|Krishnapuram palace and pond. Justdial|
Built in the 18th century by Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma (1729–1758 AD), the Travancore kingdom (1729 to 1949), the Krishnapuram Palace is a nice royal residence, following typical architectural style of Kerala with gabled roof, narrow corridor and dormer windows (with roofed structure). It is in Kayankulam (near Alappuzha) close to the Krishnaswamy Temple at Krishnapuram.
|Krishnapuram palace., kayankulam. Shutterstock|
The palace complex en composes many other buildings, that exhibit a combination of traditional and Western architecture. The present three-storied structure within the complex, was renovated in the 1950s by the Archaeological Department of Kerala in using modern scientific techniques prescribed for the protection of heritage buildings. The heritage aspect is well-preserved and it is now a protected monument.
|Palace museum, Kayankulam Kayankulam Vaal Alappuzha|
|Krishnapuram palace, balcony roof details. tripadvisor.com|
Visitors to this palace will be captivated by the Kerala-sytle paintings among which a mural painting named Gajendra Moksham, a nice piece of work, is worthy of mention. It is believed to be the largest in Kerala, measuring 154 square feet (14.3 m2). Other exhibits include 18th century double edged Kayamkulam Vaal (sword; used by early rulers) and 4 stone images of lord Buddha (10th century) in meditating posture excavated in Alappuzha District. It suggests the existence of Hinayana Buddhism in this part of Kerala. Among the countless exhibits, mention may be made of copy of the Bible in Sanskrit printed in Calcutta (Kolkata) in 1886. Fine miniature Panchaloha (five metals of bronze alloy with gold as an ingredient) idols of Varuna (god of rain) and Vishnu.
|Small Durbar hall.Krishnapuram Palace KeralaGoibibo|
The type of Kerala-style of design followed here
is called Pathinarukettu, that features gabled
roofs, narrow corridors and dormer windows. Frequently it is referred to as a miniature replica of Padmanabhapuram Palace, now near Nagarkovil, Tamil Nadu which was once the headquarters of Travancore Raja. Originally, the palace stood on a plot of 56 acres and over a period of time, due to negligence and poor maintenance, many palace buildings were in ruin. The unfortunate fact is the original palace land had shrunk to about 2.55 acres.
Thanks to the sincere efforts taken by the Kerala Government and its Archaeology department that resurrected the 3 story monument by carrying out
the major restoration work as per Vastu Sastra norms with meticulous care and putting the palace back on to past glory. The palace has 16 blocks or Kettus with four Nadumuttam or open area in the center or courtyards for sunlight. The ingenious feature is the placing of the windows, doors and ventilators that ensures fresh flow of air and natural lighting in all rooms. All 22 rooms (which open into the shady internal courtyards) have ornamental wooden partitions with carvings. Additional openings were provided to prevent any negative effects of "Murmavedham".
Locally available laterite stones, rubble, teak, rosewood and Angili wood were extensively used for the construction work. The red tiled- roofing consisting of Mangalore tiles is steep and this enhances the appearance of this building. Wooden hinges and locks for doors and windows, instead of metallic fittings and fixtures are all done in an artistic way, using special type of carpentry known to this place. Yet another feature is all around the outer wall is well protected from frequent rain falls in the monsoon season as it is surrounded by veranda that serves as a passage. Here, the flooring is not done in wood, instead it consists of polished wood and also of black and red oxide-coated concrete. Straight, spiral and curved stairways, nice wood works and well-polished granite steps accentuate the palace's past glory. Added feature is the air-conditioning effects one gets indoors. This being due to the presence of an underground pond close by. As mentioned before, a secret escape route is built for the royal family close to the pond in case of emergency.
This palace with a well-maintained museum is worth a visit, if you happen to be in Allepey.