On the south-eastern side of Padmanabhaswamy temple stands the iconic Kuthira Malika; a two-storeyed palace built by Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma, which is now a museum, and an important heritage attraction in Thiruvananthapuram. The place got its name from 122 horses that are carved into the wooden wall brackets that support the southern roof. The palace also has a unique Navarathri Mandapam in front of the palace, which hosts many concerts, and other important events. Makers of the palace - Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balarama Varma was the King of Travancore, who happens to be a great poet, musician, social reformer and statesman. The palace has a unique architecture with wood carvings, a typical Travancore style of architecture. In the palace, there's a museum which displays paintings and various priceless collections of the royal family.
Taxis and auto rickshaws are easily available from everywhere in the city to reach the Kuthiramalika Palace Museum
Do take a guided tour of the entire museum and watch out for the exhibits like 4 life-size Kathakali mannequins, Belgian and Italian mirrors, crystal chandeliers, paintings, a giant Belgian harpoon, armaments, musical instruments, traditional furniture, greek statues, and a musical tree which produces 8 sounds on tapping. Also worth watching are a large collection of idols and sculptures made from white marble. In the museum, worth checking out are audience chamber, the library and an alcove that Swathi Thirunal used for meditating and for conceiving many of his famous musical compositions. Another prominent that one must check out are the illusion portrait of Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma, painted by Svetoslav Roerich.
0830 - 1300 hrs & 1500 - 1730 hrs. Closed on Mondays
You can visit the museum throughout the year but for all those on a planned holidays can visit here during the Swathi Sangeethotsavam (also known as Kuthira Malika Festival), a yearly music festival commemorating the legacy of Swathi Thirunal. It attracts many of the leading stalwarts of Carnatic and Hindustani classical music. Some of the famous performers of the past include Bismillah Khan, Kishori Amonkar, M. Balamuralikrishna, D. K. Pattammal, and Gangubai Hangal.