History of Kilimanoor Palace
Kilimanoor Palace has a history stretching back more than 300 years, although the oldest buildings are from a much earlier period. However, it was in 1753 that the palace was built in its present form. In 1705 the son and two daughters of Ittammar Raja of Beypore Thattarikovilakam, a Kolathunadu Royal House, were adopted into the Royal house of Venad. Ittammar Raja's sister and her sons, Rama Varma and Raghava Varma, settled in Kilimanoor and married the now adopted sisters. Marthanda Varma, the founder of the Kingdom of Travancore, was the son of Raghava Varma. The nephew of Raghava Varma, Ravi varma Koil Thampuran, married the sister of Marthanda Varma. Their son became known as Dharma Raja Kartika Thirunnal Rama Varma. In 1740 when an allied force, led by Dutchman Captain Hockert supporting the Deshinganadu King, attacked Venad, an army from Kilimanoor Palace resisted and then defeated them. Although a small victory, this was the first time an Indian army had defeated a European power. In 1753, in recognition of this feat, Marthanda Varma exempted the areas controlled by the Kilimanoor palace from taxes, and granted them autonomous status. The present palace complex was built at this time, together with the Ayyappa temple. Velu Thampi Dalawa held meetings at Kilimanoor palace while planning uprisings against the British Empire in India. He handed over his sword at Kilimanoor palace before going into his final battle against the British Empire in India. The first President of India, Rajendra Prasad received this sword from Kilimanoor palace and it is now kept in the National Museum in Delhi.
Architecture of Kilimanoor Palace
Kilimanoor Palace complex covers more than six hectares, and comprises the traditional residential structures of Kerala, like the Nalukettu, small and medium sized buildings, two ponds, wells and sacred groves (kaavu).
Maintenance of Kilimanoor Palace
Raja Ravi Varma is said to have built and maintained some of the buildings from the proceeds of his paintings. The families related to the Travancore Royal House continue to live here.
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