The Mattancherry Palace

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Bazaar Road, Cochin, India

The Mattancherry Palace Cochin Reviews

Toonsarah Toonsarah
533 reviews
Fabulous old murals at the Mattancherry Palace Feb 15, 2017
This palace was built by the Portuguese as a gift to the ruler of Cochin in the mid 16th century, but is today popularly known as the Dutch Palace because the Dutch carried out major renovation and decorative work in 1663. The Palace is now a museum devoted to the history of the royal family who used to live here. There seemed to be relatively few exhibits - most of the rooms only had a few, with the bulk of the displays consisting of information panels.

But you don't really come here for the museum but for a couple of rooms which contain some truly beautiful old murals. The earliest of these date from the 16th century and depict a series of scenes from the Ramayana - the god's birth, marriage to Sitra, battle with the demon god. Those in a later room date from the 18th century, although they seemed to me to be in less good condition. The colours throughout are all natural, mostly reds, oranges, cream. There was no blue available to the artists who created these works, so sea creatures frolic at the bottom of each scene to denote the water.

Photography is very strictly prohibited unfortunately, so you will have to take my word for it that these are really worth seeing! Although if you search for "Mattancherry Palace murals" online you will see plenty of photos by those who have chosen to ignore the rule and managed to circumvent the strict security.
Exterior of Mattancherry Palace
Mattancherry Palace, exterior deta…
AdamR3723 says:
This is awonderful place, but a little crowded and rather hot inside!
Posted on: Mar 03, 2017
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Liselore_Verschuren Liselore…
252 reviews
Nice, but quite dilapidated Sep 22, 2008
In 1555 the Portuguese built this Mattancherry Palace and presented it to the raja of Chochin as a gesture of goodwill (and also to secure trading privileges, no doubt).

Years later, the Portuguese occupiers left en the Dutch took their place. They renovated the run-down Palace in 1663, since then it’s locally referred to as the Dutch Palace.

The outside of the palace has had better days, probably a couple of hundred years ago. It all looks quite dilapidated. The inside has some beautiful murals, but the exposition of what is left of the palace is small and can only keep you busy for about ten minutes.

Since the Dutch Palace is near Jew Town, it might be nice to stop by when you have some time to kill. Otherwise, you won’t miss anything huge if you miss it.
The Mattancherry Palace (Kochi, In…
Toonsarah says:
I agree with hennahands - while the museum may not be a must-see, the murals alone are worth the visit as they are stunning
Posted on: Mar 03, 2017
hennahands says:
In my opinion this review really understates the beauty and detail in the murals inside of this somewhat plain looking building. These beautiful murals depict scenes from the Ramayana,a very important Hindu text, plus sevral murals of various gods and goddesses. It was ridiculously cheap to enter (something like 20 rupees, not the usual indian/tourist price markup) and kept us busy for over an hour. There are examples of half-sketched murals which help you envision the process, plus tons of information on Keralan culture. Also are several examples of royal artifacts ie swords, jewelry, royal umbrellas, coins ect. If you are in Cochin DO NOT MISS IT!!
Posted on: Aug 10, 2011

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photo by: Toonsarah