|Aluva palace, Aluva, Kerala.pinterest.com|
Located in the industrial town of Aluva (Ernakulam district), close to Ernakulam city on the banks of the majestic Periyar rive is a simple, but elegant looking heritage monument called Aluva Palace (also known as Alwaye Palace) which is more than 120 years old. Steeped in historical events, the old palace brings to our mind Kerala's glorious past era when monarchy ruled the roost. It was built by Maharajah Karthika Thirunal Dharma Raja in 1900 during the reign of the Chera kings of Travancore. Since 1991 after the demise of the past ruler, the palace has been under the management of the state government. During quiet periods free from enemy threats from the neighboring kingdoms, the royal members used the palace as their summer destination to be away from the hot summer. With the cool breeze coming in across the river flowing near-by, the members enjoyed their stay there that had lots of greenery around it. The circular balcony offers visitors with one of the best views of the river.
|Aluva Palace, Kerala. indianholiday.com|
|Location map, Aluva, Kerala. Maps of India.com|
Unlike many old monuments, this palace has a cult status because this part of Kerala saw many battles in the past 18th century), in particular from Tipu Sultan of Srirangapatna, Karnataka. In the later periods, before the raids by the enemies, it was here the military strategies were clandestinely drawn up by the ruler and his close entourage. So, it served as a wartime make-shift military office and the quiet ambiance helped them remain cool to come up with right strategies to outwit the enemies.
Presently, the palace has become a heritage hotel, being run by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (State agency). During India's freedom struggle in the early part of the 20th century this two-story structure played no less role than other palaces in the south. Gandhiji and Nehru visited this palace. The famous European visitors included Prince of Wales and H H Charles. What is so special about this palace is its nicely carved wooden structure and the way the wooden beams, rafters, metal works, etc are handled. The builder used different types of teak wood and metals to enhance its architectural grandeur and look. Despite its age, the overall wood work, doors, corridors, windows, staircase and other interior structures look fresh as if they were made recently. The palace has a good collection of antique lamps and furniture.
According to PWD, only minor renovation will be carried out and refuted many allegations that had no truth in them. Any renovation work amounting to altering the heritage value will not be tried in this beautiful palace, PWD emphasized. .