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Monuments of Kerala

When someone mentions Kerala, the first thing that comes to our mind is its beautiful palm fringed beaches, the sparkling magical backwaters, the pristine hills and the Ayurveda. But not only Kerala is all of this, but it is more than that.

Here are the Top Kerala’s Historical Places & Monuments You Must Visit

Alwaye Palace

The Alwaye Palace in Kerala stands on the beautiful banks of the Periyar River. The Alwaye Palace is now used as a guesthouse and is one of the best palaces in Kerala.

Location of Alwaye Palace:
The Alwaye palace is located in Aluva, on the National Highway 47. It is at a distance of 15 kms from Kochi, near the Kochi International Airport.
Information about Alwaye Palace:
The Alwaye Palace stands overlooking 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 in tourists from all over. The Arakkal Fort holds the reputation of being the one and only royal residence of the Muslims in Kerala. Close to it lies the grand Kannur Fort built in the beginning of the 16th century. Both the Arakkal Palace & Kannur Fort are under the care of the Archeological Survey of India.

Location of Arakkal Palace & Kannur Fort:
The Arakkal Palace is located at a distance of about 3 kms from Kannur. Near to it stands the Kannur fort.
Information 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 Beebi (queen) of Arakkal. Lying close to it is the Kannur Fort that is also known as Angelo's Fort. This fort was built by a Portuguese called Don Fransisco De Almeida, in the year 1505. The Dutch later conquered the Kannur Fort and it was bought over by King Ali Raja of the Arakkal kingdom in Kerala. Legend has it that there was a secret underground tunnel inside the Fort that leading to the sea and the palace, 21 km away.


Bolghatty Palace

Bolghatty Palace is situated in the picturesque Bolgatty island in Kochi, Kerala. This ancient palace was built by the Dutch traders in 1744AD. At that time, this building was the Dutch Governor's palace. Much later, in the year of 1909, this palace was leased to the British. During the British rule, many British Governors used this palace as their home.

With India's independence in 1947, Bolghatty Palace transferred hands and became a property of the state of Kerala. It was converted into a heritage hotel later. At present, Bolghatty Palace is managed by the KTDC (Kerala Tourism Development Corporation).

For reaching Bolghatty Palace, overseas travelers may use the Cochin International Air port which is 32 kms from here. Tourists traveling by train may use any of the 3 rail stations at Kochi namely Ernakulam Town, Ernakulam Junction or Cochin Harbor Terminus. However, it is preferable to use Ernakulam Junction as most of the trains from the Northern cities or the Southern parts of India stop here. From Ernakulam Junction, it takes about 2 hours to reach Bolghatty Palace. Tourists traveling by the road may avail of the Express and Fast buses of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation Services (KSRTC).

Accommodation at Bolghatty Palace, Kochi:
Bolghatty Palace offers its guests a wide choice of 26 rooms-4 Suites, 6 honeymoon cottages overlooking the water front and 16 rooms. All these rooms are air conditioned having attached baths. The rooms also have cable TV, round the clock service, telephones, mini bar and balcony. In other words, world-class accommodation facilities are on offer at this place.
Dining at Bolghatty Palace, Kochi:

Bolghatty Palace, Kochi boasts of 2 multi cuisine restaurants which will delight your taste buds with a variety of Chinese, Continental and Indian dishes. Visitors at this place may also enjoy the barbeque and have a wide choice of beverages at the bar.
Other facilities at Bolghatty Palace, Kochi:
Bolghatty 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, tour to nearby historical places, to name a few.
So, make sure to book yourself into the comfortable ambience of Bolghatty Palace on your next visit to Kochi. You are sure to love and cherish the experience.

Cheraman Juma Masjid - Kodungallur

Cheraman Juma Masjid at Kodungallur is situated at a distance of 2 km from Kodungalloor town. This mosque bears a resemblance to Hindu temples as it was constructed using traditional architectural styles of the Hindus. Cheraman Juma Masjid is the first mosque in India where Juma prayers began.

People visiting this monument from far and near places can find glimpses of Hindu tradition inside the mosque. Use of brass oil lamps, 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. Cheraman Juma Masjid at Kodungallur has a white marble block. Legend goes that it had been brought from Mecca.

Cheraman Juma Masjid at Kodungallur can be reached by air, rail or road. People traveling by air may use the nearest international airport at Nedumbassery, Ernakulam which is about 30 kms from Kodungallur. The mosque is 1500m from Kodungallur. People traveling by train would do well to use the nearest railway station of Irinjalakuda which is 20 km from Thrissur. Tourists coming to visit Cheraman Juma Masjid by road may use the nearest bus stand of Kodungallur, located at a distance of 3km. As a lot of private and state owned buses, not to mention taxis and other vehicles, ply between Kodungallur and Ernakulam/Thrissur, reaching at this place won't be any problem. Tourists will also get ample buses from here to all the important towns of Kerala and neighboring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka via Thrissur(Trichur).

Cheraman Juma Masjid at Kodungallur has a unique appeal as its architecture is a blend of traditional art and architecture of Kerala and Arab region. Apart from the magnificent brass oil lamp, delicately crafted woodwork in the pulpit, visitors will also find an old ceremonial pond close to the mosque which is still standing 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 Vijaya Dashami day. This ceremony helps many non- Muslim devotees to start their children's literacy in the premises of the mosque. However, this mosque doesn't allow women to enter its premises. Members of Mahallu Committee, elected according to law for two years manage this mosque.

So, make sure to visit Cheraman Juma Masjid at Kodungallur on your next visit. You are sure to love and cherish the experience.


Koyikkal Palace

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 that draws in many visitors every year. The Koyikkal palace is a double storied structure that is traditionally called "nalukettu".

Location of Koyikkal Palace:
The Koyikkal palace is located about 18 km away from the Thiruvananthapuram city, in Nedumangadu. It falls on the way to the Ponmudi hill station and the Courtalam waterfalls of the Thiruvananthapuram district.
Information 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 popular folklore museum as well as a Numismatics Museum that has been set up by the archeological department. The Folklore museum, set up in 1992 has a valuable treasure of musical instruments, occupational utensils, folk art models etc. The Numismatics Museum in the ground floor of the palace is one of its kind and exhibits a rare and historically priceless collection of coins.


Krishnapuram Palace

One of the finest and rarest examples of a 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, but it was once the grand residential palace of the Kayamkulam rulers.

Location of Krishnapuram Palace:
The Krishnapuram Palace is located in Kayamkulam that lies about 47 km from Alappuzha.
Information about Krishnapuram Palace:
The Krishnapuram palace was restructured during the 18th century and again renovated using scientific techniques. The most interesting exhibits displayed here is the Gajendra Moksham, spread over 49 sq meters, which is the largest band of mural painting that has been discovered in Kerala. The family deity of the Kayamkulam rajas was Lord Vishnu and his mural was placed at the palace entrance so that 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, rare antique bronze sculptures and paintings at the museum.

Mattancherry Palace

The Mattancherry Palace was built by the Portuguese 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 reconstruction and renovation carried out by the Dutch 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.
Information about Mattancherry Palace:

Two Portuguese arches lead to the entrance of the Mattancherry Palace that has two floors around a Keralaite style courtyard. Complete with ornamented walls, the palace has a very European feel to it. 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 as well as wall paintings illustrating scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata and the Puranic legends. The rooms inside the palace are worth exploring, specially the Central Hall where once upon a time, the coronation ceremonies of the Rajas used to take place.

Padmanabhapuram Palace:

Padmanabhapuram Palace is located 55 km south-west of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the state of Kerala. This magnificent structure is constructed of wood, brought from nearby forests. This architectural wonder in wood which is equally colossal in idea, design and execution, mesmerizes its visitors. The beautiful work of art all over the building- on pillars, roofs, walls etc. cast a magic spell on the tourists.

This palace is heavily influenced by architecture of Kerala. Visitors to this palace will find wood-carvings and fine mural paintings, an exclusive example of an art form bearing a signature style of Kerala. The name Padmanabhapuram also has a mythological significance to it. It stands for an image of the lotus coming from Lord Vishnu's navel (Padma refers to lotus, nabha means navel and Puram stands for Town).
To reach Padmanabhapuram Palace, tourists traveling by air may use the nearest airport namely Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, located 6 km from the city of Thiruvananthapuram. People traveling by train may use the nearest railway station of Nagercoil as well as local station of Iraniel, which are 15km and 6km, respectively from the palace. The rail station at Thiruvananthapuram may also be used. For journey by the road, KTDC buses may be availed of. Tourists may also board buses from Thiruvananthapuram's Thampanoor bus stand which go towards Padmanabhampuram, on the highway to Kanyakumari. However, the best option is to board any bus bound for Nagercoil or Kanyakumari and get down at Thuckalay. Cabs on hire from Thiruvananthapuram may also be used.

Though located in the district of Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, Padmanabhapuram Palace is heavily influenced by Kerala architecture. This monument is under the protection of the Kerala State Archaeology Department.
In Padmanabhapuram Palace, Mantrasala ( King's Council chamber) is the most stunning place to visit. The oldest construction of 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 at the central part of Padmanabhapuram Palace which was used as the worship arena of the royal family is another place of attraction. A lot of visitors also visit Thekke Kottaram (Southern Palace) which acts as a museum for storing antique items.

So, make sure to book yourself for a tour to Padmanabhapuram Palace near Thiruvananthapuram. You will be mesmerized to no ends by the whole experience.

Pierce Leslie Bungalow

The Pierce Leslie Bungalow is an ancient mansion built in 1892, belonging to the colonial era. This was the original office building of Pierce Leslie & Company, a well known group of coffee merchants in India. This colonial bungalow is an ideal envoy of the Fort Kochi colonial bungalow.

Location of Pierce Leslie Bungalow:
The Pierce Leslie Bungalow is located in Ernakulam in Kochi, Kerala.
Information 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

Throughout the year, a lot of tourists visit the state of Kerala to be enthralled by its rich cultural and historical past. Every step that you take in this unique state will make you fall in love with the rich past as well as the cultural wealth of Kerala. The monuments of the state of Kerala are a major attraction for the tourists.

These consist of mosques, temples, castles, palaces, churches, houses along with some mansions. All these monuments collectively help to reconstruct the lost vigor of an era that has passed. Among the religious monuments of the state, St. Sebastian Church, Bolghatty is a place which should be visited for sure!

Churches of Kerala present a lovely sight that should not be missed by a visitor. St. Sebastian Church is considered to be an important pilgrim centre for the Christians of the state. Situated 22 kms north of Alleppey, this church was built by the Portuguese missionaries. St. Sebastian Church is very close to Sherthallai. Every year in the month of January, a grand feast of St. Sebastian is organized here which is visited by a lot of people. This 11 day feast of St. Sebastian, held generally in the second week of January has now become a well known event in the map of tourists visiting the place.

Tourists coming to witness the festival of St. Sebastian are able to witness some rituals, which appear pretty peculiar for the first time to them. Urulu nercha, where the devotees crawl a large stretch, from the church to the beach on their knees make 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 have 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 auspicious by a majority of these people. In brief, St. Sebastian Church stands for an emblem of religious unanimity.
So, make sure to book yourself for a tour to St. Sebastian Church, Bolghatty. You are sure to love the whole experience.

Vasco House

The Vasco House, one of the significant monuments in Kerala is supposed to be the residence of the famous traveler Vasco Da Gama. It is also one of the oldest residencies belonging to the Portuguese in Kochi.

Location of Vasco House:
The Vasco House is located in Ernakulam, Kochi in Kerala. The name of the street on which the Vasco House stands is Rose Street.
Information about Vasco House:
The Vasco House was built during the early 16th century and it reflects the archetypal European glass panes windows and the balconies that represented the usual kind of those times.