Mantrashala

Mantrashala, the audience chamber where the king held important meetings. A collection of ornamental chairs supposedly used by the king and his ministers are seen arranged under a wooden false ceiling featuring panels carved with lotus motifs and a Gajalakshmi – the Goddess of prosperity receiving oblation of two elephants. It is believed that the king’s seat was located underneath the Gajalakshmi panel.

The glass like black floor of the mantrashala deserves special mention. Although the exact ingredients used is unknown, it is believed that the floor was made of a mixture of substances including lime, burnt coconut shells, tender coconut water, sand and plant extracts.

The roof is supported on wooden pillars, circular and bevelled. The central feature of this space is a large bay window with a charupadi with serpentine brackets and horizontal fixed louvers, a typical Kerala architectural element. The built-in wooden seating of the bay window extends to the right and left. Underneath the charupadi is a delicate band of filigree work in wood which is visible from the main façade.

Beneath the seating of the bay window is a wooden panel with small doors at regular intervals. On opening the doors, a storage space is visible which in olden times was perhaps used to place bundles of wet vertiver. The air that wafted in through the band of filigree would have cooled the space and filled it with a heavenly fragrance.

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