|Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal, Madurai, Tamil Nadu India.Throne.www.flickr.com|
|Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal, Madurai, Tamil Nadu India. en. wikipedia.org|
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|Top view.Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal, Madurai, Tamil Nadu India. themaduraicity.com|
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|Maharaja Thirumalai Nayakar(reign: A.D 1623 and 1659) , Madurai, Tamil Nadu India. fr.mobilytrip.com|
To the west of the courtyard lies the Swargavilasa, whose size is 75 meter X 52 meter. To go to the central pavilion we have to take the flight of steps, guarded by stone horse riders. There the tall 25 meter-high dome in the central pavilion is supported by 12 columns, which are joined together with the help of colossal Saracenic arches. An octagonal drum rises from the four corner arches that have been perforated by a clerestory. The octagonal shape gives rise to a circle after a height of 15 m. The impressive dome, as well as the beautiful arches, of the Swargavilasa are well decorated with beautiful stucco work.
When a visitor goes around this mammoth palace he will run into uncountable awe-inspiring huge, massive pillars that support the complex. Believe it or not there are 248 giant pillars inside the Thirumalai Nayak Palace, each of them being 58 feet in height and 5 feet in diameter. The square building in the dome-shaped hall is made of black stone. It consists of a chamber made of ivory and inside the chamber lies the bejeweled throne. The king used the throne during the Durbar and also during religious functions such as Navaratri.
On the western side of the Swargavilasa, there used to be a ''Harem'' along with the queen's apartments. They no longer exist now. There is a room on the southwest portion of the complex that was used by the queen while listening to music and literary discourses. Natakshala, the drama hall, was in the northwest corner of the building. On the NE square there is a shrine dedicated to goddess Rajrajeswari.
|Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal, Madurai, Tamil Nadu India. www.panoramio.com1|
As ill luck would have it, Thirumalai Nayak palace was ruined by Chokkanatha Nayak, the grandson of the King Thirumalai Nayak, who removed the valuable precious jewels and impressive woodcarvings for use in his own palace that was under construction at Tiruchirapalli, TN. One crazy king's hasty decision erased the sublime beauty of this huge majestic palace that was built in grand style. It was Lord Napier, the Governor of Madras (1866 to 1872), who took keen interest in the 17th century palace and carried out the major restoration work between 1866 and 1872, so that the building could be used for housing some officials of the judiciary and district administration.
The Tamil Nadu Archaeological Department is maintaining the palace complex.