Museum and art gallery
45 Min - 1 Hour
FIrst Aid kit
The Durbar Hall and its grounds are in the heart of the city, near Kochi’s main railway station Ernakulam South. This gallery housed in the Durbar Hall Palace of Cochin Kings has art exhibitions organized regularly. The Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy is also located in the building. The beautifully landscaped ground adjacent to the gallery is a regular avenue for Cultural programs and an ideal spot to enjoy an evening stroll. Built in the 1850s by the Maharaja of Cochin to host his Royal court, the Durbar Hall has had many incarnations over its 150-year history. Recent extensive renovation works by the Kochi Biennale Foundation have transformed the present Durbar Hall gallery into an international museum-quality exhibition venue. Under the guidance of award-winning conservation architect Vikas Dilawari, the venue is now equipped with Erco LED museum lighting, climate control, and disability access-the available exhibition space has also increased substantially. Durbar Hall will be a primary venue for the Biennale.
The Durbar Hall Ground has been witness to great moments in the history of Kochi. This 2-acre (8,100 m2) property, once owned by the Maharajah of Cochin, was the venue for some glittering events. It was here that the Maharajah held his durbar. In fact, the durbar was held at the present day building, which houses the Durbar Hall Art Gallery, with the public gathering at the spacious ground. Some of the significant proclamations, like the administrative reforms of 4 January 1938, the new constitution of the Cochin State of 17 June 1938, and the formation of the Cochin State Central War Committee on 28 June 1940, were all made at this very ground.
During those early days, this ground was used for exhibitions, football games, regular military parades and for the processions taken out in connection with the Shiva Temple festival. This ground and the path leading from it to the temple nearby was out of bounds to those of the lower rungs of the society. A change in this law came about only after the Temple Entry Declaration.
It was at the Kulapuramalika that stands at one end of this ground, that Appan Thampuran and Kunjukuttan Thampuran launched `Rasikaranjini,' the famous literary magazine. And it was here during World War II, that the war committee organized a spectacular war exhibition that was considered one of the finest spectacles of the time.
Almost half of the ground was used for the construction of residential quarters for District collector and for official residences of Judges of High court of Kerala. Present day ground is just half of the original size after these encroachments including for widening Durbar Hall Road and creating Parking space for Rama Varma Club. The ground also lost its aestheticism due to renovation by demolishing old band house and new un aesthetic construction including creating parking space inside the ground.
Old-timers still remember some of the football matches played at this venue like the ones between the local Town Club and the British army men. For a long time this was the main venue for cricket matches too. The small band shed at the North East end of the ground served as a pavilion and the dwarf walls around the ground were packed with supporters of the sides. Widening of the road near the Rama Varma Club reduced the size of the ground considerably, forcing the organisers to seek a new venue for these very popular fixtures. This ground was home to the Swantons Cricket Club for long till the recent renovation of the place forced them to seek a new home.
For a long while, this ground remained neglected and served as a dump yard of sorts. The ground, now owned by the Revenue Department, was spruced up giving it a lush green look, new sparkling walkways, and everything to serve as a leisure spot. With an investment of Rs. 49.94 lakhs, the District Tourist Promotion Council undertook the restoration and beautification work.
An open-air auditorium, the bandstand, light towers to ensure proper lighting, pay and park facilities have all gone to give this ground a facelift.
|January to December|
|Tuesday||10:00 AM - 07:00 PM|
|Wednesday||10:00 AM - 07:00 PM|
|Thursday||10:00 AM - 07:00 PM|
|Friday||10:00 AM - 07:00 PM|
|Saturday||10:00 AM - 07:00 PM|
|Sunday||10:00 AM - 07:00 PM|
Things to carry
Things Not Allowed