THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The ‘Thekke kottaram’ (Southern palace) adjacent to the Padmanabhapuram Palace, Thuckalay, has donned a fresh look and is ready to usher guests to its age-old corridors. The renovated palace and a heritage museum it hosts would be reopened to the public after a makeover on Thursday by Minister for Cultural Affairs, K C Joseph, at a function to be held at the venue at 2 pm. Till 1790, the grandfather mansion had remained the seat of the erstwhile Travancore royal family. Situated at the foot of ‘Velimala’, the Southern palace was restructured during the time of Anizham Thirunal Marthandavarma in the 18th century. Historians date the age of the palace at 400 years, almost the same as the ‘Thai kottaram’ inside the Padmanabhapuram palace.
‘’The Thekke kottaram is known for its traditional Kerala style architecture. In fact, the palace is built on ‘panthrantu-kettu’ style. It houses intricate wooden carvings and mural paintings. The museum that we have there is a testimony to the glorious heritage and history of our land,’’ said J Rejikumar, Director-in-charge of the Department of Archeology.
According to him, the plastering of the wall of the palace had come off at some places and the museum itself needed some professional arrangements, for which it was shut down some time back.
The department has spent around ` 30 lakh for the restoration of the palace and the museum.
The Padmanabhapuram palace and the Southern palace, just outside the compound of the main palace, are protected monuments under the Archeology Department.
The Thekke kottaram has three small buildings carved in traditional architecture. One of the buildings has its balcony opening to a pond below. One building houses the heritage museum and the third one used to be a ‘Thekkini’ or place of worship. The heritage museum has everything from age-old domestic appliances used by Keralites to musical instruments and other artifacts housed there.