The renovated Koyikkal Palace of Nedumangadu, Kerala and its native architecture

 Koyikkal Palace, located in Nedumangadu, Kerala, stands as an enduring testament to the rich history and cultural heritage of the region. Originally serving as the royal headquarters of the Perakam dynasty, this architectural marvel was built as a residential palace for Umayamma Rani of the Venad Royal Family between 1677 and 1684. During her reign, to avoid threats from a Muslim warrior named Mukilan, who had come to Manakad with the intention of seizing the kingdom, Umayamma Rani diligently moved her residence from Thiruvananthapuram to Nedumangadu, finally settling down there. During the early colonial rule under the british company  Rani Umayamma Rani was the Regent of the kingdom of Quilon (Kollam).

.The renovated Koyikkal Palace

The palace, covering nearly two acres of land, is designed in the conventional nalukettu native architectural style of Kerala. This two-story, boat-shaped structure is square in plan, featuring sloping tiled roofs with distinct wide gables. Surrounded by lush greenery and old trees, the palace offers a serene and comfortable environment. The building boasts large rooms and an open central courtyard, known as the nadumuttam, which is paved with granite slabs. The long veranda around the courtyard is supported by well-carved granite pillars at the corners.

The ground floor includes a Nilavara (strong room) with a questionable secret underground passage to a nearby palace at Karupur. One of the rooms near the entrance houses a Puja room dedicated to the family deity Mallan Thampuran, following a tradition common among many ruling families. The palace's thick walls are made of laterite rocks and plastered with lime to keep the interiors cool. Despite the loss of some old parts such as the padippura, kitchen, oottupura, urappura, and kulappura due to the long passage of time and poor upkeep, the palace retains much of its historical charm. The architectural features of Koyikkal Palace are truly remarkable.  compound walls, and a veranda enclosed with wooden railings on both the ground and first floors, allowing for better airflow from outside.

Koyikkal Palace Nedumangadu, kerala  kerala culture.orgm

ventilated veranda,Koyikkal Palace kerala

In July 2014, a significant step was taken to give the palace a major facelift using funds allocated by both the Union and state governments. Special attention was paid to the structural stability of the palace, considering its age and the changing weather conditions, particularly the heavy southwest monsoon rains that affect the region. The palace was closed for four years during the renovation and was reopened in 2018 after substantial restoration work.

Koyikkal Palac,e Nedumangadu,  kerala

Now under the management of the Archaeology Department, Koyikkal Palace houses two museums: a numismatics museum and a folklore museum. The numismatics museum showcases rare and ancient coins, reflecting the rich monetary history of the region. The folklore museum, on the other hand, brings to life the cultural heritage of Kerala, displaying musical instruments and attires used in various traditional dances, including ritualistic ones unique to the state.

Located about 18 kilometers from Kerala’s capital city of Thiruvananthapuram, Koyikkal Palace is a significant tourist destination. Its rich history is well-preserved through the rare coins and folklore artifacts displayed in the museums. The palace, with its serene environment and architectural splendor, is a living testament to the long-cherished traditions and culture of Kerala, often referred to as "God's Own Country." It connects the glorious past to the ever-changing modern society, offering visitors a glimpse into the historical and cultural legacy of the region.

In summary, Koyikkal Palace is not just an architectural marvel but also a symbol of Kerala's rich history and cultural heritage. Its restoration and preservation efforts ensure that this historical gem continues to shine, attracting tourists and history enthusiasts alike.