Hill Palace is the largest archaeological museum in Kerala, at Tripunithura, Kochi, near Karingachira area. It was the administrative office of Kochi Rajas. Built in 1865, the Palace complex consists of 49 buildings in the traditional architectural style, spreading across in 54 acres (220,000 m2). The complex has an archaeological museum, a heritage museum, a deer park, a pre-historic park and a children’s park. The campus of the museum is home to several rare species of medicinal plants. Presently the palace has been converted into a museum by The Kerala State Archaeology Department and is open to public all days except Mondays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The palace is about 12 km from Ernakulam mainland and approachable by road and rail.
The Centre for Heritage Studies (CHS); an autonomous research and training institute set up by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala also functions at the site. CHS is designated as the ''Manuscript Conservation Centre'' (MCC) and Manuscript Resource Centre (MRC) by the National Mission for Manuscripts.
Hill Palace was built in 1865 by the Maharaja Of Cochin and is now the largest archaeological museum in Kerala. The palace was handed over to the Government of Kerala by the Cochin Royal Family and in 1980, the palace was taken over by the Department of Archaeology and later converted into a Museum. It was opened to the public in 1986. The museum and its campus is one among the popular shooting sites for Malayalam film industry.The Horse cart gallery and weapon gallery are really amazing.
The museum displays 14 categories of exhibits including Crown and ornaments of erst while Cochin royal family, paintings, sculptures in stone and marble, weapons, inscriptions, coins etc. The major share of attractions in this museum are contributed by the Cochin Royal Family. Some exhibits are from Travancore Royal House, Paliam Devaswom and from the department of Archaeology. It has a gold crown embedded with precious stones and many valuable coins, ornaments, majestic beds and samples of epigraphy. The famous Malayalam movie Manichitrathazhu was shot here. The Hill Palace is opened to public everyday except Mondays and national /state holidays from 10am to 12.30 noon and 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm.