Fascinating ''Anantha Vilasam Palace'' of Thiruvananthapuram - a heritage structure

Anntha vilasam palace, Kerala archaeology.kerala.gov.in

Anntha vilasam palace, Kerala archaeology.kerala.gov.in

In the SW  Indian state of Kerala  one city that has lots of palaces of beauty and simplicity  is the capital city of   Thiruvananthapuram.   There are many in the  Valiya Kottaram complex in the fort area, each vying with the other in their architectural design and splendor.

Location map. Thiruvanandapuram city .mapsofindia.com

Among them,  Anantha Vilasam Palace  constructed around 1882 stands apart with its blend of Indo European architectural style.  Maharajah Vishakam Thirunal Rama Varma  (reign 1880 to 1885) who resided here was a well-read man with good knowledge of administration that a ruler needed to run the kingdom. An avid lover of nature he developed passion for botany.  The young price  was also fond of travelling and covered many parts of Kerala, etc.

Maharajah  Vishakam Thirunal Rama Varma rct.uk

Anantha Vilasam Palace TV Puram, Keralathehindu.com

Adjacent to the Southern gateway of  Sree  Padmanabha Swamy and  next to Bhajanappura palace, once occupied by his predecessor Uthram Thirunal Marthanda Varma,   Vishakam Thirunal chose a site in  the  Valia Kottaram  complex to build  Anantha Vilasam with dominance of  western architectural styles and in this regard he sought the guidance of his aunt Gowri Lakshmi Bayi. The palace was very much similar to the Sreepadam Malika  (built in 1818) with loft Corinthian  fluted columns, detailed capitals and floral motifs at  the base of  columns  highlighting  ruler's interest in botany.

The striking features of this palace  are impressive  stairways  with decorative grill railing leading to the gently oval  balcony and huge hall on the first floor  flanking either side of the entrance lobby and  wide  cornice with ornamental   floral motifs. The outer veranda on the ground floor  has ornamental parapet with stone balusters

Out  house. Anntha vilasam palace, Kerala archaeology.kerala.gov.in

The roof of the palace is built with native traditional technique with large ornate gables. Yet another distinctive  feature of this big palace is its indigenous design of large wooden  doors and windows.  They are  provided with louvered doors which facilitate air circulation.  The high ceiling and the louvered   doors will keep the interior portion  cool  regardless of outside temperature and at the same time will  promotes air circulation within the residence. The glass doors are also provided for better  natural lighting    

The new palace  was formally occupied in 1882, but after the death of   ruler  Vishakam Thirunal in 1885, this  palace  had  remained unoccupied and unused for unknown reasons.  In the later years  the palace  was converted into a Guest Hose for the visiting dignitaries. Presently  owned by Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple Trust,  Thiruvananthapuram  the State Bank of Travancore is functioning there. A proposal was on the anvil by the state tourism department to repair and renovate  heritage  many palaces close to the temple.