Attingal: Attingal Palace holds a special position in the history of Kerala. But it is in deteriorating condition at present. No action has been taken to protect the historical structure. The ceiling of the main entrance is falling off. The localites have claimed that the ceiling wouldn’t make it through another monsoon season.
The Devaswom Board has not renovated or transferred the property to the archaeology department and this stand has paved the way for heavy protests.
The palace holds immense importance in history due to its connection with the Travancore royal family as well as being the central point of the Anchuthengu riot. The temples and other properties linked to the palace are under the ownership of the Devaswom Board. The right to protect the property also belongs to the Devaswom Board.
But the local people allege that the Devaswom Board has done nothing so far in order to protect the property. The palace and properties linked with it spread across 10 acres of land. A major portion of the land which includes four temples were transferred to the ownership of the Devaswom Board. The land towards the right side was given away to private owners by the members of the royal family. The damaged buildings on that side were removed by the owners recently. The localites have requested the Devaswom Board to protect the side which comes under their ownership.
When the requests increase, the Devaswom Board usually makes a visit and leaves. During June 13 2018, a team including the Devaswom Board president A. Padmakumar, member K.P Shankardas, chief engineer G.L Vinaykumar had visited the palace after which they had a discussion with the localites and their representatives. The president had then informed that immediate action would be taken for the protection of the property that comes under the Devaswom Board. But even after completing one year, no action has been taken.
The palace has been constructed using stones and wood following the Kerala architectural model. Many parts of the building which was at the verge of destruction were renovated a few years back after the direct involvement of the members from the royal family.
The palace which is called ‘Mandapakettu’ is constructed in the model of ‘ettukettu’. The main entrance portrays the luxuriousness of the palace.
Small parts of it have been falling off. Soon enough, it would completely fall off. The water seeping through the broken ceiling has led to weakening of the pillars. The stairs leading towards the tower has fallen off. The Ootupura next to the Mandapakettu is where the temple art events of the Devaswom Board were organized until 4 years back. After it was stopped, the place was left secluded.
The localites have presented a plan based on which an observatory inclusive of the Anchuthengu Riot Memorial could be constructed. This would open up great opportunities in the fields of tourism as well as archaeology. The higher authorities have not considered these suggestions. They have also not taken any action towards the protection of the palace which is at the verge of destruction.