The palace gets its name from the 122 horses that are carved into the
wooden wall brackets that support the southern roof. The official name
of the palace is Puthen Malika (New Mansion). The palace forms part of
a vast complex of royal buildings in the vicinity of Padmanabhaswamy
Temple. The building was left unoccupied for more than a century,
following the demise of Swathi Thirunal in 1846. A portion of Kuthira
Malika has been converted to a Palace Museum that houses some of the
assets owned by the Travancore Royal Family.
The collection includes Kathakali mannequins,
Belgian mirrors, crystal chandeliers, paintings,
armaments, musical instruments, traditional furniture and other
artifacts. On the right side of the mannequins are the ivory cradles of
various sizes. The palace has on display two royal thrones, one made of
ivory and the other of Bohemian crystal with the Tranvancore emblem
'conch' adorning the top of the backrest. The palace has a large
collection of idols and sculptures made from white marble.