Panthadikalam Malika

Panthadikalam Malika, an extension of the Thekkaetheruvu Malika is located on the extreme north side of the palace complex. This double storied structure was also used for administrative purposes. The linear ground floor is divided into eleven chambers of equal size. The central chamber is a gateway which in olden days acted as an opening to the Thevarakettu housing the shrine of Goddess Saraswathi. The temple being an important place of worship was open for the public. The upper floor of the Malika is left as a single spacious hall. In 1935, when the ancient palace complex transformed into a museum, the long corridor was identified as the most appropriate place for setting up a gallery of historical paintings on Travancore. C. Neelakanta Pillai, the durbar artist was commissioned to create ten paintings relating to the important episodes in Travancore history, mostly associated with the life and times of Anizham Tirunal Marthanda Varma. These include the illustration of a Tripadi danam (Marthanda Varma submitting his kindgom to Sree Padmanabhaswamy), De Lannoy surrendering before the king at the battle of Colachel and Tipu’s defeat at Travancore Lines. Alongside the works of Pillai, works by renowned Bengal School painters, also pertaining to similar topics were exhibited here.

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