Kerala Monuments

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Koikkal Kottaram

Thiruvananthapuram, the capital district of Kerala has abundance of traditional Palaces constructed by the royal family of erstwhile Travancore. Travancore Kings were great patronage of art and architecture. There are about thirty palaces in Thiruvananthapuram which were constructed after the 18th century. Most of the palaces constructed before the 18th century have now disappeared. The existing Palaces are Attingal Palace, Mamom Palace, Kilimanoor Palace, Nedumangad Palace, Mudavanmukal Palace (2), Vellayani Palace, Poojappura Palace, Pothenkode Palace, Kanakakkunnu Palace, Vellayambalam Palace, Bell Heavan Palace, Sankumukham Palace (2), Kawadiar Palace, Kovalam Palace and ten palaces inside the East Fort - Sreepadam Palace, Krishnavilasam Palace, Ananthavilasam Palace, Valiya Kottaram etc.

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koyikkal kottaram at nedumangad in kerala
koyikkal kottaram at nedumangad in kerala

Koyikkal Palace, the royal seat of the Perakathavazhy Swaroopam, a collateral branch of Venad is a living symbol of the pinnacle of traditional architecture which prevailed in Kerala during the Seventeenth century. The Palace renowned for its unstincted use of wood has a nalukettu structure with central courtyard, gabled roof, ornate pillars and long corridors This two storeyed royal residence symbolizes the stylistic perfection of mediaeval architecture of South Kerala and regarded as the most ancient palace built by the rulers of Venad.

koyikkal kottaram at nedumangad in kerala
koyikkal kottaram at nedumangad in kerala

The Palace is square on plan. The nadumuttam or central courtyard is paved with granite. Like other palaces of Travancore, there used stone pipes for underground drainage system to letting out water from the Nadumuttam. Beautifully carved granite pillars in the four sides of the veranda around the nadumuttam are wonderful specimen of craftsmanship of the bygone era. The nilavara or strong room in one of the rooms of the ground floor of the palace, which is said to be connected with an underground passage to another palace at Karupur. But there is no archaeological evidence to prove this assumption. One of the rooms near the entrance of the palace was used as a puja room where a traditional diety known as 'Mallan Thampuran' had been worshipped. Like many other palace of the rulers of Venad this palace also has a temple attached to it, the entrance to which is at presently blocked from the palace side. All essential ancellary structures like padippura, kitchen, oottupura, urappura, kulappura etc. are completely vanished. A small pond which has survived through the onslaught of time, nature and men is preseved in the compound. The old type well in the palace compound is still remains useful. On the first floor, there is a wide gabled balcony with ornate wooden trelliswork, facing the east. The entrance to the palace is from the east through a narrow simple gabled opening. Though there are no windows in the rooms, a veranda enclosed with wooden railing in all the four sides of the palace in the ground and first floor controls the air circulation inside the palace. The thick walls built with laterite blocks set in lime mortar with finely plasterd surfaces enhance the elegance of the palace.

koyikkal kottaram at nedumangad in kerala
koyikkal kottaram at nedumangad in kerala

Within the Palace, the Department of Archaeology has established a Numismatics Museum along with a Folklore Museum in 1992 for exhibiting rare ancient coins,musical instruments, occupational implements, house hold utensils and the models of Folk art forms. The object displayed reflect splendid cultural heritage of the past.

The Numismatics Museum on the ground floor established to collect, preserve and exhibit coins provides valuable information on the origin of the coins, related historical events, trade relationships, other socio political relationships and the cultural heritage of the country. Maximum effort has been made to arrange the coins chronologically and they are exhibited in such a way that a viewer can see the obverse and reverse of the coins. The Karshapanam of Magadha, Karshapanam of Asoka, the coins prevalent in ancient Kerala like Lekshmi Varahan, Parvathi Roopa, Rasi etc are displaced here.

koyikkal kottaram at nedumangad in kerala
koyikkal kottaram at nedumangad in kerala

The folklore Museum envisages the different stages of human evolution, cultural manifestation of the past and present and the material elements of the ancient past. The hunting tools, plough, potters wheel, traditional ammunitions, the age old house hold amenities and utensils, music instruments etc. provide feast for eyes. The different artifacts of the tribal people such as different ammunitions, house hold amenities, age old musical instruments and implements used for manual labour exhibited there reveal the life style, heritage and traditions of them.

koyikkal kottaram at nedumangad in kerala
koyikkal kottaram at nedumangad in kerala

Awesome in construction, this palace is indeed one of the sublime monument notable for the harmonious integration of architectural grandeur and artistic elegance.

koyikkal kottaram at nedumangad in kerala
koyikkal kottaram at nedumangad in kerala

Article by: Dr S. Hemachandran, Director in-charge, Dept of Archaelogy, Govt of Kerala.

Koikkal Palace Location:

Village - Nedumangad, Taluk - Nedumangad, District - Thiruvananthapuram, Location - in the nedumangad town.

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