Built by the Portuguese in the mid-16th century as a gift for the Rajas of Cochin, this two-story structure reflects elements of traditional design while still looking colonial. It was extended by the Dutch when they took control of the area. The rajas, in turn, added some of India's best mythological murals—the entire story of the Ramayana is told on the walls in a series of bedchambers, which also have inviting window seats. In the ladies' ground-floor chamber, you can see a colorful, mildly erotic depiction of Lord Krishna with his female devotees. The coronation hall near the entrance holds a series of portraits of monarchs (that interestingly show continuous familial resemblance) and some of the rajas' artifacts, like including maps, swords, and a fantastic palanquin covered in red wool. The palace has rare, traditional Kerala flooring, which looks like polished black marble but is actually a mix of burned coconut shells, charcoal, lime, plant juices, and egg whites.
Palace Rd., Kochi, Kerala, 682002, India