Thripunithura Hill palace
Thripunithura Hill palace, the largest archaeological museum in Kerala and the erstwhile official residence of the Kochi Royal Family, was built in 1865. Hill Palace is situated at a distance of about 12kms from Kochi on Ernakulam- Chottanikkara route. The palace complex consists of 49 buildings in the traditional architectural style of Kerala and is surrounded by 52 acres of terraced land with ponds, fountains and lawns. A full fledged ethno archaeological museum and Kerala's first ever Heritage museum are the main attractions here.
The oldest building in the complex is a single storeyed Kerala style 'ettukettu' constructed around 1850 AD with an adjacent pond, temple and urappura. The other buildings are a combination of traditional and western architecture. The latest construction was a three storeyed western style building constructed in 1950 which used to function as the office.
In 1980, the palace was taken over by the Department Of Archaeology and later converted into a Museum. It was opened to the public in 1986. Set on top of a hillock and surrounded by terraced garden with fountains, ponds and lawns, this palace-turned-museum displays 14 categories of exhibits including paintings, murals, sculpture in stone and plaster of paris, manuscripts, inscriptions, carvings etc. The collections displayed in the museum are mainly from the Travancore Royal House, Paliam Devaswom and from the department of Archaeology. It has a gold crown embedded with precious stones and many valuable coins, ornaments, majestic beds and samples of epigraphy.