Our country is a veritable treasure trove of ancient museums and palaces. The palaces and forts which leave an unforgettable memory of the royal era tell the present generation of the history of our country. If you travel through these remains, you will see many scenes that change before the eyes of time. The Koyikkal Palace also offers us a treasure of history. Let’s take a trip through the Koyikkal Palace which evokes the pride of the royal era.
Koyikkal Palace is located at Nedumangad in Thiruvananthapuram. It is believed that the palace was built during the reign of Umayamma Rani, the queen of the Venad dynasty from 1677 to 1684. During the reign of the queen, a Muslim warrior named Mukilan came to Manakad with a plan to attack Thiruvananthapuram and at that time the queen moved her headquarters from Thiruvananthapuram to Nedumangad and settled there. It is believed that Kozhikode Palace was built for Umayamma Rani at this time.
The palace is curved in the shape of a boat and has two floors. The Nadumuttam is paved with granite. There are beautifully carved granite pillars on all four sides of the veranda around the nadumuttam. There is a nilavara or vault in one of the rooms on the ground floor of the palace, which would be connected to an underground passage leading to another palace in Karupur. But there is no archaeological evidence to prove this story. The palace is almost like a square. One of the rooms near the entrance to the palace was used as a puja hall where a traditional deity known as Mallan Thampuran had been worshiped. Like many other palaces of the rulers of Venad, this palace also has a temple whose entrance is blocked from the palace side.
A small pond is still preserved within the grounds of the Palace. All of the auxiliary structures that are essential to a palace-like padippura, kitchen, oottupura, urappura, kulappura, etc. are completely lost. The old type well in the palace grounds is still in use. There is a large gabled balcony on the first floor of the palace facing east. The entrance to the palace is from the east through a narrow and simple gable opening. A veranda closed by a wooden balustrade is preserved in the four sides of the palace on the ground floor and on the first floor which control the circulation of air inside the palace. There are no windows in the bedrooms. The thick walls are built with laterite blocks and plastered with lime mortars.
The palace is rich in treasures. The palace is also home to a musical instrument called the Chandravalayam, which can be described as one of the most unique musical instruments used in Kerala at that time, as well as folk art models, artists’ costumes, costumes and everyday objects. Koyikkal Palace is the only place in Kerala where a musical instrument called Chandravalayam is on display. One of the highlights of this folklore museum is the wooden Sarangi.
Koyikkal Palace is rich in antiques. The Numismatic Museum is also home to one of the oldest coins in Kerala, the Ottaputhan, Irattaputhan and Kaliyugarayan silver. The collection of coins at the palace reveals Kerala’s ancient trade relations and the history of our coins.
The museum houses the 2,500-year-old Harshan Coins, the smallest coin in the world known as the Zodiac, coins used in the Roman Empire, and coins used to exchange ancient dynasties in India and ancient empires of the world. A rare piece presented to Jesus Christ himself, Amaïda, is also located here. Here you can see 2,500-year-old Karsha coins, Rasi coins (the smallest in the world), coins belonging to the Roman Empire, and those used by a wide variety of dynasties across India. It is a real treasure of history. The extent of our trading relationship at this time can only be understood when we know that all of this was received from Kerala. The palace was transformed into a folklore and numismatic museum in AD 992. Koyikkal Palace is now a historical monument protected by the government of Kerala. It is located at a distance of 18 km from Thiruvananthapuram station.