Palaces are excellent storytellers of the erstwhile days when Kings
and Emperors walked their halls and corridors. These stories are usually heard by archaeologists and historians who in turn tell it to the public.
However when the palaces are converted to museums the general public get to experience these stories firsthand. One such palace which has been turned into a museum is the Hill Palace at Tripunithura in Kochi.
This palace was built in the year 1865 by the Maharaja of Cochin. The palace spreads over an area of 54 acres across which 49 buildings have been constructed. These buildings have been constructed in the traditional Kerala architectural style.
In the year 1980, this palace was handed over to the government of India which was then put under the Department of Archaeology who converted it to a museum. Once it was converted into a museum its doors were officially opened to the public in the year 1986
The Palace Museum
The museum is grand one with exhibits that pertain to the royal family and the richness of the Kingdom during its erstwhile days. The exhibits that are displayed here are of 14 categories and vary from the crown to marble sculptures. Some of the exhibits that people come to see consist of the royal crown,
ornaments belonging to the royal family, sculptures of marble and stone, weapons, paintings, inscriptions, coins of the erstwhile days etc. The main attraction however is the Royal Crown that is made out of gold and is embedded with precious stones. The horse cart gallery and the weapons gallery are also major crowd favourites in the museum.
Contributions to the Museum
The displayed items in the museum are mostly contributions from the royal family of Cochin. The museum also has in it exhibits that belong to the Travancore Royal House called Paliam Devaswom. The department of Archaeology also has made numerous contributions in maintaining the museum.
Area Covered and Other Departments
The area sprawls over an area of 220000 square metres and within it holds the museum, a deer park, a children’s park and a pre-historic park. The gardens of the museum also rear a huge diversity of medicinal plants. The Department of Cultural affairs has opened a centre for heritage studies that functions autonomously.
The museum remains open on all days from 10 am to 5 pm however in between it closes for lunch from 12 30 pm to 2 pm. Mondays are observed as a holidays for the museum staff and therefore remains closed. State and national holidays are also observed by the museum
To get admission into the palace museum an entry fee of Rs. 20 is charged per person. You will be charged extra for items such as cameras and video recorders. Accommodations
You can stay in the nearby city of Ernakulam as it is much more centrally located and is just a short drive from the Hill palace. Staying at this city would be better as you can have access to the other places of tourist interest with much ease.
Some of the well known hotels are Abaam Hotel located at a distance of 3.5 kms from Hill Palace, Nyle Plaza at a distance of 3.7 kms, Crowne Plaza Kochi at a distance of 4.6 kms, Holiday Inn (4.7 kms), Le Meridian Kochi, Hotel Grand Seasons (5.9 kms) and Deshadan Plaza.