|Darbar hall: yet another view. The spectacular spray of painted arches and ceilings in the durbar
hall of Thanjavur |
palace. They bear testimony to the hey days of Nayaks and Maratha rulers and their interest in arts. archeolognewsaround.blogspot
|Thanjavur palace, Saarjah Madi: facing East main street. tamilnadu-favtourism.blogspot.com|
Thanjavur palace, Saarjah Madi: It has five floors with balcony & latticed windows; built during the Maratha rule. Facing East main street near entrance to the palace. tamilnadu-favtourism.blogspot.com
court yard and the arsenal tower in the back.Thanjavur Palace - Arsenal Tower (Koodagopuram) was also used as a watch tower Thanjavur palace complex. www.sid-thewanderer.comPart of the palace, Thanjavur, Tamil nadu.www.sid-thewanderer.com
beautiful paintings on the wall, etc. Thanjavur palace. Tamil Nadu. www.sid-thewanderer.com
The Thanjavur Maratha Palace Complex, on the East Main street, Thanjavur city, known locally as Aranmanai, was actually built by the rulers of Thanjavur Nayak kingdom. It is about 1.2 K.M from the world famous 1000 year old Brihadeeswarar Temple, a UNESCO recognized heritage temple. An important point that ought to be emphasized here is the word 'palace' is just a misnomer and the Nayaks built it only as a fort with a moat around it and they never built a luxurious palace with harem, etc for pleasant living. Hence, people visiting this structure are disappointed over the lack of ornate and beautiful artistically designed halls, well decorated door ways, rooms adorned with with impressive lights, chandeliers, furniture, etc that one would find normally in the palaces.
|The Bell Tower: it was once used as a clock tower (just hourly bells) by locals. Also called Madamaligai or the 'Bell Tower' it, was built so that the Nayak ruler could worship Sri Ranganatha of
Srirangam in the direction of the temple every day on the top floor. Lightning destroyed the tower and now there only six
levels survive. Building below the ground level was discovered more than 15 years ago. This bell tower was designed based on the model and style of the Gingee Nayaks, Tamiladu. |
|Arsenal tower Thanjavur palace complex: Arsenal Tower (Koodagopuram): This is a 192 feet tall pyramidal structure with eight floors. The early building was constructed by Nayaks in 1645 with only 2 floors. The Marathas later renovated and completed the tower in 1855, and used it for various military purposes. It was used to store arms and ammunition; top floor was used as watch tower. The cumbersome stairways are very narrow so that enemies - cavalry, foot soldiers, etc can not make advance upward that easily. Arsenal tower is acoustically designed in such a way that you can hear even the smallest whisper from 3 floors above. It was a way of sending secret voice signals over multiple floors. Sadly, hidden chambers are prohibited areas. The second floor was meant for training in martial arts training. www.phenomenalplace.com|
After the British take over of the city as well as the palace from the Maratha rulers, most the valuables from the palace were shifted to the nearby city Tiruchirappalli town in 1863. Post independence, they are under the ASI as a heritage site. Both the Nayak and Maratha rulers made valuable contributions towards the developments of arts and culture in this part of Tamil Nadu and maintained and built several Hindu temples. The Mahamaham temple tank in Kumbakonam was well developed during the Nayak rule. The Maratha rulers donated vast cultivable lands to the famous Nagore Durgah in Nagoor, near Nagapatnam. Achuthappa Nayak built the Chandra Mouliswarer temple in 1589.This small temple is in the open court yard near the art gallery. Both the Nayak and Maratha rulers were ardent devotees of this god. Srirangam temple swa lots of development during the Nayak rule at Thanjavur.
|Anther beautiful ceiling at the Thanjavur Palace.Darbar hall...www.sid-thewanderer.com|
|Thanjavur palace complex, Sangeetha mahal: It was built to conduct concerts, etc. The music and dance flourished under the patronage of the kings. The building has special acoustics for listening pleasure. Inside the hall it is cool in the hot summer because of high ceilings and good aeration. It is a miniature of the surviving court of Thirumalai Nayak Mahal, Madurai. Part of the building on the first floor is used for selling handicrafts. A nice place for collectors of art works, etc. |
|Statue of the King Serfoji II (1798–1832): It is in the Durbar Hall which is the royal court hall. It currently houses the Thanjavur Art Gallery. Serfoji was a famous and secular ruler and he expanded the Sarwathi Mahal library initially built by the Nayaks. His mentor was Jesuit father Christian Frederick(h) Schwarz, German Lutheran Protestant missionary to India. He was a well-read ruler and had a Protestent church built in honor of Fr. Schwarz, which is adjacent to sivaganga park near the big temple. www.flickr.com|
|Palm manuscripts, Saraswathi Mahal library thanjavur.. www.thehindu.com|
|entrance, Saraswathi Mahal library, Thanjavur palace complex, Tamil Nadu..www.flickr.com|
The palace boasts of underground passages, probably to be used in case of emergency by the ruling class in case of attack; one secret passage, it is believed, connects the big temple 1,2 km away from here; the passages are wide enough to allow two horses side by side. They are under renovation.