Hill Palace Museum is the largest and most important archaeological museum of Kerala. It is located only 14 km from Kochi and is easily accessible. It was once an abode of the Royal Family who laid its foundation in 1865. Later it was transformed into a museum where visitors come from far and wide to get a glimpse of the glorious history of Kerala. The Palace encompasses forty-nine buildings sprawling in 54 acres. Built in traditional architectural style of Kerala, the Palace has an archaeological Museum, a Heritage Museum, a Deer Park, a Pre-historic Park and a Children's Park.
The Palace came under the supervision of the Department of Archaeology in the year 1980. After converting it into a wonderful museum, the department opened it to public in 1986. This museum is a treasure trove of many artefacts depicting the past of Kerala. A wide variety of exhibits can be seen here. Paintings, murals, sculptures in stone and plaster of paris, inscriptions, objects belonging to the Kochi Royal Family, royal furniture, manuscripts and carvings are a few to name. One of the striking attraction of the museum is the 'Simhasana'—the throne of the erstwhile king).The artefacts housed in the museum mainly belongs to the Travancore Royal House, Paliam Devaswon and from the department of Archaeology. It boasts of a gold crown studded with precious stones, coins, ornaments, royal beds and samples of epigraphy. One of the galleries of the museum is dedicated to contemporary art.
Other eye-popping attractions inside the museum are the 200 antique pieces of pottery and ceramic vases from China and Japan, rock cut caves from early iron age and wooden temple models. The Hill Palace Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm.