Kerala Log 7 – Hill palace museum

Day 24 – Jan 11th

The Hill Palace, an official residence of Cochin Maharajas, is the largest archeological museum in Kerala. The museum has wide range of collection – from coins to chariots.

Bags, phones, camera and shoes must be deposited in cloak room, before going in. For a change, it was nice to walk empty handed without any distractions. The place was crowded with lot of school kids who came on an excursion.

We walked from one building to another looking at Cochin King’s crown, old coins collected from different states and countries, Chinese porcelain crockery, rock carvings, wooden carvings, structures collected from different ancient temples, paintings of the royal family etc.

After collecting our bags and shoes, we saw there is one more main building left to see but closed for lunch break. So we waited. This building has chariots, equipment used in prison and excavations from Mohenjo Daro. Overall, they have good collection and also architecture of the palace is simple, elegant, yet traditional.

On one side of the main palace, a shaded staircase lead us to multiple individual houses and a large pond. These houses are part of the palace buildings. There is also a deer park and a canteen selling fruit juices and ice creams.

The palace area has lot of huge trees and beautiful gardens. One can easily spend a day exploring and taking a leisurely walk around the palace. The place is clean and well maintained with benches and good old swings hung from tall trees.

With growling tummies, we went to Laziz Pizza for lunch. The food was average. Then we headed to Willingdon island to visit Cochin Port Maritime Heritage Museum and on the way had refreshing Kulukki sarbath.

The museum displays the history of Willingdon island and the Cochin port. The black & white photographs taken during the construction of the island and the port tell interesting stories. Also, some equipment used in the ships are on display.

From the photographs we learnt about the historic old Venduruthy rail bridge, which was the only connection between the island and Ernakulam. It is no longer functional. A new Venduruthy bridge or Vikrant bridge, has been constructed parallel to the old one. After a quick stop at BTH harbour gate for a strong coffee, we headed to Marine drive via new Venduruthy bridge.

Venduruthy bridge offers pleasant view of fleet of ships. From the bridge, we saw a huge ship under construction at the Cohin Shipyard Limited. While we were taking photos, an officer passing by stopped to tell us that photography is not allowed and asked to delete all the photos. Apparently, the ship under construction is INS Vikrant, the first aircraft carrier being built in India and the area is under strict surveillance. The officer was polite and we are glad he stopped by.

Marine drive is a nice place for an evening walk. The place has enough food stalls and paid parking area. There are couple parks in the same stretch which seemed to be popular among families with kids. By the time we reached Marine drive it became dark and couldn’t get the view of the ships. We headed back to homestay and ended our day with a nice dinner at Grand Malabar on the airport road.

Day 25 & 26 – Jan 12th & 13th

We spent our time at the Homestay.

Hill Palace is definitely worth visiting. Therefore, even if you are not a museum person, we advise to skip other museums and visit just this one. Other places we visited are not a must visit places for tourists. They are more like weekend hangout places for people living in the city. Marine drive, though nestled in a crowded city, is a nice place to enjoy an evening walk with a nice view. Nevertheless they are all nice places and good to visit if you have lot of time on hand.


Following are the places we visited:

  • Hill Palace Museum
  • Cochin Port Maritime Heritage Museum
  • BTH harbour gate – restaurant
  • Marine drive
  • Grand Malabar restaurant

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