After Manthrasala there was a passage, which lead to us the dining hall:
This place was called as the Ottupura (Dining Hall).
The kings of Travancore were known for their generous hospitality. Over 2000 people were served free meals in this grand dining hall on a daily basis. Each storey of this two storeyed building is built to accommodate one thousand people at a time. The huge Chinese jars, which were used to store pickles for the feast, are exhibited in the ground floor.
That’s the ceiling of the Dining Hall:
Place for grinding:
Then, we moved to the next section called the Thai Kottaram. Also known as Darbhakkulangara kottaram the Thaikottaram is the oldest palace amongst the Padmanabhapuram Palace complex. It was built during the reign of Ravi Varma Kulasekhara Perumal (AD 1592 to AD 1610). It was constructed in the traditional Nalukettu style. The “Ekantamandapam”- the open verandah in this palace contains the “Kannithoonu”, a ceiling-supporting pillar in one piece between base and capital carved with artistic affluence. Bulit of Jack fruit tree wood it has the most exquisite carvings one will ever see. Carvings have been done in the ethnic Kerala style.
The ritualistic “Kalamezhuthu” and other ceremonies for the appeasement of goddesses were done in this prayer hall. The flooring of the hall, which has withstood time, attracts special attention. A tunnel route connecting the Thaikottaram with the Charottukkottaram situated over one kilometer away starts near the courtyard. It was used in times of war or danger to the royal family. The ceiling at Thai Kottaram:
Along the way there were many triangular shaped cottages.
Then, we went to the Navarathri Mandapam. King Marthandavarma built the Navarathri Mandapam in 1744 AD. Built of solid rock the building is 66 feet long and 27 feet wide. Famed for its unparalleled architecture, breathtaking beauty and intricate and exquisite carvings the building speaks of the rich cultural and artistic tradition. Various cultural programs were conducted here during the Navarathri festival. The dance floor has been polished to mirror like perfection so much that it is known as “Kannadithara” or mirror floor. Separate rooms with “kilivathil” (small wooden windows built in the wall) have been made for the king and his royal train to view the programs without being seen by the common public. Amongst the buildings of Padmanabhapuram Palace complex the Navarathri Mandapam is the only one made of stone.