''Kalari Kovilakam'' (original Kollengode Palace), Palakkad, Kerala - now an Ayurveda clinic cum star hotel!

If you look at the countless historical palaces of Kerala, you will be struck by some interesting facts and see some similar  patterns emerging out of them. They are not big and massive, no Mogul or Rajasthani type of design. There is no over presentation of ornamentation. With some exceptions, you can see rare Indo - European style adopted for the palace buildings of Indian rulers. They simply follow the designs and styles available locally - vernacular styles. Kerala style of architecture is simple, expressive and elegant quite suitable to the geography of  this place where  the monsoon is heavy. So, the climate of Kerala has influenced the traditional Kerala architecture.  Since, wood is widely used for the construction including walls,  structurally, the wooden  roof  is supported by pillars on the walls. All around the edify, the walls are erected on a  plinth raised from the ground, so that it is protected against dampness and insects in a tropical climate.  Invariably domestic architecture  follows  trend and development of temple architecture. 

Kollengode palace   panchakarma.com

Above image: Kollegode palace also called Kalari Kovilakom 

At a distance of 26 Km from Palakkad Railway Station lies  Kollengode Palace that was once the seat of power enjoyed by  the Kollengode Rajas. The predominant community here was Kollan (both in Tamil and Malayalam meaning blacksmith). Hence the place is known as Kollengode.

Kollengode palace, Kollengode. Let's See India

Kollengode palace, Kollengode. trawell.in/

The  Raja of Kollengode, Vasudeva Raja, built  the palace near Thrissur in 1904. As for this one  I don't know when it was built, perhaps prior to 1904. Structurally this one looks more or less similar to  Kollengode  palace of  Chembookkavu  close to  Thrissur which was converted into a heritage and mural museum in the past decades. But the original one has two floors and a long verandah on the first  floor in part of the palace.

interior, Kalari Kovilakom, Palakkaad, Kerala tripadvisor.in

interior, Kalari Kovilakom, Palakkaad, Kerala tripadvisor.in

This  original Kollengode palace  referred to as Kalari Kovilakam  is designed and built using typical Kerala type of architecture with lots of wood.  It is also a blend of western  style  particularly,  the arched entrance and opening on the ground floor verandah and windows. Inside the palace you can see lots of wooden  features like thick pillars spaced lattice ventilators, rafters and wooden planks below the roof.  On the first floor balcony the brick-masonry columns at short interval support the beam along edge up which the slopping roof rest. The balcony around the first floor has fine decorative balusters with rail fixed to the successive  pillars.

Set in a quiet  village  far removed  away from the din of urban life, lots of tourists come here to enjoy peace and tranquility. The Gayathri River, a tributary of Bharathpuzha  passes through the town.  This palace is converted into a star hotel with Ayurveda clinic attached to it.  The restoration was done in the recent past without altering the original design and style.  This place is known for paddy fields just like the delta district of Tamil Nadu. You call it the granary of Kerala.  The Nelliampathy Hills on one side and a large area of fertile paddy fields that form  a  beautiful vista of green carpet on the other make this place an interesting one to lose our worries and be at peace with ourselves