Being a tourist in ones own place. Last summer vacations, all of us wandered many times into the palace complex beside the famous Padmanabhaswamy temple. It was a way of teaching our children and learning too..not to forget the beautiful past and the remains which we still hold tight in our memories.

The city of Trivandrum is a mix of modern and traditional architecture, which is visible in its Temples and Palaces. The narrow winding lanes of the city allow visitors to take in the ambience of old Kerala through the pagoda-style buildings and red-tiled roofs.Most of the monuments here are very typically native in their construction. 

Trivandrum boasts of a rich historical and traditional background and colorful culture, and thus it houses a number of important historical monuments and places.Trivandrum is said to have modernized under His highness the late  Uthradom Thirunal's rule. The city today is a large, rambling city dispersed across a series of lush forested hills on the edge of the Arabian Sea. It retains a strong vernacular character, with red-tiled roofs and a common local architectural style. 

Standing adjoining the well-known Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple at the East Fort in Trivandrum, Kuthiramalika or Puthenmalika palace was  built by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balarama Varma - the King of Travancore. He is quite famous as a fine statesman, poet, musician and social reformer. This palace is a great example of very few left specimens of the traditional Travancore style of architecture where exquisite wood is also used. Now transformed into a museum, it consists  of paintings and various other priceless collections of the royal family.Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balarama Varma built the Kuthiramalika Palace over 200 years ago. The name Kuthiramalika means 'palace of horses' and is derived from the frieze of 122 wooden horses on the exterior walls.

Kuthiramalika Palace was constructed with teak, rosewood, granite and marble. Elaborate carvings within the palace include two thrones - one is made entirely from elephant tusks and the other from Bohemian crystal. Kuthiramalika Palace houses the Maharaja's music room where visitors have a good view of the temple, which was a source of inspiration for the ruler. Other rooms offered on the tour include other music halls, reading rooms, and a library.Noted for the Keralan architecture, the palace took 5,000 workers over 4 years to complete. The interior of Kuthiramalika features European mirrors and chandeliers, weapons, crystal, Kathakali idols, elephant howdahs and other memorabilia.


Sree Uthradom Tirunal Marthanda Varma Chithralayam  has been set up at Ranga Vilasam Palace to provide the public with an authentic perspective on the glorious past of  Travancore.
Conceived by His Highness Sree Uthradom Tirunal Marthanda Varma Maharaja, the museum’s collection includes (besides valuable articles possessed by the Royalty) rare photographs taken by His Highness, himself  a connoisseur of photography, and other ace photographers like William D’Cruz etc are  set in traditional royal ambience. 


Kuthiramalika Palace








a moment to be frozen..the feet and snails

Levi hall in the palace complex

flower type works on the roof with wood

a couple of old residences in the palace complex

A view of the back of the gallery






art gallery





Levi hall


H.H.Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma chitralayam


roof and walls in wood in the residence complex


All images  and Ideas:Lakshmi Arvind Text courtesy:Tourism.org
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