Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Mattancherry Palace

Mattancherry Palace which is also known as Dutch Palace is situated about 10 km from Ernakulam on the banks of the backwaters of Kochi.This magnificent Palace was built and gifted to the Ruler of Kochi by the Portuguese either as an atonement for the temple they had accidently damaged or for receiving  favours from the King  for their trade activities of spices.
Later the Dutch took over  the trade of spices and to please the King they renovated the Palace elaborately.After the extensive renovation works  the Palace came to be known as 'Dutch Palace'.
The Palace was originally built by the Portuguese during the reign of 'Veera Kerala Varma Thampuran(1537-1561) and the Palace had been the residence of the Cochin royal family for about two centuries.
The Portuguese constructed the palace in Kerala traditional 'Naalukettu' style with a European touch, and it has at its center courtyard the shrine of 'Pazhayannur Bhagavathy', the deity of the royal family.The Palace also has shrines of Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna.
The Palace is beautiful with exquisite wooden carvings and sculptures which attracts the visitors.The flooring which was  made out of materials like 'Charcoal,Lime,burnt coconut shell,plant juices, egg white , etc is still smooth and shines like black granite.
Mattancherry Palace has frescoes on its walls which fascinates the visitors.Murals from the themes of epics Ramayana and Mahabharatha adorns the walls which are of 16th and 17th centuries.
Ramayana murals comprises of about 48 paintings which describes the story of Rama in detail as told by 'Thunchath Ezhuthachan' in 'Adhyatma Ramayana'.Each painting is separated by decorative borders.
There are Paintings of Lord Krishna and depictions are there like Krishna Playing flute,Krishna in reclining posture with the Gopis etc.The painting Krishna in reclining posture shows him with six hands and two feet.
There are frescoes of Lord Shiva and Parvathi Devi and the inspiration was 'Kumara Sambhava' written by famous Sanskrit poet 'Kalidasa'.
Lord Vishnu's portrayal are also there including Vishnu seated on the coils of serpent Anantha and the serpent's five headed hood serve as a canopy over Lord's head.'Ananthasayanam' which is Vishnu's reclining posture over serpent Anantha is also depicted there.
Some of the murals at Mattancherry Palace belongs to 18th and 19th century.
The fine creations of rich colored traditionally drawn murals attracts all visitors.

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