Largest Archeological Museum in Kerala - Hill palace, Tripunithura


Hill Palace Museum is the largest archeological museum in the state and was the imperial administrative office and official residence of the Cochin Maharaja. This archaeological museum located in the Tripunithura neighbourhood of Kochi, Kerala, India. Built in 1865, the palace complex consists of 49 buildings spreading across 54 acres and built in the traditional architectural style. 

The complex has an archaeological museum, a heritage museum, a deer park, a pre-historic park and a children's park.The campus section of the museum is home to several rare species of medicinal plants. Presently, the palace has been converted into a museum by The Kerala State Archaeology Department and is open to the public. The palace is about 10 kilometres  from the city centre and is reachable by road and by rail. 


The official capital of Kochi Kingdom was formerly Thrissur, the royal office and palace of the Maharaja was in the city. However, according to custom, the seat of the Kochi queen (Penvazhithampuran) was considered the royal capital as the Kochi royal family had matriarchy and the queen was considered the sovereign of the state ruled by the king. From 1755 onwards, the Queen and her entourage resided in Tripunithura, thereby making the city the official capital. Also, Prince Ramavarma grew up in Tripunithura, so he preferred to stay in that city even after his coronation as king rather than moving to Thrissur. 

Thus, for his benefit, a royal office was constructed in 1865. It initially began as a royal office, court building, and offices for royal secretaries and courtiers, but soon more and more structures were added to the main structure. Various purposes. Soon after, an imperial residence building was constructed to house the king and his immediate family, although other members of the Kochi royal family had their own bungalows and official residences. 

The palace was handed over to the Kerala government by the Kochi royal family, and in 1980 the palace was taken over by the Department of Archeology and later converted into a museum. It was opened to the public in 1986. The museum and its campus are popular shooting locations in the Malayalam film industry. The Horse Carriage Gallery and Armory Gallery have many historical items. The museum gardens are also the last green haven in the town. A checklist of fauna found within the gardens prepared by Sandeep Verma and Gokul Vinayan has been published under the title 'The Fauna of Hill Palace'. 


The major share of attractions in the museum were contributed by the Cochin royal family, with some exhibits from the Paliam Devaswom and the Department of Archaeology. The palace complex consists of 49 small and medium buildings.  Everything is built in the traditional architectural style of Kerala.  The museum has over 52 acres of landscaped terraced land, a deer park, recreation area and horse riding facilities.  The spacious and extensive gardens of the Hill Place compound are home to hundreds of species of trees and medicinal plants.  One who likes to visit the palace has to adhere to the time limit. 

 From the entrance, one has to climb 200 steps to reach the main door.  Security checks are very strict in this area, so exhibits include royal items such as jewels, money and the crown.  For this reason, cameras and mobile phones are strictly prohibited in the main building.  The museum displays 14 categories of exhibits. Major exhibits in the palace include royal furniture including oil-paintings, murals, sculptures in stone and manuscripts, inscriptions, coins, belongings of the Kochi royal family, the Simhasana (throne), wooden furniture, stone idols and a jewelery gallery.. 

We can see more than 150 ancient pottery and ceramic vessels from Japan and China, kudakal (cobblestone), capstone, granite and laterite monuments, menhirs, rock-cut weapons etc. All these parts are remains of Stone Age culture. Wooden temple models and plaster cast models from Mohenjodaro and Harappa of the Indus Valley Civilization also attract visitors here. The museum also has a contemporary art gallery. Artists from all over the world come here and are attracted by the traditional and contemporary art and paintings. The famous  Malayalam movie Manichitrathazhu was shot here. 

Hill Palace Highlights 

1. Antiques at Hill Palace Museum 

2. Galleries at the Museum 

3. Ettukettu 

4. Pottery and Ceramic Vases 

5. Deer Park and Children's Park 

Must Know Before You Visit Hill Palace 

Photography is not allowed in certain areas of the museum.

Shoes are prohibited in the main building, apart from that you can wear them everywhere else. 

Location: Hill Palace Rd, Irumpanam, Thrippunithura, Ernakulam, Kerala 682301, India

Visiting Hours: 9 am to 4.30 pm 

                           Monday Closed 

Entry Fee: Entry fee for adult Rs 20, child Rs.10

How to Reach 

Hill Palace Museum at Tripunithura, 12km southeast of Ernakulam. You can reach there either by bus or an auto. If by bus, it will take 1 hour to reach from Ernakulam. 

By Air:- The international air port is at Nedumbassery near Aluva, about 22 km from Ernakulam, Kochi.

By Rail:- The nearest station is at Ernakulam, about 12 km from Thripunithura. Kochi has two railway stations Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town.

By Road:- This city is well connected by road, so you can also go by taking auto or rickshaw.

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