Puthen Maliga is also known as Kuthira Maliga. It was built during 1840s. It showcases rich traditional Kerala architecture. In accordance with this thought, you can find sloping roofs, long and pillared verandas, overhanging eaves and enclosed courtyards. The palace is known for its intricate carvings on the wooden ceilings. The design patterns followed in each room are unique to generate curiosity of the visitors. This palace is typically made of raw materials such as teak wood, marble, rosewood and granite. The roof of the building is supported by 42 granite pillars, following the Vaastu concepts of that time. The entire roof is made of wood only.
Following the same cue, the floral patterns adorn the roofs of long veranda that lead to the central hall. Hence, each of the 16 halls has a unique pattern adorning it. Altogether, there are 80 rooms in the building. Of these many rooms, only 20 rooms are open for the public purview. Another unique feature of the palace is its flooring. It is made of egg whites, limestone and charcoal. This constitution makes the floor feel colder even during the hot summer seasons. Another feature that makes this building stand apart is its concert venue. The venue within the palace has traditional sound reflectors made of clay pots that hang upside down from its ceiling.
Kuthira Malgia houses a museum. It houses some of the assets donated by the Travancore Royal family. Only 20 rooms of total 80 present are open for the public purview. The authorities of the Kuthira Maliga palace offer guided tour of the palace. The museum showcases many things for the benefit of its visitors. Some of the artefacts that made the museum famous amongst the locals are Belgian and Italian mirrors, paintings, traditional furniture, a musical tree capable of producing 8 sound notes on tapping, musical instruments, armaments, crystal chandeliers, etc. There are 14 life-size Kathakali mannequins and ivory cradles of various sizes attached to it.
It also has on display two royal thrones – one made of ivory sourced from 24 elephant tusks and the other made of Bohemian crystal with the emblem of erstwhile princely state of Travancore. The museum also has a large collection of idols and sculptures made of white marbles. On the first floor of the museum, you can find the library, the audience chamber and an alcove. The last one was used by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal during his heydays for meditation and conceiving many of his famous music compositions. From the first floor, it is possible to see the gopuram or tower of the Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple in the heart of the city.
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More articles: Attractions in Kerala 2015