There are numerous palaces and royal homes scattered all over Kerala, with Trivandrum having its fair share too. This city is irrevocably intertwined with the princely state of Travancore, having been its capital during the last few centuries of its ruling.
It was the late Maharaja Marthanda Varma (1729-1758) who founded the princely state of Thiruvithamkoor and made Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) its capital in 1745. The royal family was always very active in the fields of arts, architecture and education and many of their deeds can still be witnessed all over the city.
Unlike the palaces of northern India which come highly embellished, the palaces built in Kerala are more simplistic and elegant in their beauty. The designs are impressive and follow the traditional Kerala style of architecture with wood being used lavishly in their construction. By virtue of being located close to the Western Ghats and easy availability of wood, the architects used this material extensively to create ornately carved pillars and beams in these structures.
The historically-rich Kowdiar palace is believed to be the most beautiful of the lot and was built in 1934 by the late Maharaja Sree Chithira Thirunal on the occasion of his sisterâ€™s wedding – Maharani Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi to Lt. Col. G. V. Raja. The impressive building has about 150 rooms and is three-storied. It also has six magnificent steeples heralding the grandeur of this edifice and can be seen from across the city. Interestingly enough, the palace also features an elevator made up of wood.
The palace has been the residence of the royal family since and is still home to the current erstwhile Maharajaâ€™s family. For this reason, itâ€™s not accessible to the public at all times. A number of personal items and memorabilia belonging to the earlier members of the royal family are kept on display here for future posterity.
The palace is set amidst a beautiful green garden with the last Raja Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma being buried in its vast spaces. This part of the city is also known as Kowdiar and is one of the cleanest and costliest. Itâ€™s where you will find the residences of the elite members of society as well as many upscale eateries, posh shopping centres as well as lots of greenery.
Itâ€™s also where you will find that branded real estate developers like Favourite Homes have set up apartment complexes so that the cream of the society can have easy access to owning homes in this posh locality.