''The Paliam Palace'', Chandamangalam, a great ''Muziris Heritage Site'' of Kerala

The Paliam Dutch Palace/keralabackwater.com/blo

Paliam palace, Chendamangalam. muzirisheritage.org

Paliam palace, Chendamangalam. archidust.com

The Paliam Dutch Palace in   
Chennamangalam town in the  district of Ernakulam is one the oldest palaces in Kerala known for its Dutch and native architectural grandeur.  Roughly  450 years old it was renovated  by the Dutch colonists  and later  presented to the Paliath Achans, the hereditary prime ministers of the king of  Cochin in appreciation of their dedicated efforts to maintain a cordial  relationship between the Cochin ruler and the Dutch company operating in this part of Malabar.  Paliath Achan is the name given to the head of the family (Karanavar) of the Paliam  noble family. During 17th and 18th century the family wielded lots of power acting as the prime minister and chief the Army for the Cochin ruler and they were known for their integrity, dedication to their duty and loyalty to the king. 

Paliam palace, Chendamangalam archidust.com

Paliam palace, Chendamangalamarchidust.com
The Paliam Palace, a two story structure ( GF and 2 F)  with minimum ornamentation was the residence of  prime minister from the Paliam family who were close to the Cochin ruler.  Made  mostly of quality wood built on the surrounding  thick walls, the structure boasts of  richly carved  wooden staircases and balustrades.   The thick walls with splayed openings bear testimony to the Dutch influence. 

To keep indoors cooler during hot days a circulation channel  runs through the inner parts, insulating the interior. So inner portions are cooler than peripheral areas.  Kovilakam was the official  residence of Valiyachan (Eldest Achan) of Paliam and was meant for only official work. Also used by him are two other places for different purposes - as  his offices. Achan  would hold court (Durbar) with people and listened to their grievances or complaints. The durbar hall is  at the eastern end of the first floor. Here, he received his subjects and officials.

The prime minister in time of war or some kind of tumultuous political situation emerging in the kingdom sheltered  and shielded the King for safety purposes.  During Portuguese invasions, the European explorers made serious threats to the Maharajah of Cochin as he refused to  oblige them in their mercantile trade activities in his areas.  So  Paliath  Achan took the responsibility of  safeguarding  the ruler and  temporarily shifted his residence to this palace in Chendamangalam. 

 The palace houses a  museum with  a collection of historic documents and relics. It is a great Muziris Heritage Site to be explored.