India

Thirumalai Nayak Palace – Madurai

KSP_9651

Thirumalai Nayak Palace was built in 1636 by King Thirumalai Nayak as a focal point of his capital at Madurai. The king ruled over Madurai from 1623 to 1659, and intended the palace to be one of the grandest in Southern India.

KSP_9628

KSP_9634

KSP_9639

During the 17th century the Madurai Kingdom had Portuguese, Dutch and other Europeans as traders, missionaries and visiting travellers. Thirumalai Nayak is believed to have recruited the services of an Italian architect for the construction of his Palace.

KSP_9640

KSP_9643

KSP_9644

The design and architecture is a blend of Islamic and Dravidian styles, but the sheer scale of the what remains of the palace today is certainly impressive. I say what remains, as during the 18th century many of the palace structures were demolished or incorporated into other buildings in the adjacent streets. What remains today is the enclosed court known as the Svarga Vilasam and a few adjoining buildings, just 25% of the original palace footprint.

KSP_9650

KSP_9653

KSP_9654

King Thirumalai Nayak’s grandson demolished much of the fine structure and removed most of the jewels and woodcarvings in order to build his own palace in Tiruchirapalli. Lord Napier, the Governor of Madras, partially restored the palace in 1866-1872, and subsequent minor restorations have occurred in more recent times.

KSP_9657

KSP_9658

KSP_9660

Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal is perhaps most well known for its giant pillars, and they are truly impressive. With a height of 82 feet and width of 19 feet, this is monumental architecture complimented by the exuberance of the plaster ornamentation. As always when in such buildings, one has to remember to look up !

KSP_9636

KSP_9637

KSP_9638

If you’re visiting Madurai it’s well worth a short visit to see the palace, situated less than 1km south east of the main focal point of the city; the Meenakshi Amman Temple.

KSP_9670

KSP_9674

KSP_9675

Thirumalai Nayak Palace is open 9am – 5pm, but closed for 30 minutes at 1pm.

There’s also a sound and light show – 6.45pm – 7:35pm (English) and 8pm – 8:50pm (Tamil)


Please ‘Like’ or add a comment if you enjoyed this blog post. If you’d like to be notified of any new content, just sign up by clicking the ‘Follow’ button.

If you’re interested in using any of my photography or articles please get in touch. I’m also available for any freelance work worldwide, my duffel bag is always packed ready to go…

KevinStandage1@googlemail.com

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s