Hill Palace Museum

Ernakulam Attraction:

This one-time residence of the Raja of Cochin at Thripunithura has been converted into the largest archaeological museum in Kerala. The hill-top palace, built in 1865, and consisting of 49 buildings, stretches across 52 acres of lush greenery, Exhibits displayed in its 18 galleries include the royal throne and chairs, pictures of the rulers of Cochin, Thanjavur paintings, 14th century wood-carvings, inscriptions, megalithic remains, crown, ornaments, and mural paintings. Jewellery, porcelain and epigraphy artefacts are housed in separate galleries.Ancient musical instruments, clay sculpture, bronze and silver items of the 14th, 15th and 16″‘ centuries, imported horse carts for the king, stone sculpture from the 10th to the 18th century, and rock-cut weapons of the Stone Age constitute some of the other exhibits.

Kerala Lalitha Kala Akademi:

The two-acre property in the heart of the city where the Maharaja of Cochin once held his durbars is now known as the Durbar Hall grounds. These grounds were also used for football games, exhibitions, military parades and processions from the nearby Shiva Temple. The one-time Parikshit Thampuran Museum situated here has been converted into an academy that showcases contemporary arts.

Museum of Kerala History:

The brainchild of the industrialist and philanthropist, R Madhavan Nair, this museum at Edapally is 10 km from the city and showcases the history of the State from the Neolithic Age to the modern period through pieces of sculpture. The one-hour light and sound show emphasises the richness of Kerala’s past. The gallery of paintings holds 200 pieces of art by contemporary Indian artists and world masters. The Gallery of Miniatures is a treasure trove of Indian miniature painting.

Chottanikkara Temple:

This temple enshrines the Goddess Bhagavathi in three forms Saraswati (the goddess of learning), draped in white; Bhadrakaali (the fierce and destructive form), dressed in crimson; and Durga (the divine mother), in blue. Devotees flock to this popular pilgrim centre, and those seeking liberation from torment and mental illness often dance themselves into a frenzy. A tree nearby is covered in long iron nails, hammered in by devotees using their foreheads to render troublesome spirits permanently immobile. In the nine-day Makam Thozhal festival, held in February-March, prospective brides and young girls pray for a happy married life.

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