divides the structure into further two blocks. The outer verandas are used for major religious functions only and the large teak wood doors remain closed most of the time. The other verandas are fully enclosed or semi-closed.
Nedumpuram Palace is surrounded by other old buildings - Puttan Kottaram houses a temple,
Tekke Kottaram (southern Palace, now demolished), once the residence of one branch of the family while Vadakke Kottaram (northern Palace),a separate building housed non-members connected by marriage.