|Cochin House (now Kerala House), Delhi. en.wikipedia.org|
|/Kerala House, Delhi, an elephant statue. commons.wikimedia.org|
Now called Kerala House is the official state mission of Government of Kerala at New Delhi. Presently, every state of India has to maintain a statutory representative and state mission house in the capital, to liaison with Central Government on behalf of state, a baurocratic tradition introduced during the British Raj. Previously called Cochin House located on Jantar Mantar Road 3 is the former residence of the Maharajah of Cochin in Delhi. It was meant for his comfortable stay in Delhi whenever he visited the capital on official work.
Also known as Cochin State Palace, it was first built by
Sujan Singh, a prominent Punjabi real estate builder based in New Delhi, as his private residence. Having gained a good name in his real estate and construction business Sujan Singh and his son Sobha Singh (1890–1978) - fathe of late Kushwant Singh, well-known journalist, became New Delhi' major construction contractors or senior sub-contractors. The house named as Vyukunt, is said to have been an important landmark in New Delhi in those days.
A chamber of princes was created in Indian Parliament to represent Indian Native princely states as they were part of New India Constitution. Consequently, as mentioned earlier, necessity arose for Indian Princes to visit New Delhi frequently to attend the proceedings and lend their opinion and concerns. The ruler of Kingdom of Cochin, H.H Raja Rama Varma Maharajah of Kochi purchased Vyukunt from Sobha Singh in 1920 on his visit to Delhi to attend the chamber of Indian princes and made certain modifications and refurbished as Cochin State Palace. Yet another reason was almost all princes were compelled to attend the greatest show on Earth in Delhi called the Delhi Durbar of 1911 that was held under the direction of Lord Curzon.
|1911 Delhi Durbar en.wikipedia.org|
It was held when India's freedom struggle had begun to move uphill and caused lots of irritation among the nationalists.
|ochin House (Kerala House), Delhi. /alchetron.com|
In 1927 the Cochin government built an annex to the palace to shift the office and staff quarters. However, in 1940, the annex was handed over to the British to use it as a war office as the WWII was on . Between 1942 and 1945 it became temporary office of the political representative of the USA to Britain. In 1945, after the war, the building came under the control of the Cochin government.When Cochin joined with India Union after independence, Cochin House became the state property of Kerala Government under the management of PWD, Kerala. So was the Travancore House, the former residence of the Maharajah of Travancore, Kerala that is located close to Kerala House. Kerala House complex, which functions as an embassy of the state to the central government and is catering to the official needs of the MPs from Kerala. There is a Resident Law officer in Kerala House to look after the legal aspects of Kerala in the Supreme Court and other sub courts.
A proposal was made for renovation, as the .building falls within the Lutyens' Bangalow. The old two story structure that was once occupied by the then princely ruler of Cochin needs to be preserved for the posterity. The initiative was taken long ago by the former CM Oommen Chandy. Zonhttps://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thiruvananthapuram/Nod-for-renovation-of-Cochin-House/articleshow/21538034.cmse (LBZ)building falls within the Lutyens' Bangalow Zone (LBZ)