Tripunithura Hill Palace

Tripunithura Hill Palace

Kerala's first heritage museum noted for royal collections of the erstwhile Maharaja of Kochi, is today the largest archaeological museum in Kerala. Built in 1865, the palace complex consists of 49 buildings in Kerala style traditional architectur, sprawled over 52 acres of beautifully landscaped terraced land which houses a deer park and facilities for horse riding.

The Hill Palace museum in Tripunithura is all set to get a makeover this summer. The renovation work has started at the Hill Palace utilizing central-state government funds. Environment-friendly plans are being drafted with a self-sufficient campus in mind, providing enough drinking water apart from other things. Revival of the shelved plan for a light and sound show center is also under consideration.

Exhibition centers in the palace are being up to dated using latest technology. More convenient places will be readied for relaxation of visiting public. The Kerala state government has granted Rs 60 lakhs for the expansion of the museum. It has set apart Rs 3 crores this year for modernization of museums.

Director of archives J. Rejikumar said Rs 60 lakhs have been allotted for the first stage of expansion. All projects in the 52-acre museum cannot be completed at a single stretch. Hence, the first step is to complete the survey of the property like location of ponds, wells, buildings and gardens in the campus.

The campus has 10 ponds and several wells already. These ponds and wells will be cleaned and used for rainwater storage. That will improve water availability in the campus. It can also help solve scarcity of water in the neighborhood. Some of the short compound walls need to be rebuilt to improve security. Security officials who guard so many valuable exhibits in the campus will be provided with enough basic facilities.

The director said the children's park will also be renovated. 90% of its work is over and it will soon be opened to public. All 49 buildings in the palace have been painted and cleaned up. Leakage in some buildings need to be fixed. Once that is done, the first phase of the work will be done.

Light and sound show

This plan was shelved after inviting interested parties once. The idea was to organize a attractive show that will also cover the history of Kochi. Two companies showed interest but pulled out later. It seems they were worried of the technical problems that could arise from running the show for a year continuously. The project is being revived now.

The show can be run only after 7pm, which means entry to the museum building will have to be made more secure. Authorities said this can be done by tightening security to the area where the show is staged.

Also exhibited more than 200 antique pieces of pottery and ceramic vases from Japan and China, Kudakkallu (tomb stone), Thoppikkallu (hood stone), menhirs, granite, laterite memorials, rock-cut weapons from the Stone Age, wooden temple models, plaster cast models of objects from Mohenjodaro and Harappa of the Indus Valley Civilisation. The museum also houses a gallery of contemporary art.

Visiting hours: 9.00 to 12.30 hrs &14.00 to 16.30 hrs on all days except Mondays.
Entrance fee: Adult - Rs. 30/- Children (5-12) - Rs. 10/-
Children's Park: Open till 6.00 pm
Contact details: 01494 551 500

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