"Padmanabhapuram Palace A treasure trove of Tamil heritage and culture, the Padmanabhapuram Palace and the Suchindram Thanumalaya Temple are must visit in Tamilnadu.

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Padmanabhapuram Palace and Suchindram Temple Monument in Kanyakumari

Hotel Singaar International
Hotel Singaar International Star
Address: 5/22, Main Road, , Kanyakumari
Location: City Center
Property Type: Business And Leisure Hotel
Accessibility: Airport: 92KM., Railway Station: 0.5KM., Bus Station: 1KM.
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About Padmanabhapuram Palace

Location: Kanyakumari District, 15 kms from Nagercoil.
Built In: 1601 AD

The Padmanabhapuram Palace in Kanyakumari district, located about 15 km from Nagercoil has the rare distinction of being one of the most ancient monuments in South India. Known for its strategic planning and military architecture, the palace was the seat of power for the Travancore emperors till 1790, when the capital was shifted to Thiruvananthapuram by Karthika Thirunal Maharaja, popularly known as Dharma Raja. Its main attraction is its sheer aesthetic beauty, innovative designs and time tested wooden carvings.

Padmanabhapuram Palace - An Inside Gaze

The Entrance Hall:
Bearing testimony to the immaculately evolved architectural skills that prevailed in this region, the Padmanabhapuram Palace commands spontaneous awe from the onlooker. A brass lamp fashioned as a man riding a horse and hanging from the magnificently carved wooden ceiling greets the visitors to the "poomukham" or entrance hall. The ceiling, interestingly has 90 varieties of flowers in full bloom. A black bed made of seven granite stones and a 17th century chair gifted by a Chinese official are found in the hall. On the wall are displayed ellipsoidal coloured wooden planks depicting "Anantasyana"- the reclining posture of Lord Vishnu, also known as Lord Padmanabha.

The Council Chamber:
The Mantrasala, the Council Chamber, is an example of excellence of workmanship in wood. A wooden seat with the images of lions, contacting small decorated doors with space inside for filling with aromatic substance is a neat work indeed. The floor made of a mixture of burnt coconut shells, lime, late rite and sand glistens to this day.

The King's Quarters:
In the Padmanabhapuram Palace, the king's quarters or "upparika malika", near the bathing ghat, was built by Marthanda Varma in 1744 A.D. The courtyard leading to this building served as a parade ground for recruiting soldiers for the royal army. A round stone weighing 38 kg and placed on a pillar had to be lifted hundred times by any aspirant wishing to join the army. About 50 murals painted in green, black and brown, depicting Lord Vishnu with his consorts and Lord Krishna with the Gopikas adorn the walls of the prayer hall.

Guest House and The Dance Hall:
Several incidents in the life of Marthanda Varma are beautifully captured in canvas and are displayed on the corridor to the guest house or "Indra Vilasm". A jewel in the crown is the Navarathra Mandapam. It is made of complete stone structures. This massive dance hall is 66 feet by 27 feet with a high roof and sculpted stone pillars. The womenfolk witness the performances through the wooden enclosure with arrangements for viewing.

Exact Date of its Construction: A Shrouded Mystery
Though the exact date as to when the Padmanabhapuram Palace was constructed is shrouded in mystery, it is believed that it was built in 1601 A.D. Originally it was constructed with mud in the 14th century and was named Darpakulangara Palace.However, it was Marthanda Varma who reconstructed the Padmanabhapuram Palace with granite structures.

Suchindram Thanumalaya Temple

Devoted to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma, Suchindram Thanumalaya Temple is a popular Hindu temple in Tamil Nadu. Constructed, brilliantly with an imposing height of 134 feet, each nook and corner of the Suchindram temple depicts the age-old tradition of South Indian temple architecture. Every panel and pillar supporting the holy abode proudly display Hindu mythology in the form of curved sculptures and inscriptions. Images of Vigneshwari, the female form of Vinayaka and the scene of Geethopathesa to parthasarathi in the form of Trinity can be encountered only in the Suchindram temple.

History says that, Suchindram temple was taken care of by the Kings of Kanyakumari, until it became the part of Tamil Nadu. Legend has it that Saga Arti lived in the place with his wife Anasuya. Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma, once visited her home in absence of her husband. They appeared before her as sanyasis, asking for alms and help. Anasuya feed them and prove her innocence before the whole world.

It is said that, the place saw the incarnation of Lord in the form of three small babies. Since then, devotees transformed the place into a revered destination. Besides, devout Hindus believe that Lord Indra have purified the place, where the place of worship stand today. Suchindram Thanumalaya Temple attract tourists from different corners of the world. Though the Suchindram temple carries the myth and reality of Hindu religious believe, yet non-Hindus and foreigners are allowed to enter inside it. Surprisingly, men have to follow the custom of taking off their shirts and keep aside any kind of electronic products. But, since the extra-ordinary temple has become a part of Tamil Nadu Tourism, tourist are permitted to enjoy photography, inside it. Keen observers can take a close look at the inscriptions, that date back to 9th century. The seven musical columns of Suchindram temple and its attractive 3m tall statue of Hanuman are worth a watch. The massive structure of Nanjdhi locally known as "Makkalai" composed of pure chank powder is one of the biggest images in India.

The best time to visit the Suchindram temple is every year, during the month of April and December, when pilgrims engage themselves to celebrate the popular car festival in Tamil Nadu.

How to reach Suchindram Thanumalaya Temple

Suchindram Thanumalaya Temple is situated 13 kms away from Kanyakumari. Daily buses plys over from Kanyakumari to Thuckalai and aid travelers reach the religious cum tourist place. Also, one can catch bus/private cab to Nagercoil and halt at Kanyakumari.