Mattancherry Palace [ Kochi, Kerala, India ]
The Mattancherry Palace is a Portuguese palace popularly known as the Dutch Palace, in Mattancherry, Kochi, in the Indian state of Kerala which features Kerala murals depicting portraits and exhibits of the Rajas of Kochi. The Palace was built and gifted by the Portuguese as a present to the king of Cochin around 1555. The palace is a quadrangular structure built in Nalukettu style, the traditional Kerala style of architecture, with a courtyard in the middle. In the courtyard there stands a small temple dedicated to 'Pazhayannur Bhagavati', the protective goddess of the Kochi royal family. There are two more temples on either side of the Palace, one dedicated to Lord Krishna and the other to Lord Siva. The palace also contains rare examples of traditional Kerala flooring. The glory of the palace rests on the large number of murals, executed in the best traditions of Hindu temple art, which are religious, decorative and stylised. The murals have been painted in rich warm colours in tempera technique. The Dutch carried out some extensions and renovations in the palace in 1663, and thereafter it was popularly called Dutch Palace. The rajas also made more improvements to it. Today, it is a portrait gallery of the Cochin Rajas and notable for some of the best mythological murals in India, which are in the best traditions of Hindu temple art.