The Durbar Hall and its grounds have a rich history to boast of. The 100-year old building gets its name from being the place that was used by the Rajas of Cochin to conduct their durbars.
In 1989, its first floor was handed over to the Kerala Lalitha Kala Akademi. In 1991, the Akademi opened the Gallery of Contemporary Art in the upper floor. In 1992, the entire building was entrusted to the Akademi.
When it was under the Department of Archaeology, the building was known as the Parikshith Thampuran Museum. Today, it is called the Durbar Hall Art Gallery.
Durbar Hall Art Gallery is one of the best or perhaps the best art gallery in Kerala and is a must visit when in Kochi, for its presence, greenery and historical value. There is huge collections of sketches, drawing which placed in the ground floor of the gallery.
The two-acre Durbar Hall Grounds, right in the middle of the city near the Ernakulam Shiva Temple, is a great place to take a breather from the bustling city with its skyscrapers, restaurants, shops and crowded streets.
The building with its elegant Dutch exterior, its deep verandah, modern interior and marble flooring is a fine piece of architecture. Painting of illustrious artists like Raja Ravi Varma, Manu Parekh, Souza and Padmini adorn the inner walls of the two-storeyed building. Exhibitions of paintings by contemporary artists are also frequently held at the Hall. This has made the place a favourite haunt of art connoisseurs.
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