Mattancherry Palace was built as a gesture of goodwill by the Portuguese in 1555, and presented to the Raja of Kochi to ensure ongoing trading privileges. Later alterations were made by the Dutch in 1663, giving the building its alternative name, the Dutch Palace.
A visit to the two-storied whitewashed palace takes you into the royal bedchamber with its traditional floor of burnished coconut shells that gleams like black marble. Try not to blush when you take in the bedroom’s unique mythological murals from the Ramayana, with their erotic portrayals of Hindu deities at play.
Other don’t miss highlights of Mattancherry Palace include more lovely murals upstairs, the regal Coronation and Dining halls with their decorated ceilings, various portraits of rajas and Hindu deities, and the central courtyard with its private royal temple.
The laneways surrounding the Dutch Palace wind south to Jew Town, lined with fascinating curio shops and spice stores.
(Image courtesy of KeralaTourism.org)
Mattancherry Palace is off Palace Road, on the eastern edge of the peninsula in the former spice-trading district of Mattancherry. It sits just north of Jew Town and the synagogue.