Sunday, January 10, 2010

Capital city of Kerala:Thiruvananthapuram

Last visit to our home town was actually where I got immersed studying a little bit of history of the place we belong to..Just a morning walk in the bylanes of the Fort area  transcends us into a period long back,the period of kings  horses and chariots..
a pleasure walking the streets which u have walked an innumerable number of times,not knowing its importance.Photographing  and showing the world the heritage zones of the capital city,which alot of them lie hidden.

Heritage zones  have been identified long back and works were undertaken in the fort areas which are actually rich in heriatge and steeped in history..Still some of the decor elements are covered with ivy,climbers and wines,doomed in postercolors of elections and film posters....

The Fort area in the Capital City of Thiruvananthapuram bears a lot of historic significance. The Fort houses several magnificent palaces, palatial houses, and agraharams (Brahmin houses). Standing out is the Padmanabha Swamy Temple, dedicated to Lord Padmanabha an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Fort has stood witness to many events in the annals of the erstwhile Travancore Kingdom, and also in the development of the Capital City of Thiruvananthapuram.Padmatheertham, the temple pond is located in front of the temple.
The entire Fort area has been declared by the State Government as a heritage site. For a visitor, the imposing gateway of the East Fort, painted in white and located on the eastern side, facing the famous Chalai bazaar is the usual way to get inside the Fort. 

Built in AD 1747 by King Marthanda Varma, the East Fort is the most prominent of the forts, and the structure displays a touch of French architecture with guardrooms on its sides. One can also find two mandapams (platform with a roof supported by pillars) at the top, which were once used to announce royal proclamations. There are seven such forts,each in a style unique to them and different architecture.

As one enters through the East Fort gate, straight in line with the entrance is the Padmanabha Swamy Temple. Built in traditional Kerala and Dravidian style, the architecture of this seven-storeyed temple tower itself is a sight to behold. The deity of the temple is Lord Padmanabha, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the preserver of life according to Hindu belief. Here, the 18 feet long deity is seen as lying on a serpent called Anantha. The Kings of Travancore ruled the land as the servants of Lord Padmanabha. Inside the temple, a mandapam (platform with pillars) carved out of a single piece of rock displays eye-catching sculptures.

Built in 1818 is the Padinjarekotta or the fort gate situated on the western side. This fort gate was built following the closure of another gate called Nariadachankotta, which is situated close to it. Just like the East Fort, the Padinjarekotta also has a touch of French architecture. The annual Aaraatt procession from the Padmanabha Swamy Temple passes through this fort.Nearby the Fort, are the palatial houses, locally called as Amma Veedus.All are best examples of Dravidian architecture in Kerala state. These are houses more than 150 years old, specially built for the consorts of Travancore Kings.

These houses display a blend of Kerala and European styles of architecture. With beautiful matchless interiors, these houses do not have cement and iron as part of their building materials. The prominent Amma Veedus include the Arumana, Thanjavur, Vedasseri etc.These structures are not only specimens of architectural practices but also reflect the cultural traditions ,festivities and lifestyles of the peiod.
These are buildings, which were once used by the members of the Travancore royal family. Except for few, most of them now function as various offices.

each design was so unique,a mixture of so many types of architecture..
It was quite sad to notice the pathetic condition...

the gates,main entrances had so many filigree work on them,all very old,during the 18 century..notice each of them is unique,some had lions in the centre.
notice the windows had some work on top too..not left plain as just windows,set inside the walls in a depressionthis usage of two colors caught my attention
look at the number of windows in the palaces,count them
notice the lions and peacocks on both sidesMajestic lionsgate and the filigree work on the entrance in detaila set of different windows,with glass on topcount the number of windows..detail of the windowDetails of the colums on the side of the window
posters all over the placethis particular one has been rented by some private institute..amazing architecture,look at the windows.beautiful and exquisite..Another set of windows and details..
view from down..
coloured glass on top,european long windows,usually will be bay windows..a style invogue these days

Another set of houses...Another notable one among the palaces is the Sree Padam Kottaram, which is one of the oldest palaces inside the fort. Situated to the north of the temple, the palace has played host to kings and queens who arrived to participate in the temple rituals.Its rented as a marriage hall.

Set of palaces rented Out to a hostel.

                                 Images and ideas conceived By Lakshmi Arvind


  1. Hi Lakshmi,
    I have never been to Kerala...but I know its a wonderful place. Apart from the nature it has so much history and thanks to you for bringing it to us !

  2. Thanks Anupama and sss for your kind words.I am glad u have read it and understood the history.

  3. Inspired by all your posts... I am seriously considering a 3 day trip to Allepy & Kochi... Love the way you write... and thru your lens... just about anything looks outstanding!! You Lakshmi... are you my true inspiration!

  4. Hey,
    I came across your blog on decor and design and thought that you would be interested in the campaign that we are currently running.
    If you could write back with your email address I could send in details on our campaign.

  5. Hi Lakshmi,
    My visit to your blog is quite accidental. I'm working as a freelancer for a furniture e-tailer and my boss has asked me to find out Indian Interior design blogs where we could place an ad. Here i'm a pakka mallu working for a US company from saudi arabia. I was browsing through the net when i landed up in your blog. I couldnt find any advertisements in the home page. So thought of browsing through the inner pages. And i saw pictures of kizhakekotta,padmanabha swamy temple,west fort, sreepadam kalyana mandapam,an NSS college where my mom taught for few months. I just miss my TRIVANDRUM..... Longing to be there:(

  6. Thanks for all the comments .
    Anon:a pleasure reading your comments.It would have been more nice if you could have left your e mail could have communicated with you.It was nice to know that i could bring back memories.It was nice knowing that your mom taught in NSS.Even both my parents are college professors..
    Write to me when you get the time...

  7. Hi Lakshmi..

    You have well captured the beauty in architecture of that part of Kerala..the Travancore style is very distinct isn't it? I have always been mesmerized by the Padmanabhapuram Palace..and never get enough of visiting that place.


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