Sakthan Thampuran Palace (1795 ) - a blend of Kerala -Dutch style building

Location map Thrissur, Kerala

The old palaces in the state of Kerala always fascinate me. They are neither palatial nor highly embellished with  preponderance of European  style of architecture with various ornamental features.  Invariably made of quality wood, their style of design is native to Kerala. With a central court yard, the Naalukattu design is a unique one among some of the palaces and it can accommodate many members of the royal family. 

Shakthan Thampuran Palace, ThrissurKerala Tourism

Sakthan Thampuran Palace,  known as Vadakkekara Palace  in the  city of Thrissur, Kerala state, was built in  Kerala-Dutch style in 1795 by  the ruler Ramavarma Thampuran of the erstwhile Princely State of Cochin. Locally the ruler was referred to as Sakthan Thampuran meaning  greatest ruler of the Cochin dynasty, during his heyday he was quite popular.  The palace is close to the Vadakkumnathan Temple in Thrissur.

The  simple but elegant  2 -story palace has  a traditional Kerala  style Nālukettu  design  with a common courtyard. The main features of the palace are  thick walls,  large rooms, and floors laid with rich Italian marbles.  Carefully constructed with high ceiling  to cut down radiation and heat  proper  ventilation  allows   free air circulation. Thus the  overall interior design of this palace is conducive to comfortable living conditions inside the palace regardless of external weather conditions.  In the summer and in the winter, it is cozy and comfortable inside the palace. The rulers of Mysore stayed here at different points of time and this same place was occupied by Tipu Sultan of Mysore and his flag-mast is seen near the palace. There are tombs of ex-rulers in the vast lush garden surrounding the building.

Shakthan Thampuran Palace, ThrissurYouTube

Ramavarma Thampuran  who ruled Kochi between AD 1790 and 1805 was instrumental in introducing the famous  annual Thrissur Pooram festival that falls in the month of  May. This Hindu festival is the most popular one in Kerala and is being attended by people from various parts of South India. It is a long drawn festival that showcase  various traditional dances, folk dances, etc native to Kerala.  Ramavarma Thampuran  during his reign,  maintained cordial relations with European powers including the English and also with rulers of neighboring regions like Mysore and  Travancore. The ruler  was well assisted and advised by Paliath Achan, native of Chandamangalam, who were hereditary PM  in the Cochin kingdom. Being close to the royal family, they had anonymous political power, but led a simple life. 

The Sakthan Thampuran palace also has a very ancient Serpent Grove, very old Sarpakaavu which is a place for worshiping

Shakthan Thampuran Palace is of Thrissur,  Kerala

serpents and Nagaraja. Royal families used to worship them and it was believed that  worshipping serpents would promote prosperity. Located on the southern side of the Palace is the Heritage Garden with a variety of plants and trees.

The palace is preserved by the Archaeological Department. In the year 2005, the Shakthan Thampuran Palace was converted into a Museum. In the museum on display are various brass items of the past era, vast collections of old coins dating back to several centuries, etc.