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 Kuthiramalika Museum

 Kuthira Malika is a wonderful wooden palace built by Swathi Thirunal on the south-eastern side of Padmanabha Swamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram. It has 108 horse figures on its southern wall. It is from these figures that the palace got its name the Palace of the Horses. It has smooth black flooring and wooden and stone pillars.

The roof is made entirely of wood and has got 42 beams carrying different carved patterns. The wooden carvings, architecture and sculpture in the palace are well preserved.


The finest of Kerala style wood carving is seen here. The ceiling of the verandah is dotted with floral motifs. The 16 rooms in the palace have 16 different patterns. The granite pillars supporting the roof too are adorned with intricate designs. Huge Belgium mirrors add to the beauty of the Kuthira Malika. Swathi Thirunal lived here for less than a year, just before his death. After that the complex was locked up till recently. It is believed that Swathi Thirunal wrote some of his important works sitting in a chamber inside this palace from where he could get a rare view of the temple.

Every year the Swathi Music Festival is conducted here in the front courtyard. The five day festival in January-February features leading Carnatic and Hindustani musicians. Stalwarts like Ustad Bismilla Khan, Gangu Bai Hangal, Kishori Amonkar, Dr.M.Balamurali Krishna ,D.K.Pattammal etc have performed in the festival.

The Swathi festival at Kuthira Malika is rated as one of the best music festivals in South India. The ambience and the atmosphere add to the delight of the music renderings. The cool breeze, the star studded winter sky, the dimly lit palace in the backdrop and songs in praise of Padmanabha will take the audience back to a century and a half back when a man who loved music sat here and listened to his favorite musicians sing the words that have come out from the depths of his heart.

Now a portion of the palace is made into a museum containing pictures, personal belongings and artefacts of the royal family. Swathi Thirunalís ivory throne, marble idols, Chinese artefacts and rare musical instruments are kept in the museum.


Different views of Kuthira Malika
 
Dept. of Culture,Govt of Kerala,India, Centre for Development of Imaging Technology & Vailoppally Sanskriti Bhavan  
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