After Nedumangadu Koyikkal Kottaram, our next stop was Kuthira Malika aka Puthen Malika.
Kuthira Malika literally means Palace of Horses! Horses??? Where are they??? Here they are...
See that line of horses just below the edge of the roof? There are 122 such carved horses here in Kuthira Malika and thus the name. Apart from the horses, the carvings here are a lot and are exquisite, esp the ceiling!
Another important feature of this palace is the 'Methan Mani' or 'Mesham Mani', which is a huge clock in the exteriors. Make sure you're there in front of the clock when the clock strikes an hour. Why? The clock has a man's face at the centre atop the dial. There are 2 goats on either side of the face. Two conch shells after the goats. Decorative scrolls beneath. The surprise part - the man's face and the goats are animated. As the clock's minute hand strikes 12 every hour, this man opened his mouth and the goats on either sides come and touch him!!! Ok, I know, its not that great now, there have been lots of such animations going on now. But, this clock was made in 1833, more than a century ago! For that era, isn't this incredible!! Best part, it still works!!!
It was the artistic work of one Kulathooran aka Soothran Asari and was made of Mahagony wood, commissioned by the then king of this place Swati Thirunal. The mechanism was from Madraspatnam (the then Tamil Nadu, Andhra together under British Raj), brought over here by John Caldecott.
And guess what's just beside Kuthira Malika? The famous Padmanabhaswamy Temple! Remember, it was in news some time back with the fortunes dug out of it??? Well, a few years back when I was there, yes, the crowd of devotees was present, but not the heavy security that's over-whelming today...
Dedicated to Mom & Pop.