Lying at the heart of the city, the 100-year-old Durbar Hall is a peaceful space, echoing with historical charm. The erstwhile hosting point of conferences and meets organised by kings, the hall is an important cultural spot.

Presently, it is known as the Durbar Hall Art Gallery. The building boasts an ostentatious Dutch facade, a deep verandah, modern interiors and marble flooring. Paintings by renowned artists like Raja Ravi Varma, Manu Parekh, Souza and Padmini are hung on its inner walls. The first floor was given to the Kerala Lalitha Kala Akademi, which opened the Gallery of Contemporary Art in 1991. Regular art exhibitions are also hosted here.

In the past, the hall has acted as a venue for important historical events like the institution of the administrative reforms in 1938 and the founding of the constitution of the state of Cochin. Cultural and sports events, exhibitions, and military parades have also been hosted on these grounds. Various governmental and artistic societies have used the building as their headquarters. Under the Department of Archaeology, the building was known as the Parikshith Thampuran Museum.

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