Saturday, 5 October 2013

Madurai Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal

Nayak's History:

 Thirumalai Naick, the builder of this magnificent palace ruled as the seventh ruler of the Madurai Naick dynasty. He ruled Madurai from 1623 to 1659 A.D. He was the master builder of this age and he made magnificent contributions in the realms of art and architecture. Pudumantapam (vasantha mandapam) opposite to easter gate of Meenakshi Amman Temple was constructed by Thirumalai Naick. He also dug out the Vandiyur Teppakkulam, one of the worth seeing places in Madurai city. Traditions says that when the soil was excavated to make bricks for the construction of this palace, naturally a big pit was formed. Thirumalai Naick converted this pit in to a beautiful tank and constructed a small mantapam at the centre. He also established beautiful buildings at Thirupparankundram, Alagarkovil and Srivilliputtur also.

 About the Palace: 

Thirumalai Naick Palace was built in 1636 A.D. by Thirumalai Naick himself. It is considered as the most splendid secular building in South India. Tradition says that Thirumalai Naick had the help of Italian Architect in designing this building.The present building that we see today was the main palace portion, where the King Thirumalai Naick and others lived. But only one fourth of the original palace remains today. It is believed that Chockanatha Naick, the grand son of Thirumalai Naick demolished the palace and carried away some valuable carvings to Trichy, his then capital. The original palace consisted of two main parts, namely Swarga Vilasa and Rangavilasa. In the Swarga Vilasa portion, Dharbar Hall (Royal Court) and Nataka Sala (Entertainment Theatre) were functioned. Rangavilasa was purely a residential quarter in which Muthialu Naick, brother of Thirumalai Naick lived. In addition to these two portions Rajarajeswari Amman shrine, queens chambers, armoury, a water fountain, a pool, residential quarters of palace servants and relatives were situated. The enclosure wall was built on all four sides. Since the enclosure walls were badly dilapidated, they were pulled down just a century back. It was named as Pari Madil, 300mts length east-west and 220mts width north-south orientation and 12mts in height. A flower garden was situated at the west of the enclosure wall with a Pavillion in the middle. 
The portion remains on the west side of the court-yard is Swarga Vilasa (ie) celestial pavilion. It measures 75mts from north to south by 52mts across. The huge central dome is supported by twelve columns, enclosing a square 21mts across. These columns are first linked together by massive Indo-saracenic arches. Four similar arches are then thrown across the corner and the octagonal drum rises from these pierced by a clerestory. Above this at the cornice 15mts. Up, the octagon is changed to a circle and the dome rises in the centre of 25mts from the floor.

No comments:

Post a Comment