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Chitoor Palace, Cochin



We invite you to undertake this voyage that will transport you to a time-warp where the legends and drama of the erstwhile monarchs and members of the Cochin royalty will unfold before you through the age-old antiquity and heritage of the palace. Let the walls of this ancient palace, its ceilings and the air enveloping it, whisper royal mantras to you and pamper you in its unique rich tradition.



The history of this magnificent heritage mansion, the “Chittoor Palace” dates back to a time and period steeped in folklore and cloaked with legends.

The year - 1498
The place - Calicut
The event - The Portuguese, the first sailors to India from Europe, arrive. They establish a European colonial rule in India.




















At the time of the arrival of the Portuguese in India, Kerala was under the sovereign rule of four Kingdoms, the Kolattiri, the Zamorin, the Cochin and the Travancore. Much before the arrival of the

Portuguese in India, the original seat of the Government of Cochin royalty was in a place called Perumpadappu, not far from the famous Guruvayoor temple of Kerala, which was under the authority of the Zamorin. In those days, the Zamorin yielded unrivalled power. Legend has it that the Raja of Cochin was forced to travel south owing to the invasion of his territories by the Zamorin and eventually shift his headquarters to Tripunithura. In spite of the shift, the royal title of the erstwhile Raja of Cochin is still known as “Perumpadappu Swaroopam”.


The pride of the Raja of Cochin was greatly hurt. He vowed to build a temple in his territory, close to Tripunithura, equalling in status to the Guruvayoor temple. The Raja directed Cheranellor Kartha, the chieftain of the island village of Cheranelloor, near the town of Cochin to fulfil his wishes. Thus, was born the legendary temple of “Chittoorappan,” where the deity is the most revered Hindu God Krishna, the same as that in the temple of Guruvayoor. The village, Cheranelloor, is also known as South Guruvayoor. Invariably, a mansion had to be built in the vicinity of the temple to cater to the use of the Raja during his regular visits to the shrine. Thus, the splendorous “Chittoor Palace” was built nearly 50 yards from the temple.


Heritage

The place – A royal mansion (the Chittoor Palace) in the vicinity of an ancient temple
The period – Few hundreds of full moons ago












The scene - Cheranelloor Kartha, the village chieftain, displays magical feats at the royal courtyard for the pleasure of the young princes of the Cochin royal family during one of their visits to the temple. During one such act, to the horror and awe of the audience, the palace goes up in flames. The illusion lasts only for a few moments before the palace is brought back to its original state.





This incident finds special mention in a chapter of the ancient text of the fairy tales of Kerala, the “Aithihyamala”, first published about 100 years ago. The chapter is dedicated to the nearby Chittoor temple and its village chieftain, Cheranelloor Kartha. During the days of the kingdom, it was customary for the Maharaja of Cochin to attend the annual 10-day temple festivities in April. As the Chittoor temple and the palace are situated in the island of Cheranelloor; devoid of bridges, the only access to them was by boats.



The annual temple visit of the royalty was a mammoth spectacle and a rare sight to behold. The Maharaja and the royal family members were accompanied by a huge entourage of 200 guards, who would travel by boats to this place from their headquarters at Tripunithura, nearly 10 miles away. Chittoor Palace was used as a rest house during these visits, when the Maharaja attended to the temple festivities.









Centuries have passed, yet the legacy and heritage of this mansion remain unchanged as
the ownership of the property has remained with the royal family. The property has been inherited by one of the members of the erstwhile Cochin royal family, who has taken on the daunting challenge of adding modern comforts, without losing its timeless charm or its historical value.This relentless quest has restored the palace to its original glory, which is now available as an exclusive royal abode for tourists.












Cochin royalty is characterized by its inherent vegetarianism and a simple but elegant life style totally devoid of any opulence or extravagance, which is rather unusual for royal families. Instead, the Cochin rulers focused on the welfare and betterment of the people to improve their educational, medical and other services. This commitment has contributed notably to Kerala emerging as one of the most literate states in India.



In keeping with this simple tradition, the food served at the palace is purely vegetarian and the the menus are the dishes of the erstwhile Maharaja of Cochin. The food is prepared in authentic style by a Kerala Brahmin—as was customary during the days of the royalty—and is plenty in variety, rich in taste and peppered with exotic spices.

Price: US$ 1000 / 2 persons / 2 nights with all meals.


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