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Mattancherry Palace

🗓 Best Time To Visit:October to March

⏰ Open Hours:10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, closed on Fridays

🏞 Things To Do:Explore the palace, Admire the murals, Visit the museum

💰 Budget:Indians: INR 5, Foreigners: INR 100

🧳 Traveller Types:History buffs, Art enthusiasts, Photographers

🔍 Known For:Historic architecture, Portuguese influence, Hindu temple murals

📍 Distances:12 km from Ernakulam Railway Station, 42 km from Cochin International Airport, 2 km from Fort Kochi

🎨 Artistic Significance:Home to some of the best examples of Kerala murals

🏰 Architecture:Portuguese style with local influences

📚 Historical Importance:Built in 1557 by the Portuguese as a gift to the King of Cochin

📌 Tips:Photography is not allowed inside the palace

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Mattancherry Palace: A Historical and Cultural Treasure of Kochi

Are you looking for a unique and fascinating destination to explore in Kerala? If yes, then you should not miss the Mattancherry Palace, also known as the Dutch Palace, in Kochi. This palace is a remarkable example of the Kerala style of architecture blended with colonial influences.

It is also a treasure trove of history, art, and culture that will captivate you with its stories and secrets. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about Mattancherry Palace, from its origin and evolution to its features and attractions. Read on to discover why Mattancherry Palace is a must-visit place for anyone who loves heritage and beauty.

Photo of Mattancherry Palace 1/6 by
(c) Kerala Tourism

History of Mattancherry Palace

Mattancherry Palace was built in 1555 by the Portuguese as a gift to King Veera Kerala Verma of the Kochi dynasty. The Portuguese had destroyed a temple in the vicinity and wanted to appease the king with this gesture. The palace was originally a three-storeyed building with a sloping roof.

It was later renovated and expanded by the Dutch in 1663, after they took over Kochi from the Portuguese. The Dutch added a new storey, a gabled roof, and more windows to the palace. They also repaired the damaged parts and improved the interiors. Since then, the palace came to be known as the Dutch Palace.

The palace witnessed many important events and changes in the history of Kochi. It was here that the Cochin Kings held their coronation ceremonies and conducted their administration. It was also here that Hyder Ali, the Sultan of Mysore, attacked and plundered the palace in 1776. Later, the palace came under the control of the British East India Company, who made some minor alterations to it. The palace was finally declared as a protected monument in 1951 and converted into a museum in 1985.

Architecture of Mattancherry Palace

Mattancherry Palace is a splendid example of the traditional Kerala style of architecture, known as Nalukettu. This style features a rectangular structure with four separate wings that surround a central courtyard. The courtyard contains a small temple dedicated to Pazhayannur Bhagavathy, the patron goddess of the Kochi royal family. There are two more temples on either side of the palace, one for Lord Shiva and one for Lord Krishna.

Photo of Mattancherry Palace 2/6 by
(c) Wiki Commons

The palace has two floors, each with spacious halls and rooms. The ground floor houses the royal bedchamber, the dining hall, the ladies’ chamber, and the kitchen. The first floor contains the coronation hall, the portrait gallery, the assembly hall, and the museum. The most striking feature of the palace is its exquisite flooring, which looks like polished black marble but is actually made of a mixture of charcoal, lime, burnt coconut shells, plant juices, and egg whites.

Mural Paintings of Mattancherry Palace

One of the main attractions of Mattancherry Palace is its magnificent collection of mural paintings that adorn the walls of the first floor. These paintings are considered to be among the finest examples of Kerala mural art, which is characterized by rich colors, intricate details, and expressive figures.

Photo of Mattancherry Palace 3/6 by
Hindu religious art on the walls of the palace - (c) Mark Hills / Wki commons

The paintings cover an area of about 300 sq m and depict scenes from Hindu epics such as Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Kalidasa’s works. Some of the most notable paintings are: The coronation of Rama, The marriage of Sita, The birth of Rama, The killing of Ravana, The killing of Narakasura, The killing of Hiranyakashipu, The story of Rukmini, and The story of Shakuntala.

The paintings also showcase the costumes, ornaments, weapons, musical instruments, and flora and fauna of Kerala in vivid detail. They reflect the artistic skill and cultural heritage of the region.

You may also like to visit: How I ditched the touristy crowd and soaked in the charms of Fort Kochi!

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Mattancherry Palace depends on your preferences and convenience. However, based on the weather, crowd, and availability, some months may be more suitable than others. According to the sources I found, the ideal time to visit Mattancherry Palace is during January, February, March, October, November, and December. These months have pleasant and moderate climate conditions, with less humidity and rainfall. They also have fewer tourists and lower prices, making your visit more comfortable and affordable.

Photo of Mattancherry Palace 4/6 by

If you want to avoid the peak season rush, you may want to skip visiting Mattancherry Palace in December and January, as these are the most popular months for tourism in Kochi. Alternatively, you can plan your visit during the weekdays or early mornings, when the palace is less crowded.

According to one source, the most popular time to visit Mattancherry Palace is between 2 PM - 3 PM, so you may want to avoid this time slot if you want a more peaceful experience.

The palace is open from 9:45 AM - 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM - 4:45 PM on all days except Fridays and Saturdays.

The entry fee is INR 2 per person for adults and free for children below 15 years. You can also book tour packages or hire guides to explore the palace and its surroundings in more detail.

Other Attractions Near Mattancherry Palace

Besides its architecture and mural paintings, Mattancherry Palace also offers other interesting exhibits and attractions for visitors. Some of them are:

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Mattancherry Palace at night

The portrait gallery:

This gallery displays life-size portraits of the Cochin Kings from 1864 to 1932. The portraits are painted in oil on canvas and show the rulers in their regal attire and accessories.

The weapons and coins collection:

This collection showcases various weapons and coins used by the Cochin Kings and their enemies. Some of the weapons include swords, daggers, axes, spears, shields, guns, and cannons. Some of the coins include gold fanams, silver rupees, copper kasus, and foreign currencies.

The plans of Cochin by the Dutch:

This exhibit displays maps and drawings of Cochin made by the Dutch during their occupation. They show the layout and design of the city, its fortifications, its buildings, and its waterways.

The Nearby Attractions

Mattancherry Palace is located in a vibrant and historic area of Kochi, known as Mattancherry. This area is home to many other attractions, such as the Jewish Synagogue, the Jew Town, the Spice Market, the St. Francis Church, and the Fort Kochi Beach. You can easily explore these places by walking, cycling, or taking a ferry.

Photo of Mattancherry Palace 6/6 by

Some of the tips that tourists must take care when visiting Mattancherry Palace

1. Do not touch anything inside the palace, as it may damage the historical artefacts and paintings.

2. Do not take any kind of food items inside the palace, as they are prohibited and may attract pests or rodents.

3. Do not miss the depictions of Mahabharata and Ramayana in the mural paintings, as they are among the finest examples of Kerala mural art.

4. Use public transportation or hire an auto rickshaw to reach the palace, as it is located in a congested area with limited parking space.

5. Avoid visiting the palace on Fridays and Saturdays, as it is closed on these days25. The visiting hours are from 9:45 AM to 1:00 PM and from 2:00 PM to 4:45 PM on other days.

6. Carry a valid identity proof and pay the entry fee of INR 2 per person for adults and free for children below 15 years.

7. Don't forget to explore the nearby attractions to Mattancherry, such as the Jewish Synagogue, the Jew Town, the Spice Market, the St. Francis Church, and the Fort Kochi Beach.

Mattancherry Palace is a historical and cultural treasure of Kochi that you should not miss on your trip to Kerala. It is a place where you can learn about the glorious past of Kochi, admire the beauty of Kerala architecture and mural art, and enjoy the charm of Mattancherry.

You may also like to read: Exploring Kerala’s Forgotten History in Mattancherry, an Ancient Palace Town Right Within Kochi

If you are looking for a unique and fascinating destination to explore in Kerala, Mattancherry Palace is the perfect choice for you.

Mattancherry Palace Reviews

Mattancherry Palace Next, walk back to Mattancherry to visit the Mattancherry Palace. The palace was built by the Portuguese in 1557 as appeasement offering to Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Kochi, for having previously demolished one of his palaces. It was renovated in 1663 by the Dutch, thereby earning the name Dutch Palace. While the exterior is nondescript, the interior is a visual treasure - stuff for your eyes to feast on. - Entry fee - INR 5. The palace is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. - Visiting hours - 10 AM to 5 PM on all days except Fridays. - Photography within the palace is prohibited Check out the exquisite murals depicting the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and pieces from Hindu mythology. The key characters of these Indian epics are shown to have features exhibiting oriental influence, and are painstakingly painted using tempera paint in rich warm tones that seem to make the walls glow. Have more time on your hands? While Kochi is a great destination for a weekend getaway, it never really runs out of places to visit, making it perfect for a longer stay. If you have the luxury of time, check out the Indo-Portuguese Museum, the Kerala Folklore Museum, the Maritime Museum, and the Kathakali Center (attend a Kathakali show even!), experiences such as backwater rides, river-boating, and staying on a house-boat. Also, squeeze in a visit to Cherai Beach and Willingdon Island. With a little bit of planning, you can also attend the next Biennale in Kochi - a culmination of contemporary art displays that's sure to leave you awestruck and inspired. 🙂 Recommended Stay I stayed at the Riverside Heritage Bungalow for two days and one night in Kochi, and I could not recommend this place more! It isn't very close to the Fort area, but it has everything you'd want for a relaxing weekend getaway - super-clean and well-stocked cottages, delicious authentic Kerala food, private backwater access, and lovely hosts. Although not as cheap as hostels and other backpacker stays, it still works up to an affordable amount considering all the amenities available. The current rate per night is INR 1,700/-.
• Mattancherry Palace: From the Jew Street, I headed to the Mattacherry Palace or the Dutch Palace. Built and gifted in 1555 to Veera Kerala Verma, traditionally believed to be the first king of Cochin, by the Portuguese, this palace houses murals, portraits, stamps, artilleries, coins, and many more exhibits of the Rajas of Cochin. Soak yourself in the colonial influence within the walls of this palace. o Timings: Open on all days except Friday (10.00 AM to 5.00 PM) o Entry Ticket: Required
Its a boutique hotel and extremely pretty. I have booked it earlier via Expedia.com and check in was fuss-free. Later in the noon, after a delicious lunch at the Spice Fort Hotel Kochi, which is located at princess street, the place for shopping, I headed for Jewish Synagogue and Dutch palace or Mattancherry Palace. If you want to visit all historical places, I would suggest you to start your journey from princess street because all historical places are adjacent to it.
3) The Mattancherry Palace The palace is a quadrangular structure built in Nalukettu style, the traditional Kerala style of architecture, with a courtyard in the middle. This palace is under control of ASI and its archeological museum is housed here. It has portrait gallery of the Cochin Rajas and notable for some of the best mythological murals in India, which are in the best traditions of Hindu temple art.
A few kilometres from the church you'll find the much talked about - Mattancherry Palace also known as Dutch Palace - Your one stop destination for the history of Kochi. It houses fascinating portraits and possessions of the Kochi royalty.
Photos of Mattancherry Palace
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