Padmanabhapuram Palace is an ancient historical monument representing the indigenous architectural features especially the in the traditional style of southern Kerala. The palace is situated in the centre of the Padmanabhapuram fort with an area of 186 acres amidst hills, dales and rivers. All the buildings in it are elegantly designed and display a simplicity of architectural style characterised by pointed gables, dormer windows and long corridors. The earliest of structures was built about 1335 AD.King Marthaanda Varma dedicated the kingdom to his family deity Sree Padmanabha, a form of Lord Vishnu and ruled the kingdom as Padmanabha dasa or servant of Lord Padmanabha. Hence the name Padmanabhapuram or City of Lord Padmanabha. In the late 18th century, precisely in 1795 the capital of Travancore was shifted from here to Thiruvananthapuram, and the place lost its former glory. However, the palace complex continues to be one of the best examples of traditional Kerala architecture, and some portions of the sprawling complex are also the hallmark of traditional Kerala style architecture. This palace may be the best to visit in anybody's pleasure trip to Thiruvananthapuram, if you are interested in history.
The most noteworthy edifices are the Entrace Hall (Poomukham), the Council Chamber (Mantrasala), the Natakasala (Theatre Hall), the Pooja Mandapa (place of worship), the Saraswathy shrine and above all the Uppirikka Malika (storeyed building) which contain well preserved mural paintings.
In the southern side of the main complex of Padmanabhapuram Palace but outside the compound wall there is a small palace. It is actually a traditional building in the style of a Nalukettu. This wonderful architectural elegance shows the beauty of our domestic architecture. Now a Heritage museum is housed in this building.
Padmanabhapuram was the capital of erstwhile Travancore State till 1792. Now it is in Thakkala village Kanyakumari district in Tamilnadu State. But the Palace and adjacent area of 6.5 acres of land is placed under the control of the Govt. of Kerala .