Hill Palace Museum, once the residence of the royal famly of Kochi is now the largest Archaeological museum of Kerala. This Palace was built in 1865. Hill Palace is located at about 12 kilometers from Cochin on the Kochi Chottanikkara Road.
The Hill Palace is set amongst the sprawling estate of 52 acres with lush green plantations and lawns all over. There are 49 buildings built in the traditional Kerala style of Architecture and terraced land with ponds, fountains and landscaped lawns. Hill Palace is a fullfledged archaeological museum and a first ever Ethno Archaeological and Heritage museum as well.
Inside the Museum Complex
The palace complex consists of 49 buildings in the traditional architectural style bed land with ponds, fountains and lawns. A full fledged ethno archaeological museum and Kerala's first ever Heritage museum are the main attractions here.
There is an 'ettukettu' constructed in the typical Kerala style is the oldest building in the whole complex which is said to have been constructed around 1850 AD. There is an adjacent pond, temple and urappura in that ettukettu construction.
The other buildings which are found in the complex are a combination of traditional and western architecture and the latest construction seems to be a 3 storeyed western style one constructed in 1950. This new building is functioning as the office for the Hill palace Museum..
History of the Hill Palace Museum
In 1980, the palace was taken over by the Department Of Archaeology and later converted into a Museum. It was opened to the public in 1986. Set on top of a hillock and surrounded by terraced garden with fountains, ponds and lawns, this palace-turned-museum displays 14 categories of exhibits including paintings, murals, sculpture in stone and plaster of paris, manuscripts, inscriptions, carvings etc. The collections displayed in the museum are mainly from the Travancore Royal House, Paliam Devaswom and from the department of Archaeology. It has a gold crown embedded with precious stones and many valuable coins, ornaments, majestic beds and samples of epigraphy.
The museum also displays 200 antique pieces of pottery and ceramic vases from China and Japan, Kudakkallu (tomb stone), Thoppikkallu (hood stone), menhirs, granite, laterite memorials, rock cut weapons belonging to the stone age, wooden temple models. There is an amazing array of plaster cast models of objects from Mohanjodaro and Harappa of the Indus Valley civilization of North India. The museum also houses a gallery of contemporary art.
About Paliam Gallery
Paliam gallery in the museum contains the collections donated by the Paliyathachan's family. Paliyathachan's were hereditary Prime Ministers to the Cochin Maharaja’s for a long period. This gallery was opened in 1991. The gallery of cabinet Hall displays royal furniture's including the 'Simhasana' (the throne or the king's chair).
Timings - 9.00 to 12.30 hrs. and 14.00 to 16.30 hrs.
Open on all days except Mondays.