Kowdiar Palace – Royal Heritage

Kowdiar Palace is one of the most significant heritage structures to be seen in Thiruvananthapuram. It is seen in a serene and beautiful campus within the city centre. This palace was built by the ruler of erstwhile Travancore Kingdom on the occasion of his only sister. Currently, the royal heritage structure is with descendants of Sethu Parvathi Bayi. This was the official residence of the Travancore ruling family till 1947.

History of Kowdiar Palace

This building represents the past splendour of the erstwhile Travancore dynasty. This beautiful building was built by Maharajah Sree Chithira Thirunal Rama Varma at the time of his only sister Maharani Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi's marriage with Lt. Col. G.V. Raja in 1934. This was later gifted to Sethu Parvathi Bayi as marriage gift by the ruler of the erstwhile princely state of Travancore. Subsequent to Kingdom's accession to the Indian Union, the building became the personal property of the ruling dynasty. After the Indian Constitutional Amendment in 1971, the properties and estates of royal family were distributed equally to two lineages it represented – Queen Sethu Lakshmi Bayi and Queen Sethu Parvathi Bayi. At present, the property is with latter due to the fact that it was built by her son former Maharajah Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma. At present, the palace is used as the meeting place of the royal family members who have migrated to different parts of the country due to the work they are doing.
Kawdiar Palace
Kowdiar Palace
The former rulers of the family reside in this famous building as it is their personal property. This building has a rightful place in the history of Kerala. It was from here the last Maharaja Sri Chitra Thirunal Balarama Varma brought some landmark legislation that propelled the changes in the social fabric of the state. He is buried in a beautiful garden in front of the palace. From the front side, the palace is beautiful to look at due to its architectural splendor. The old people who saw the royal rein days say that the palace still retells the tales of history.

Palace Architecture and Facilities

The majestic palace owes its name to the rulers of the erstwhile princely state who are the patrons of art and architecture. The palace is known for its splendid architecture. The building has over 150 rooms. It displays hybrid architecture which is a fusion of Kerala and Dravdian styles. Being a private property, the entry into this structure is restricted. Currently, it is occupied by the members of Travancore royal family settled in Thiruvananthapuram. It has an in-house museum and a dispensary. The entry to this palace premises would take the people back to its history. This is what people who know about the royal family say at least. The palace also runs a dispensary for the benefit of common man. The ordinary people even today visit this primary healthcare to avail the treatment facilities free of cost. Some portion of the palace is open to public from 10:00AM-4:00PM on all days of the week. The museum is part of the section open to public. Many personal possessions of the royal family are exhibited here. These provide visual treat to the visitors and take them down the memory lane to the formative years of the state.

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