- Famous for: Palace, architecture, scenery, history
- Entrance Fee: No entrance fees
- Visiting Time: 10am to 4 pm
- Visit Duration: 3 to 4 hours
On the banks of Ashtamudi Lake gliding like a serpent, through the ancient city of Kollam raised an architectural wonder, under the watchful eyes of Travancore’s most eminent princesses. Initially intended as a guest house for British Residents in the 19th century, the Thevally Palace which stands on the banks of the Ashtamudi Lake, now serves as the Group Office of NCC. The Palace is currently under the strict authority of the Public Works Department in Kerala and I must say they have preserved the architectural beauty of the Palace for posterity. No wonder the Palace is a must visit place in the city of Kollam.
- It is always better to be safe than to be sorry. So, don’t forget your first-aid kit, because this can come in handy especially if you are travelling with kids.
- Carry handy medicines with you, and don’t forget the pills which are meant for regular intake. Medicines for cough, cold and motion sickness are a must.
- Now this does not have to be said separately. Nevertheless, don’t forget your wardrobe. Always pack comfortable clothes accordingly to the season. Kerala’s climate is comparatively humid and this can irritate your sweat glands. So, pack loose clothes preferably cotton wares.
- Now this is an essential part and I don’t think I need to specify it anymore. Anyways, since it is extremely important I need to mention it here. You cannot go for a safe trip, until you have packed all essential identity proofs.
- Make sure you visit the place during office hours since the Palace is now the Group Office of NCC.
- Make sure you don’t pollute the place with your litter and also ensure that you don’t carry any plastic with you.
- You are not supposed to touch the walls or relics inside the Palace.
- Certain portions of the Palace will be out of bounds for you because the Office of the NCC group is actively functioning inside the Palace premises.
- You are not allowed to bring pets into the Palace.
- Don’t forget your camera. The picturesque beauty of the Ashtamudi Lake and the surrounding landscapes gives you plenty of reasons to use your camera. Trust, me you will find a lot to click here.
Things to Do
- Plan a lovely picnic on the lawns of the Palace amidst green valleys and dales. Or, plan it on the banks of the Ashtamudi Lake which gives you the best possible views. Apart from the picturesque landscapes, what entices tourists is the pristine lake and lovely breeze, which is simply ecstatic.
- You can go for a trekking expedition in the dense groves of the surrounding Sankhili forest. Witness the flora and fauna in its natural habitat and you will be surprised at the unexplored trekking trails of the region.
- The city also harbours the abode of Mata Amritanandamayi Amma, an iconic figure in the religious tones of Kerala. Amritapuri is a mere 10 kms away from the Palace. A day spent well in the abode of spiritual ambivalence is a treat to your body and soul. The divine Ashram of Amma is only a few kilometres away from the Palace which can be easily covered. You can stay in the Ashram for a few days if you wish a change from your monotonous and routine lifestyle.
- Kollam being an ancient port town and seat of political authority, there are plenty to visit in the city. It is indeed a privilege to visit the city. The Thevally Palace is only one among the numerous attractions in the city.
- Kollam is known for its temples, which claims antiquity to the Perumal rulers of the ancient Mahodayapuram. The Kodungallor temple is believed to be the oldest one among them. The presiding deity is Kannagi- the very same character portrayed in the epic ‘Silappathikaram’. The Chera King mentioned in the story is believed to have brought the Goddess from the Kingdom of Pandya to Cranganore. This Chera King falls in the long lineage of the Perumals of Mahadayapuram.
- The Ashtamudi Kayal or Ashttamudi Lake offers the best scenic views of the Palace and the surrounding landscapes. It is indeed a truly soul-satisfying experience to go for a ride around the lake. You can hire a boat from the city of Kollam and get down at the front entrance of the Palace which is situated on the banks of the lake.
Availability of Guides
Quilon Tourism is highly efficient and well managed. So, you won’t have to wait around to hire the expertise of a local guide. It is only a finger-tip away as you can consult with a tourist agency online, prior to your visit. Or you can simply avail a tour guide after you have reached the place. Since the place is easily accessible, you won’t need a guide to show you the way. What you will need though, is someone who has knowledge of the local culture and history of the place? So, make sure you hire a proper guide from the official tourism office at Kollam/Quilon. This is always best advised so that you won’t have to endure any inconveniences later.
Best Time to Visit
Come, summer and the greens of Kerala emanates life and joy. The touch of the summer sun is unparalleled in beauty and might. It is indeed a wonderful experience. Just make sure that you avoid the monsoons which usually begin in the month of June. However recent climatic changes can alter this prediction on the onset of rains in Kerala. The heavy rains and occasional flooding is definitely not your ideal time for exploration. The summers from March to May and from October to February are the ideal time for exploration and picnicking. So now you know the best time to visit Kollam.
How to Reach
This does not come as a surprise, because the city of Kollam is positioned in a strategic location. This location is what made the city an ancient seat of political authority. Even now the city of Kollam is easily accessible by rail or road. You can get down at Kollam Railway Station, and head over to the Palace by road. The distance between the city of Kollam and Thevally Palace is only a mere 26 kms and this can be easily covered if you avail the services of local transportation. The route is frequented by buses and rickshaws. You can also book a private cab to traverse as this would give you considerable flexibility in your schedule.
Interesting Facts and Trivia About Thevally Palace
- The Thevally Palace is situated in the city of Kollam, the ancient seat of royalty in Kerala.
- The magnificent era of the most able princess of the Travancore Royal family, saw the construction of the Thevally Palace.
- It was Gowri Parvati Bayi who initiated the construction of this beautiful Palace set amidst the picturesque backdrop of green valleys and plush dales.
- The Palace was built to accommodate British Residents.
- Now the building is the official headquarters of NCC.
- A Sastha Temple inside the Palace premises is yet another attraction.
- The building is a unique balance between Dutch, French and Portuguese architectural elements.
- The enveloping coconut and palm groves provide a wonderful backdrop for the Palace.
- The Palace is situated 28 kms away from the city of Kollam, on the banks of Asttamudi Lake.
- The Palace is crafted out of materials not common to the architectural style prevalent during the period like, lime plaster and laterite.
- Amritapuri- the abode of Amritanandamayi Amma is located in the city of Kollam.
This ancient seat of political authority claims to be one of the most preferred tourist destinations in Kerala. I certainly have no doubt. Kollam offers extraordinary tourist attractions unparalleled in beauty and simplicity. Take a look at some of the attractions nearby Thevally Palace.
- Ashtamudi Lake
- Palaruvi Waterfalls
- Mahatma Gandhi Beach and Park
- Thirumullavaram Beach
- Achankovil Lake
- Amritapuri – Ashram of Amritanandamayi Amma.
- Oachira Parabhrahma Temple
- Kodungallor Temple
- Cheraman Parambu
- Mayyanadu village
- Thangassery village
- Kollam Police Museum
- Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary
- Neendakara Port
- Thushara’s Restaurant
- Smokyz Grill and Bar-be-que
- Global Backwaters Resort
- Fryday Family Restaurant
- Hot Spot Sea Food Restaurant
- Fayalwan Hotel
- Masala Square Restaurant and Café
- Ramees Restaurant
- New Salim Hotel
- Sreelekshmi Bhavan
The very air of Kollam itself has a lot of stories to tell you. Such is the antiquity of this ancient port city and the powerful administrative capital of the Perumals of Kerala. The city remained the throne of political power even during the reign of the Travancorean kings. It was further consolidated by the kings as part of their political strategies. The Thevally Palace is one such political strategy. It has withstood the test of hard times and still manages to stand with its head held high, just like the majestic kings and queens who resided within its walls.