Dutch Palace, Kochi

Visitor Information

  • Famous for: Architecture, Colonial Remains, Scenery.
  • Entrance Fee: 20 INR for adults and 10 INR for children. (Photography is prohibited).
  • Visiting Time: 10AM to 5PM.
  • Visit Duration: 2 to 3 hours.

When you get down at Mattancherry a suburban place in Kochi, just 4 kms away from the city, you will be surprised that the place is indeed in Kerala. You will be thrown into a melting pot of different cultures and there isn’t another place in Kerala that echoes so many different varieties of population. Right at its heart stands the Dutch Palace, locally known as the Mattancherry Palace.

Dutch Palace
Photo by Ranjith Siji, CC BY-SA 4.0

Traveler Tips

  • Photography is prohibited inside the Palace, due to security reasons.
  • The relics in the museum are centuries old and hence priceless. Do not touch the vestiges as you might cause harm to them.
  • Hefty fines will be charged if you litter the place. No plastic, bags, bottles or snack packets are allowed inside the Palace.
  • There is a lot of exploration to do in the outskirts of the Dutch Palace. So, wear comfortable clothes and footwear.

Things to Do

  • Go antique shopping in the shops near the Dutch Palace. If your wallet is up for it you can buy some really great antiques and souvenirs to take back home with you.
  • The Dutch Palace is at the heart of a cultural hub surrounded by synagogues, local markets run by Gujarati merchants and beautiful Jain temples which are must visit spots for tourists.
  • Plan that perfect picnic with your loved ones on the lawns of the Palace grounds. But this can be done only if you have prior permission.
  • The Palace is surrounded by Jewish settlements that had made the place their home. You can pay a visit to them to seek out a unique cultural experience.

Availability of Guides

A walk through the Palace halls is all about knowing your history. You would be able to appreciate the architecture and art of the Palace if you know the stories behind them. A guide well versed in local history can help you make the most out of your time in the Dutch Palace. You can pick up your guide from the official tourism office at Kochi which is a safe bet.

Best Time to Visit Dutch Palace

The summer heat in Kerala with its humid touch is not ideal for exploration. The heat withers you up no matter how much water you drink. The monsoons experience heavy downpours that carry on for days. But the winters in Kerala which usually extends from mid-November till February, is fairly pleasant and cool. Hence, the winters would be the perfect time to visit the Dutch Palace in Mattancherry.

How to Reach Dutch Palace

A mere 4 kms away from Ernakulam Central Station stands the Dutch Palace in all its glory and might. You can either walk or hail a rickshaw to the Dutch Palace. Just follow the Maulana Azad Road and you will step right into the outskirts of the Palace. The nearest airport to the Dutch Palace is the Cochin International Airport, which is very well connected with local and international flights.

Interesting Facts and Trivia About Dutch Palace (Mattancherry Palace)

  • The Palace is reminiscent of the political and ideological conflict between the Zamorins of Calicut and the Rajas of Kochi.
  • The Kochi Rajas extended complete support to the Portuguese, and the Palace built in typical Kerala style was gifted to the then ruling king of Cochin- Veera Kerala Varma in 1554 and was later on renovated by the Dutch.
  • The Palace is built in typical Kerala style architectural prowess. It is one of the best examples of traditional ‘nalukettu’ style.
  • There is a temple dedicated to the Supreme Goddess, in the Palace courtyard and the idol is still worshipped by the members of the royal family and is open to general public on special days.
  • The Palace is best known for its mural paintings, which capture the mythical scenes as well as the political history of the Cochin Dynasty.
  • The Palace made headlines, due to its sad neglected state and is now under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India.
Dutch Palace Kochi
Photo by Dhruvaraj S, CC BY 2.0

Nearby Attractions

  • Paradesi Synagogue
  • Cochin Thirumala Devaswom
  • Nehru Memorial Town Hall
  • Shree Jalaram Dham
  • Jeeva Matha Church
  • Shri Ram Mandir
  • Mattancherry Jew Town
  • The Ethnic Passage
  • Antique Museum

Nearby Restaurants

  • Annapoorna Sweets and Restaurants
  • Ginger House Restaurant
  • Balaji Restaurant
  • Arabia
  • Hotel Nooriya
  • Hotel New India
  • Fathima Fast Food
  • BTH Veg Restaurant
  • 51 Harbour
  • Rice Boat
  • Kayees Restaurant

Right from events in the Ramayana and Mahabharata to the life of the rulers of Cochin, the mural paintings of the Palace are more priceless than the Palace itself. Symbolic of a period with great cultural harmony, the Mattancherry Palace is an architectural wonder that has long been neglected. But the palace still managed to withstand the test of time.

About Rohit

An architect by profession, Rohit Agarwal is a curious traveller, seeking out the minutest detail about the places he travels to, and that’s what one will find in his writings. His writings have appeared in various blogs, he’s currently trying to bring forth as many different places a traveller who shares the same level of curiosity like him would like to visit through his writings.

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