Location : 10 kilometers from Ernakulam district
Main Attractions : Rare collection of the ancestral wealth of the Maharaja of Cochin
The Hill Palace Museum is Kerala's first heritage museum. It was set up in the year 1865 and now is an important tourist attraction. The Hill Palace Museum of Kochi is situated on a hillock and is surrounded by 50 acres of manicured lawns with fountains and ponds. The whole complex consists of around 49 buildings that are built in the traditional architectural style of Kerala. This palace used to be the residence of the rulers of Kochi at one point of time. The construction of the oldest building was completed in the year 1850. It is a single storied building in the traditional Kerala style and is called "Ettukettu". Adjacent to it is a pond and a temple. The most recent building was constructed in 1950 and the architecture style is more contemporary. The Department of Archaeology took responsibility of the building in the year 1980. The museum was open to the public in the year 1980.
The museum has 14 galleries, which displays some beautiful and rare artifacts that used to belong to the former rulers of Kerala. These items include paintings, weapons, arts, ancient carriages, etc. Among the royal collections, one can see beautiful statues, murals, majestic beds and royal ornaments like the crown encrusted with precious gems and stones. The ornaments are kept for public display in the ornaments gallery.
The gardens around the museum have been converted into botanical gardens and many plants of rare medicinal value are grown here. There is wide variety of flora here that has been brought from countries like Australia and Central America. There is also a gallery of contemporary art in this museum. There are beautiful sculptures made of plaster and other metals like brass and copper. Also, there are replicas of objects used during ancient civilizations of Harappa and Mohenjodaro that flourished in the north of India. The most popular object here is the royal throne or the "Simhasana" of the king.
How to Reach
By Air : The nearest airports are at Trivandrum and Cochin and Ernakulam can be reached easily once you are at any of these airports.
By Rail : The three railway junctions in Cochin are Ernakulam town, Cochin harbor and rnakulam junction. Once here, you can always hire local transport and reach Ernakulam.
By Road : Cochin is well connected by a wide network of roads and Ernakulam is easily accessible once you reach Cochin.