When someone mentions Kerala, the first thing that comes to mind is its beautiful palm-fringed beaches, the sparkling magical backwaters, the pristine hills, and Ayurveda. The monuments of Kerala serve as reminders of many historical periods, including the ancient world's last human settlement and some renowned heroes.
Discover the allure of these fascinating historical sites in Kerala for a mystical encounter with the past.
Alwaye Palace, often referred to as Aluva Palace, is a magnificent structure that serves as a reminder of the magnificence and grandeur of Kerala's ancient past. The palace is situated along the picturesque Periyar River. Numerous fights and successions that took place at the palace had a significant role in Kerala's history.
Location of Alwaye's Palace:
The Alwaye Palace is located in Aluva on National Highway 47. It is at a distance of 15 km from Kochi, near the Kochi International Airport.
About Alwaye Palace:
The Alwaye Palace overlooks the Periyar River and offers a beautiful sight from its circular balconies.
Arakkal Palace & Kannur Fort
Kerala is full of architectural wonders, and there is no end to the magnificent monuments in different parts of Kerala that draw tourists from all over. The Arakkal Fort is the one and only royal residence of the Muslims in Kerala. Close to it lies the grand Kannur Fort, built at the beginning of the 16th century. Both the Arakkal Palace and Kannur Fort are under the care of the Archeological Survey of India.
Location of Arakkal Palace and Kannur Fort:
The Arakkal Palace is located at a distance of about 3 km from Kannur. Near it stands the Kannur fort.
About Arakkal Palace & Kannur Fort:
The Arakkal Fort belonged to the Royal Muslim family of Kerala that controlled some parts of the coastal regions, including Lakshadweep. It belonged to the Beebs (queen) of Arakkal. Lying close to it is the Kannur Fort, also known as Angelo's Fort. The Portuguese built this fort called Don Francisco de Almeida in 1505. The Dutch later conquered the Kannur Fort, which was bought over by King Ali Raja of the Arakkal kingdom in Kerala. Legend has it that a secret underground tunnel inside the fort led to the sea and the palace, 21 km away.
Bolgatty Palace is situated on the picturesque Bolgatty Island in Kochi, Kerala. The Dutch traders built this ancient palace in 1744 AD. At that time, this building was the Dutch Governor's palace. Much later, in 1909, this palace was leased to the British. During British rule, many British governors used this palace as their home.
With India's independence in 1947, Bolgatty Palace transferred hands and became a property of the state of Kerala. It was converted into a heritage hotel later. At present, Bolgatty Palace is managed by the KTDC (Kerala Tourism Development Corporation).
Accommodation at Bolgatty Palace, Kochi:
Bolgatty Palace offers its guests a wide choice of 26 rooms-4 Suites, 6 honeymoon cottages overlooking the waterfront, and 16 rooms. All these rooms are air-conditioned and have attached baths. The rooms also have cable TV, round-the-clock service, telephones, a mini bar, and a balcony. In other words, world-class accommodation facilities are on offer at this place.
Dining at Bolgatty Palace, Kochi:
At Bolgatty Palace, Kochi boasts 2 multi-cuisine restaurants which will delight your taste buds with various Chinese, Continental, and Indian dishes. Visitors to this place may also enjoy the barbecue and have a wide choice of beverages at the bar.
Other facilities at Bolgatty Palace, Kochi:
Bolgatty Palace offers a host of additional facilities to its visitors in the form of a swimming pool, children's park, indoor recreation room, daily shows of Kathakali, travel assistance, golf club, money exchange, horse riding, speed boat, and tours to nearby historical places, to name a few.
Cheraman Juma Masjid - Kodungallur
This mosque resembles Hindu temples as it was constructed using traditional architectural styles of the Hindus. The Cheraman Juma Masjid is the first mosque in India where Juma prayers began. The use of brass oil lamps and the rosewood pulpit with carvings on it from where Friday's Juma prayers are recited are some of the attractions for those who marvel at the intricate details. The Cheraman Juma Masjid at Kodungallur has a white marble block. The legend goes that it was brought from Mecca.
Location of Cheraman Juma Masjid
Cheraman Juma Masjid at Kodungallur is situated at a distance of 2 km from Kodungallur town.
About Cheraman Juma Masjid
It has a unique appeal as its architecture blends the traditional art and architecture of Kerala and the Arab region. Apart from the magnificent brass oil lamp and delicately crafted woodwork in the pulpit, visitors will also find an old ceremonial pond close to the mosque, which is still intact. People believe that two ancient tombs in this mosque belong to Habib Bin Malik(son of Malik Bin Dinar) and his wife, Khumarriah.
Devotees and pilgrims from diverse communities come to pay their homage here in large numbers, especially during the month of Ramzan. Perhaps Cheraman Juma Masjid at Kodungallur is the lone mosque where 'Vidyarambham' is done on Vijayadasami Day. This ceremony helps many non-Muslim devotees start their children's literacy on the mosque's premises. However, this mosque doesn't allow women to enter its premises. Members of the Mahallu Committee, elected according to law for two years, manage this mosque.
The Koyikkal Palace in Kerala was once the palace of Umayamma Rani, who belonged to the Venad royal family. It is mainly popular now because of the main palace, the folklore museum, and the numismatics museum, which draw many visitors annually. The Koyikkal palace is a double-storied structure traditionally called "nalukettu."
Location of Koyikkal Palace:
The Koyikkal palace is located about 18 km from Thiruvananthapuram city in Nedumangad. It falls on the way to the Ponmudi hill station and the Courtallam waterfalls in the Thiruvananthapuram district.
About Koyikkal Palace:
The Koyikkal Palace was built for the queen of the Venad Royal family, who ruled this land between 1677 and 1684. The place has a famous folklore museum and a numismatics museum that the archeological department has set up. The Folklore Museum, set up in 1992, has a valuable treasure of musical instruments, occupational utensils, folk art models, etc. The Numismatics Museum on the palace's ground floor is one of its kind and exhibits a rare and historically priceless collection of coins.
One of the finest and rarest examples of the typical Keralite style of architecture, the Krishnapuram Palace is a protected monument under the archeological department. Though much about the origin and age of the Krishnapuram Palace is not known, it was once the grand residential palace of the Kayamkulam rulers.
Location of Krishnapuram Palace:
The Krishnapuram Palace is located in Kayamkulam, about 47 km from Alappuzha.
About Krishnapuram Palace:
The Krishnapuram palace was restructured during the 18th century and renovated using scientific techniques. The most exciting exhibit displayed here is the Gajendra Moksham, spread over 49 sq meters, the most prominent mural painting band discovered in Kerala. The family deity of the Kayamkulam rajas was Lord Vishnu, and his mural was placed at the palace entrance so the kings could worship him after their bath. The other attractive features of the Krishnapuram Palace are the beautiful gardens, the newly constructed Buddha Mandapam, and rare antique bronze sculptures and paintings in the museum.
The Portuguese built the Mattancherry Palace in 1555 AD as a gift for the Raja of Kochi, Veera Kerala Varma. It is also referred to as the "Dutch Palace" because of the Dutch who reconstructed and renovated it after 1663. The Mattancherry Palace today is a portrait gallery that displays portraits of the Kochi Rajas and many impressive murals depicting mythological stories in India.
Location of Mattancherry Palace:
The Mattancherry Palace is located on Palace Road, about 10 km from Ernakulam city in Kochi, Kerala. Regular bus and boat services take you from Ernakulam to Mattancherry. The boat leaves for Mattancherry from the main boat jetty near Subhash Park in Ernakulam.
About Mattancherry Palace:
Two Portuguese arches lead to the Mattancherry Palace's entrance, two floors around a Keralite-style courtyard. Complete with ornamented walls, the palace has a very European feel. The inner court of the palace houses a Hindu temple dedicated to the patron goddess of the Kochi Royal family. The inner walls are adorned with pictures of the Rajas of Kochi and wall paintings illustrating scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and the Puranic legends. The rooms inside the palace are worth exploring, especially the Central Hall, where, once upon a time, the coronation ceremonies of the Rajas used to take place.
The architecture of Kerala heavily influenced this palace. Visitors to this palace will find wood-carvings and fine mural paintings, an exclusive example of an art form bearing the signature style of Kerala. The name Padmanabhapuram also has a mythological significance to it. It represents an image of the lotus coming from Lord Vishnu's navel (Padma refers to the lotus, nabha means navel, and Puram stands for town).
Location of Padmanabhapuram Palace:
Padmanabhapuram Palace is located 55 km south-west of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the state of Kerala.
About Padmanabhapuram Palace:
In Padmanabhapuram Palace, Mannarasala ( King's Council Chamber) is the most stunning place to visit. The oldest structure in this palace is the Thai Kottaram (Mother's palace). The comparatively new structure of Natakasala (Performance Hall) is also a visual delight. The 4-storeyed building located in the central part of Padmanabhapuram Palace, which was used as the worship arena of the royal family, is another place of attraction. Many visitors also visit Thekke Kottaram (Southern Palace), which is a museum for storing antique items.
Pierce Leslie Bungalow
The offices of Pierce Leslie & Co., coffee merchants founded in 1862, were located in the lovely home known as the Pierce Leslie Bungalow. This structure, a prime example of the colonial bungalow style in Fort Kochi, combines Portuguese, Dutch, and regional elements. Wood panels that make up the bottom floor's roof, arched doorways, carved doors, and expansive chambers are distinguishing elements. Verandahs on the waterfront are an additional draw.
Location of Pierce Leslie Bungalow:
The Pierce Leslie Bungalow is located in Ernakulam, Kochi, Kerala.
About Pierce Leslie Bungalow:
The architectural structure of the Pierce Leslie Bungalow displays an innovative blend of Portuguese and Dutch styles, along with the native building patterns. This bungalow has the characteristic arched doorways', extensive wooden panels on the roof of the ground floor, carved and artistically designed doors, expansive rooms, and waterfront balconies.
St. Sebastian Church
One of the first Latin dioceses in Kerala, the historic diocese of Cochin has the St. Sebastian Church as one of its oldest churches. According to historical records, the previous St. James church that had stood here since the sixteenth century was renovated before the church was built. Laterite and wood were the major building materials used to construct the church. The walls were constructed with massive laterite blocks that were nearly one meter in length, lime mortar, and lime plaster. The Vembanad lake-facing altar is shaped like a dome.
Location of St. Sebastian Church
St. Sebastian's Church is situated 22 km north of Alleppey.
About St. Sebastian Church
Tourists visiting the festival of St. Sebastian can witness some rituals that seem pretty peculiar for the first time. For example, the Urulu merchant, where the devotees crawl an extensive stretch from the church to the beach on their knees, makes the tourists gape wide-eyed. This ritual is a way of showing respect to St. Sebastian. Many devotees also offer silver and gold replicas of bows, arrows, and human limbs to receive divine blessings.
For many pilgrims coming to this place, the visit remains incomplete without a dip in the tank of St. Sebastian Church. This holy dip is considered to be very promising by a majority of these people. In brief, St. Sebastian's Church stands as an emblem of religious unanimity.
One of the earliest Portuguese homes in Fort Kochi is Vasco House, which is thought to have been Vasco da Gama's home. Vasco House was constructed in the early sixteenth century and features period-appropriate European glass-pane windows and balcony verandahs.
Location of Vasco House:
The Vasco House is located in Ernakulam, Kochi, in Kerala. The name of Vasco House's street is Rose Street.
About Vasco House:
The Vasco House was built during the early 16th century, and it reflects the archetypal European glass panes and the balconies that represented the usual kind of those times.
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