Monday, June 28, 2010

Murals at Padmanabhapuram Palace

The Padmanabhapuram palace was once the residence of the rulers of the erstwhile princely state of Travancore. This palace complex, regarded as Asia’s largest wooden palace, has fourteen structures spread over an area of six acres. The palace is noted for an exquisite mural collection considered to date from the 17th and 18th centuries. These paintings are discerned for the beauty of their conception.

The murals are drawn on the four walls of the Thevarappura, the second floor of Uppirika Malika, a mansion inside the complex. The Thevarappura was used by the kings for meditation. Ananthasayana (the reclining posture of Lord Vishnu on Anantha, the Serpent King), Lord Krishna and Gopikas, Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are some of the paintings seen here. The paintings were drawn by three different artists, according to Dr. M.G. Sasibhooshan, renowned art scholar and historian.

The erstwhile Travancore kingdom consisted of the southern part of the present Kerala state and some south-western parts of the present Tamil Nadu state. Though the Palace complex is now situated in Tamil Nadu, it is managed by the Department of Archaeology, Government of Kerala.

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