Cochin king returns to his palace, the Hill palace
Last week my cousins came to Ernakulam. The royal land of Tripunithura was burning in the sun and that was when we decided to visit Hill Palace. Hill palace is located two kilometers from my house. It was once the administrative office of the King of Cochin. It is converted into a museum where the artifacts used by the king and his family are displayed. Continuous buses are available from Tripunithura to Hill palace within duration of five minutes. It is said to be the biggest archaeological museum in Kerala. ‘Manichitrathazhu’, a famous Malayalam movie has some of its scenes videographed here.
We took a bus from Tripunithura to Hill palace and had the breakfast from a nearby hotel. It was a small hotel with a table and 8 chairs. We had ‘undan pori’ and tea for the breakfast and headed towards the Hill palace entrance. We were five grown up and a child. The ticket rates are 20 rupees for adults and 10 rupees for children. I asked the woman distributing the tickets to provide 5 adult and one child ticket. I was thinking whether the usage of adult ticket was proper and smiled as if it would be my mistake.
Hill palace main museum is situated on top of a hill with series of stairs leading to the structure. People could be seen gathered on the stairs taking pictures. We reached the top surpassing the hot weather and cream applied in the morning was the only protection against the ultraviolet rays. Arun says nothing to worry “they show in the advertisement that the cream could fight against the rays entering multiple layers of the skin”. His funda’s are only known to him, that’s what we believe. We used sandles and chappals instead of shoes as everyone feared the theft. It is common to see the footwear’s vanishing in temples and public places. We use a technique to deal with such thieves where we invert the chappals and keep the pairs far from each other. The question is what one would do with a single chappal.
A woman came and asked us to keep the footwear inside the tent where we have to pay a fixed amount for the protection they would ensure. We were not willing and thus we refused to keep our chappals. She says it is mandatory and we should not leave the chappals on the sides of the museum. Different comments came from among the group like “entha chechi… pote, pullarude kash thane adichumatano” (kindly leave it Aunty, are you interested to rob the money from children like us) however, the women went finally with 10 rupees and curse.
We have to submit the mobiles and cameras at the entrance of the museum before we are allowed to view the antiques. The museum consists of different sections from the old age utensils to the jewellery used by the king and queen. Two among the group were insisting to see the room where nagavalli (a character in the movie manichitrathazhu in Malayalam, chandramukhi in Tamil and Telugu, apthamitra in kannada, rajmohol in bengali and bhul bhulaiya in hindi) was dancing and to see the pool where Mohanlal(Malayalam Actor in manichitrathazhu) was swimming.
A lady explained that a golden pen used by the king was the one seen in front of us, to which my cousin asked why he had to invest money building a golden pen when he could have purchased thousands of them with the same price. The woman did not have a answer to his question and thus skipped with a smile.
The museum was full of Chinese vessels and European artifacts. Furniture’s and decorations during the Cochin rule were worth watching. Though it was not as interesting to us as it would have been for any historian or a scholar interested in learning old age civilizations. We were busy relating the old against the new, rating the king’s choice etc.
We completed the museum in an hour’s time and then moved to explore the surroundings of the palace. We could see the gardens and the well used during king’s rule. They are a masterpiece and depict featured work and craftsmanship. Not to mention in a separate Para, they are also the shelters for the love birds that resemble the human enclosure.
Behind the museum is a way to the temple and pool. The pool is big with partitions for women and men. The walls surrounding the hill palace from the pool, lead to the structure of a dinosaur. It appears to be created using plaster of Paris and most of its nails and fingers appear stolen.
It was hot outside and we managed the thirst and hunger with an ice-cream that was available within the campus. The visit to hill palace though was tired due to the hot weather but was interesting and enjoyable. At least we were able to capture some good moments for our future.
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