Dutch Palace (Mattancherry Palace), Kochi

The Mattancherry Palace, also known as Dutch Palace, was built by the Portuguese in 1557 and was presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma, then ruler of Cochin. The palace was later renovated by the Dutch, and since then it was also called Dutch Palace.This palace of Kerala has now been converted into an art gallery showcasing some of the best paintings and murals of Hindu mythology.

The double storied palace building which stands by the panoramic Kochi backwaters has a superb collection of murals, collectively covering over 300 sq ft area of its walls. The themes of these murals have been borrowed from the great Indian epics – the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha and mythology and legends about the Hindu gods especially Guruvayurappan. Some murals depict scenes from Kumarasambhavam and other works of the great Sanskrit poet, Kalidasa. Also on exhibit are royal belongings like weapons, swings and furniture, which offer a glimpse of the lifestyle of the royal family.

The palace looks beautiful from inside. The interiors are beautifully made up and one can find huge paintings and murals on the walls inside the palace. There are two temples inside the palace, which are dedicated to Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva. The palace has exhibits of royal headdresses, weapons, furniture, royal robes, palanquins and other lifestyle materials used by the royal family. The paintings depict scenes from the epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata and the sacred Puranas. These paintings are very old and most of them date back to the 16th Century. The paintings are massive and spread over a total area of almost 1000 sq. ft. The palace has exquisite flooring that looks like polished black granite but is actually made of a mixture of charcoal, burnt coconut shells, lime, plant juices and egg whites!

There are frequent bus and boat services to Mattancherry. The boats start from Main Boat Jetty near Subash Park at Ernakulam town.
Cochin International Airport, about 20 km from Ernakulam town.
Railway Station:
Ernakulam, about 10 km.

Tourist Place to Visit in Ernakulam District, Kerala