Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 15th June 2009, 20:31   #1
BHPian
 
darklord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: TVM (KL-16)
Posts: 471
Thanked: 796 Times
Default Trivandrum to Kanyakumari; On the trail of kings, palaces, and forts

The actual journey itself is short, considering the 300 odd kilometers involved; but in terms of time traveled, it would take us back to about 400 years. So, there are a lot of pictures that have to be uploaded to make an impression on the viewers. The actual itinerary revolved around three main locations. So, I think it would make sense to break it down to a few posts rather than a single one. So guys, please bear with me.

Me and my two friends had decided earlier that whenever we got a chance for an one-day trip, we would visit the Padmanabhapuram palace, Udayagiri fort, and Vattakottai fort. These locations are near our hometown of Thiruvananthapuram. We had visited these locations years ago but had been almost forgotten how these places looked like. We thought, since the above mentioned places hold enormous historical importance, we would as well revisit it and refresh our memories. We had an one-day window of chance this past Sunday and took it.

This Sunday, we started off at about 8:30 am from Thiruvananthapuram city in my friend's trusted Chevy Aveo. The first destination was Padmanabhapuram palace, near Thuckalay in Tamilnadu, about 50 km from Thiruvananthapuram. We made good time in an otherwise overcrowded stretch of road and reached the palace at around 10 am.

"Padmanabhapuram Palace complex is located in at Padmanabhapuram Fort., close to the town of Thuckalay. It is about 20 km from Nagercoil. The palace complex is inside an old granite fortress around four kilometers long. The palace is located at the foot of the Veli Hills, which form a part of the Western Ghats. The river Valli flows nearby. The palace was constructed around 1601 A.D by Iravipillai Iravivarma Kulasekhara Perumal who ruled Travancore between 1592 A.D. and 1609 A.D. In the late 18th century, the capital of Travancore was shifted from here to Trivandrum."

Now the pics. I have reduced the pics in size and quality for ease of uploading and viewing, so if you feel the pics are of low quality, please mention it and I will post better pics. Enough talk, here goes..


Name:  DSC00528.jpg
Views: 8808
Size:  71.9 KB


The king's durbar. "King’s Council chamber is the most beautiful parts of the entire palace complex. It has windows with colored mica, which keep the heat and the dust away, and the inside of the council chamber remains cool and dark. Delicate and beautiful lattice work can be seen all around the council chamber.
The floor is also beautifully done, with a fine and perfect finish. The floor is dark coloured and is made of a mixture of varied substances, including burnt coconut shells, egg white and so on. The remarkable aspect is that this particular floor finish and texture could not be duplicated in any other construction."
Name:  DSC00541.jpg
Views: 7681
Size:  98.6 KB


Royal view. Western ghats.
Name:  DSC00545.jpg
Views: 7528
Size:  65.8 KB


The feast hall. It is said that over 2000 people were fed daily in this two-storey structure.
Name:  DSC00550.jpg
Views: 7452
Size:  53.2 KB
Name:  DSC00555.jpg
Views: 7388
Size:  65.2 KB
Name:  DSC00559.jpg
Views: 7353
Size:  91.7 KB


Carvings on pillars.
Name:  DSC00561.jpg
Views: 7301
Size:  74.2 KB
darklord is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th June 2009, 20:37   #2
BHPian
 
darklord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: TVM (KL-16)
Posts: 471
Thanked: 796 Times
Default

Watch tower with a view of the whole complex. Off limits to visitors now.
Name:  DSC00570.jpg
Views: 7036
Size:  41.8 KB


The king's bed, supposedly made of 64 herbs.
Name:  DSC00583.jpg
Views: 7476
Size:  94.5 KB
Name:  DSC00585.jpg
Views: 6975
Size:  83.1 KB


The dance/music floor, made famous by numerous films, most notably "Manichithrathaazu" starring Mohanlal.
Name:  DSC00626.jpg
Views: 7366
Size:  66.3 KB


A display at the Museum inside the complex
Name:  DSC00639.jpg
Views: 7418
Size:  38.2 KB


A depiction of the Kolachal war inside the museum. I guess this quote would be apt considering our next location, Udayagiri fort. "The Battle of Colachel (or Battle of Kulachal) was a battle that took place on 10 August 1741 (31 July OS) during the Travancore-Dutch War, when forces of Marthanda Varma, the king or Raja of the Indian state of Travancore (also known as Tiruvitamkur) defeated forces of the Dutch East India Company (also known as the VOC), and the allied Rani of Eleyadathu Swarupam at Kulachal (anglicised to Colachel or Kolachel) in India. Other notable coastal battles on the West coast of India by native sailors like Kunjali Marakkar in the early 16th century, and by Kanhoji Angre in the early 18th century were on a smaller scale and more guerrilla in nature. The Raja's success is attributed to the tactical genius of his prime minister, Ramayyan Dalawa.This battle is important because it marked the decline of Dutch influence over India, assisting the British East India Company's rise and eventual British rule." Captain De Lennoy, the commander of the Dutch forces and 28 Dutch soldiers were taken POW in this war.
Name:  DSC00640.jpg
Views: 7541
Size:  67.4 KB

This winds up my first part.

Quotes from Wikipedia.

More reading here: Padmanabhapuram Palace - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
darklord is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th June 2009, 22:43   #3
BHPian
 
kannan666's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: KA-02
Posts: 939
Thanked: 69 Times
Default

Nice travelogue and pics Darklord, sure does take us back in time ! Waiting for the second part to follow soon !
kannan666 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th June 2009, 23:26   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
maddy42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Phoenix, Coorg
Posts: 1,846
Thanked: 491 Times
Default

Nice. Liked the pics and really interested to know the history of kerala
maddy42 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th June 2009, 23:48   #5
BHPian
 
Jaguar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 567
Thanked: 147 Times
Default

Brought back some old memories. Waiting for pics of Udayagiri and Vattakottai forts. Have not got a chance to visit those though.
Jaguar is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16th June 2009, 00:18   #6
BHPian
 
darklord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: TVM (KL-16)
Posts: 471
Thanked: 796 Times
Default Udayagiri Fort

We quickly wrapped up our visit and stepped out of the Palace by 12 noon. We weren't sure about the location of Udayagiri fort. We asked around for directions and got directed through a village on the outskirts of the palace complex, which was equally ancient. As it turned out, we got back to the national highway. We have to take the left turn next to the Thuckalay fire station to reach the fort. The fort is close to Padmanabhapuram palace, won't take more than 10 minutes to reach from the palace.

The fort encloses an area of 90 acres and was originally built in the 1600s. Remeber De Lennoy, the Dutch commander I mentioned in the earlier post? Here is why:
"Eustachius Benedictus (Eustache Benoît) de Lannoy (also spelt "Lennoy" and sometimes called 'Captain De Lannoy') ( 1715 - June 1, 1777, Udayagiri Fort) was a Flemish naval commander of the Dutch East India Company, who was sent by the company to help establish a trading post at Colachel, Southern India, but was defeated at the Battle of Colachel by the Travancore army under Maharaja Marthanda Varma in 1741, and subsequently became a valiant and successful commander of the same foreign army that had defeated him. His role as military commander of the Travancore army was instrumental in the later military successes and exploits of Travancore under Marthanda Varma."

"While in prison, he was offered a conditional pardon and release by the king, Maharaja Marthanda Varma, whereby he was to train and modernize the Travancore army, which De Lannoy and his men readily accepted. De Lannoy was a skilled military strategist, and together with the tactics of the Dewan of Travancore, Ramayyan Dalawa, and the king, Maharaja Marthanda Varma, the combined skills of the threesome proved very effective in the future military exploitations and annexations of rival kingdoms in the neighbourhood. As a Christian, De Lannoy was prohibited from entering the king’s palace at Padmanabhapuram and he resided primarily at Udayagiri Fort ,or Dillanai Kotta (De Lennoy’s Fort) as it is locally called, where he also built a small chapel for his family and other Christians. Captain De lannoy’s military skills and trust were recognised not only by King and the state officials, but also by the subjects of Travancore, who called him by the nom de guerre ‘Valia Kaaptain’ (meaning 'valiant Commander'). De Lannoy died a natural death in 1777. De Lannoy, who was trusted and liked by both the king and his subjects was buried at the chapel inside Udayagiri fort."

The main site inside the fort is the above mentioned chapel and the tomb of De Lennoy. Presently, the fort also houses a deer park, a children's park, an aquarium, a tree house, and other knickknacks. "Presently, the fort has been turned into a bio-diversity park by the Tamilnadu forest department, with sites of historical importance, such as De Lannoy's tomb, remaining as protected archaeological sites under the Archaeological Department of India."


Name:  DSC00642.jpg
Views: 6876
Size:  128.9 KB
Name:  DSC00644.jpg
Views: 7466
Size:  146.1 KB
Name:  DSC00645.jpg
Views: 6829
Size:  105.8 KB


Gotcha; you can't fool me.
Name:  DSC00648.jpg
Views: 6513
Size:  118.3 KB


Teach me some tricks, dude.
Name:  DSC00650.jpg
Views: 6553
Size:  133.4 KB


The chapel and tomb of Capt. De Lennoy. A true hero indeed. Salutes.
Name:  DSC00655.jpg
Views: 6570
Size:  174.5 KB
Name:  DSC00656.jpg
Views: 6912
Size:  99.1 KB
Name:  DSC00657.jpg
Views: 7032
Size:  127.3 KB
Apparently, the inscription reads "Stand Traveller, and behold ! For here lies Captain De Lannoy, who served Maharaja Marthanda Varma and Travancore faithfully for three decades."
Name:  DSC00658.jpg
Views: 7282
Size:  132.0 KB
Name:  DSC00663.jpg
Views: 6196
Size:  109.0 KB


Name:  DSC00669.jpg
Views: 6217
Size:  137.5 KB
Name:  DSC00686.jpg
Views: 6423
Size:  90.7 KB


That's part two.

More reading: Eustachius De Lannoy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Udayagiri Fort - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
darklord is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th June 2009, 10:11   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
kutlee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 1,126
Thanked: 194 Times
Default

nice pics dude. Never been able to visit these places.
kutlee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th June 2009, 12:30   #8
BHPian
 
menonrajesh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 210
Thanked: Once
Default

Thanks DarkLord for the post. I have a trip planned to KKumari in September, so your post might come handy for me Looking forward to seeing the last part of your journey.
menonrajesh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th June 2009, 14:22   #9
BHPian
 
pjay_in's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 396
Thanked: 19 Times
Default

Excellent stuff. Never visited these places, but Padmanabhapuram has always been on my list.

Waiting for he third part..
pjay_in is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th June 2009, 17:13   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
ph03n!x's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Madras
Posts: 1,705
Thanked: 118 Times
Default

@ darkloard - Nice pics and narration... you missed the "anaya viallku" (ever-burning lamp) of the Padmanabhapuram fort - or is it off-limits now?

The Padmanabhapuram fort was damaged in an earth-quake (The one that caused the Tsunami, or something earlier? Dont remember...), and visitors to the 3-floor structure were restricted from entering higher floors. A 3-storeyed structure about 400+ years back..!

Point to note was electricity in available anywhere in the palace except in the dance halls, as the entire structure has abundance of wood (this was about 10 or 15 years back, not sure if that has changed).

There is a lot more to this palace, I am not able to recollect much. There is also a pond in the palace that comes up in a lot of movies...
ph03n!x is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th June 2009, 17:21   #11
BHPian
 
muralisk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Hyderabad, Bangalore
Posts: 674
Thanked: 9 Times
Default

Great narration and nice pics. The place looks quite inviting and sure, will check out when I hit out toward KK.
muralisk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th June 2009, 20:07   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Kochi
Posts: 2,147
Thanked: 143 Times
Default

At padmanabhapuram palace, teh guide will show you two rooms - first for the prime minister, which will give an excellent view of the outside, except the innear area of the fort..

Other room has an excellent view of - nothing, just the walls of the fort. This is the room where fireign dignitaries where put up.

Diplomacy, anyone?
BaCkSeAtDrIVeR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th June 2009, 21:30   #13
BHPian
 
darklord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: TVM (KL-16)
Posts: 471
Thanked: 796 Times
Default

kannan666, maddy42, Jaguar, kutlee, menonrajesh, pjay_in, ph03n!x, muralisk;

Thanks guys. Will post the last part today itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
Diplomacy, anyone?
Ha ha. They knew how to run their kingdom alright.
darklord is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th June 2009, 13:11   #14
BHPian
 
darklord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: TVM (KL-16)
Posts: 471
Thanked: 796 Times
Default Final part; Vattakottai/Kanyakumari

"Vattakottai Fort (or 'Circular Fort') is a seaside fort near Kanyakumari, the southern tip of India. It was built in the 18th century as a coastal defence-fortification and barracks in the erstwhile Travancore kingdom. It was constructed under the supervision of Captain Eustachius De Lannoy, an ex-Dutch naval officer of the VOC, who became commander of the Travancore army (the very army that defeated him in the Battle of Colachel) in the 18th century, after he earned the trust of the Travancore King Marthanda Varma. De Lannoy constructed Vattakottai, as part of the defence-fortifications he undertook throughout Travancore."


This fort is about 7 km from Kanyakumari town. There are no facilities available there except for a small children's park, though some construction is going on, presumably for tourist facilities.


The pond inside the fort.
Name:  DSC00689.jpg
Views: 6006
Size:  69.3 KB


Name:  DSC00693.jpg
Views: 5968
Size:  69.0 KB
Name:  DSC00694.jpg
Views: 5913
Size:  35.3 KB
Name:  DSC00697.jpg
Views: 6170
Size:  53.1 KB
Name:  DSC00704.jpg
Views: 6434
Size:  46.7 KB


Kanyakumari from the fort.
Name:  DSC00720.jpg
Views: 6226
Size:  33.5 KB


Name:  DSC00721.jpg
Views: 7182
Size:  97.7 KB


The ghats from the fort. What views; beach to one side and ghats to another.
Name:  DSC00722.jpg
Views: 5862
Size:  61.1 KB


The entrance to the fort.
Name:  DSC00725.jpg
Views: 6441
Size:  107.6 KB
Name:  DSC00726.jpg
Views: 6611
Size:  87.1 KB


The fort is a small one, compared to the Udayagiri fort, but you could spend hours here altogether. Since Kanyakumari was just 10 minutes away, we paid a token visit there before turning back home.


The Thiruvalluvar statue at Kanyakumari.
Name:  DSC00727.jpg
Views: 7261
Size:  23.2 KB


End point mainland India. What you are seeing on the other side is Antartica, unless I am very wrong.
Name:  DSC00729.jpg
Views: 8341
Size:  65.8 KB


The tsunami memorial. RIP.
Name:  DSC00734.jpg
Views: 5993
Size:  79.3 KB


Name:  DSC00730.jpg
Views: 5930
Size:  33.1 KB
Name:  DSC00736.jpg
Views: 6024
Size:  27.3 KB


Of note, all the above places have entrance/parking/camera fee ranging from 5 to 25, so, keep a lot of change; and I wish TN government puts a little more emphasis on English signboards.

This Trivandrum-Kanyakumari corridor can, by no means, covered in an one-day trip. We left out a lot of things from our itinerary because of time constraints. Those mentioned above are the well known spots in this area. Next time we go, we have a set of lesser known places to visit.
darklord is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th June 2009, 14:36   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Kochi
Posts: 2,147
Thanked: 143 Times
Default

Quote:
Of note, all the above places have entrance/parking/camera fee ranging from 5 to 25, so, keep a lot of change;
I really find it frustrating - why do they want to charge extra for cameras? And that too, stratospheric prices fo video cameras? (My tuppence amateur digicam has a video mode).

Quote:
and I wish TN government puts a little more emphasis on English signboards.
You are under-ambitious. How about Devanagari?

Quote:
This Trivandrum-Kanyakumari corridor can, by no means, covered in an one-day trip.
You mean due to the traffic, right? :lol

Quote:
We left out a lot of things from our itinerary because of time constraints. Those mentioned above are the well known spots in this area. Next time we go, we have a set of lesser known places to visit.
I knew there were plenty of places, but did not know which. Why don't you list them out? WIth directions, if possible?

BTW, what is "VOC"?
BaCkSeAtDrIVeR is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Forts, Palaces, Wildlife and more - 9,500 kms across South, West and North India Rajain Travelogues 63 5th February 2016 00:26
Of Palaces and Forts - Royal Rajasthan Dry Ice Travelogues 30 12th October 2015 09:33
Kanyakumari Hotels and Sightseeing (Trivandrum) joshguy Route / Travel Queries 36 24th March 2015 11:20
Living with Kings & Ninjas (Sharing my passion for bikes with BHPians) ba$h Superbikes & Imports 24 22nd June 2012 11:41
Perfection! People & Palaces, S350L-E240 Travelogues 2 12th May 2011 10:30


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 07:10.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks