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Relics of royalty

Location: Poonjar Palace at Poonjar on the Pala-Erattupetta route, Kottayam district, central Kerala.
Attractions: Royal collection of antiques, rock cut lamps, sculptures etc.

 

The Poonjar Palace, Kottayam district

The Poonjar Palace is a glorious testimony to the regal opulence of a bygone era. Within the palace walls is an extraordinary royal collection of antiques and exquisite furniture including a palanquin, a thoni carved out of a single piece of wood for Ayurvedic massages, huge chandeliers, palm leaf engravings, jewel boxes, varieties of lamps, sculptures of Nataraja (the dancing Siva), grain measures, statues and weapons. A unique conch preserved here is taken out once a year for ritualistic purposes.

Near the palace is an amazing replica of the Madurai Meenakshi Temple. The walls of this temple bear sculptures that narrate stories from the Puranas (the legends of ancient India). However, the most fascinating thing here is the Chuttuvilakku (row of lamps) carved out on the stonewalls of the Sastha Temple nearby. Such rocks cut lamps are rare in India.

Getting there:
Nearest major railway station: Kottayam, about 30 km from Pala.
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 76 km from Kottayam town.

 


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