Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mattancherry Palace

We had a Keralan breakfast today - a Marsala Dosa which is a sort of pancake filled with potato curry and very delicious it was too - you don't need coffee after that to wake you up! Then it was time to jump in a rickshaw for our bout of sightseeing for the day. We were headed for the Dutch Palace but first we had to stop at a souvenir shop as a favour to the rickshaw driver so he could collect a fuel voucher for introducing us, we didn't have to buy anything - although we were shown everything! It was nice and cool with full a/c but we weren't tempted - I think its the thought of lugging it around for several weeks that is preventing me from even thinking about shopping!

Mattancherry Palace was built by the Portuguese in the 1550s and presented to the Rajas. The Dutch renovated it in 1663 and it then became known as the Dutch Palace. It was heaving, full of Indian families all in their Sunday best. There were large portraits of the Rajas of Cochin displayed in what used to be the Coronation Hall, rule by the Rajas ended with Independence and today India is a Republic and Kerala is the first democratically elected Communist State.

Also on display in the Palace and what it is renown for, were fabulous murals illustrating the Ramayana, an epic tale of the God Krishna and his wife Sita. They were highly stylized in fabulous earthy colours, very juicy in parts culminating with not one but five pictures of gods being born in gory graphic detail! Probably just as well that no photos were allowed inside!

Its not a particularly photogenic building either but here it is!

Grabbed a shot of this group waiting for their transport - the little boy in the foreground spotted me and rushed up to place himself slap bang in the centre so I'm not sure if those smiles are for me or at his antics! Either way it looks as though they had a good day out.

On the way back we passed this old guy ironing. It looks like he is a mobile ironing service. The base of the iron was filled with hot embers and he was doing a great job.

Finally back at the hotel and straight in the pool! Perfect!

It is Sunday here, don't know what date blogger is going to set for this as I haven't adjusted any timings.


Philippa said...

Lovely colours everywhere. your hotel looks great xx

Ann said...

hotel is absolutely fab, a perfect choice for our gentle intro to India