Anantha Vilasam palace, Thiruvananthapuram, a legacy of Maharajah Vishakam Thirunal Rama Varma

 The fort and other areas closer to the main temple once had numerous palaces mostly built in native style and only toward the end of 18th century with the influence of the English rule in the then Madras Residency, western design elements were incorporated along with native style in the new palaces. Now many of them ae not in good condition and some are in poor state or disappeared forever, Anantha Vilasam palace is one among the few that made a mark in design, style and aesthetics.  The palace  showcases the grandeur and opulence of the Travancore era in a humble way.

Anantha Vilasam palace,

Above image: You can see a blend of European and native design style. Characteristic of double-height  sweeping entrance  lobby is supported by huge  Corinthian columns reaching the roof with elaborately detailed capitals in the main facade. Medium-sized columns with decorated capital all along the edges  supporting the spacious verandah on the ground and first floor. The fluted pillar shaft, towards its base with the floral motifs it is mentioned, may suggest builder's interest in plants!!........................

Anantha Vilasam palace, Thiruvananthapuram,

The 19th century palace Anantha Vilasam located in the Valiya Kottaram complex in East Fort  adjacent to the Southern gateway of popular Sree Padmanaba Swamy temple, Thiruvananthapuram is a close to  popular palaces like Ranga Vilasam palace and Kuthira Malika that is  set on a  sprawling grounds.  It  was designed with a blend of native architecture and European design by Vishakam Thirunal Rama Varma (reign:1880 to 1885) with instruction from his great aunt, Rani Gowri Lakshmi Bayi. Rama Verma,  being an able administrator, also  took keen interest in plant research and exploration of historical monument sites. As for Gowri Lakshmi Bayi, she was keen to keep abreast of administrative activities related to the welfare of the common people in the kingdom 

 Corinthian column.

Anantha Vilasam palace,

Above image: The impressive design features of Anantha Vilasam are the flights of stairs with grill railing on either side, doors and windows with louvered shutters for better air-circulation and  embellished cornice in the first floor lobby.  Both the massive  roof and ornate gables are built using  native techniques.   

The palace was formally occupied in 1882 with traditional puja. The famous palace remained unoccupied after the death of  Vishakam Thirunal in 1885, his much-celebrated palace remained unoccupied. Presently owned by Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple Trust it is said  the palace once served as the residence of British Resident. Presently it houses museum and on display here are a variety of artifacts related to the Travancore Royal Family, including portraits, furniture, and other personal belongings.