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Hill palace, the place where the history sleeps

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Hill Palace

Hill Palace, Tripunithura

Visiting , a place with historical importance and unique features will definitely drive one crazy about their past. The rich culture and heritage that we own was really informative. When you considers all these aspect at the time of preparing for a day out, don't skip the name, Hill Palace, it has lots to tell you.

Whenever, I think about visiting a historical destination, museums and palaces used to come in to my mind. Even though I have explored almost all the museums in Kerala, I have a special attraction towards the Hill palace of Cochin. It is Kerala’s first heritage museum, it delivers the stories of Cochin maharaja and the prosperity of Cochin Kingdom under his rule. Visiting, Cochin Hill palace is not only entertaining but also informative.

Hill Palace, termed as the largest archaeological museum in Kerala, at Tripunithura, Cochin, near Karingachira area. The large and beautiful palace and its premises had built in 1865. The palace compound consists of 49 small and medium size buildings. All are built in the trational architectural style of Kerala. The museum placed over 52 acres of landscaped terraced land, with other attractions like deer park, leisure zone and facilities for horse riding. The wide and extended garden in the Hill place compound is abode of hundreds of varieties of trees and medicinal plants. One, who likes to visit the palace, should follow the time frame. One needs to climb around 200 steps from the place entrance to reach the main door. The security checks ups are very strict in this area hence the exhibitants includes the royal items like ornaments, cash, crown etc..Because of this, cameras and mobile phones are strictly prohibited in the main building. The main displays in the Palace includes oil-paintings, murals, sculptures in stone and manuscripts, inscriptions, coins, belongings of the Kochi royal family and royal furniture including the simhasana (throne), wooden furniture, stone idols, ornaments gallery etc..

WE can also see, Also exhibited are over 150 antique pieces of pottery and ceramic vases from Japan and China, Kudakkallu (tomb stone), Thoppikkallu, granite, laterite memorials, menhirs, rock-cut weapons Etc.. All these pieces are the remains Stone Age civilization. Statutes like wooden temple models, plaster cast models of objects from Mohenjodaro and Harappa of the Indus Valley Civilisation also attracts the visitors here. The museum also houses a gallery of contemporary art. Artists from all over the world comes here attracted by the traditional and contemporary arts and paitings here

History of the museum

According to the historians, the palace was built in 1865 by the Maharaja Of Cochin (The King of Cochin) . After the end of Maharaja rule in Kerala, Government has twisted it keen on the biggest archaeological museum of Kerala. The palace was handed over to the Government of Kerala by the Cochin Royal Family and in 1980, Department of Archaeology took over the palace and later converted into a Museum.But the entry was restricted to public in the beginning. And then it was opened to the general people in 1986.

When we talk about the museum, we can’t ignore the role of it in Malayalam movies. The museum and its campus is one among the most popular shooting sites for Malayalam films. The beautiful Horse cart gallery and powerful weapon gallery are truly amazing here. Hill palace was the shooting set for the famous Malayalam movie Manichithratthazhu, Many people from all over Kerala visiting this beautiful place got inspired by the movie.

Next to the main palace, we can see the Paliam gallery, where we can see collections donated by the Paliyath Achans. They were hereditary Prime Ministers to the Cochin Maharajas for a long period. The Paliam gallery accompanied by another gallery, which features royal furnitures. This is the place where we can see Simhasana. The Portrait gallery in the main museum has on display oil portraits of the Maharajas of the Cochin Kingdom. The gallery also has paintings in the Thanjavur tradition. When we enter the gallery for ood carvings, we can come across wood carvings from the 14th century as well as unique ivory items and wooden sculptures.

Weapon Gallery

Weapon gallery is one of the most interesting thing that we can find in Hill palace area. The oldest weapons gathered from different places and stone sculptures ranging from 10th century up to 18th century are exhibited here. Is is followed by Bronze and Metal gallery. They were used in the period between 14th and 16th century. There we can also see porcelain, Chinese dishes , pots and cups. Then, we can enter in the Numismatic gallery, which will invite your attention to denarius (roman silver coins), coins from the British period in India. Visitors to the museum can also avail of the recreation facilities here in parks and restaurants. The deer park in the area was started in the year 1992, now it has more than hundred deers. The Hill Palace is opened to public everyday except Mondays and national /state holidays from 10am to 12.30 noon and 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm.

How to reach

Hill Palace Museum at Tripunithura, 12km southeast of Ernakulam. U can reach there either by bus or an auto. If by bus, it will take 1 hour to reach from Ernakulam. If coming, by auto, it will cost around rupees 350

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