Saturday, 8 April 2017

Shivappa Nayaka Palace, a protected monument - Shimoga

Shivappa Nayaka Palace, KannadaTimes
The state of Karnataka has countless protected monuments in the form of palaces, forts, colonial buildings, palatial bungalows, churches, temples, etc. The Shivappa nayak palace in the city of Shimaoga is an interesting one. It is a palatial building steeped in history.

The Government Museum Shivappa Nayaka Palace, where 
the government Museum is housed is located in Shimoga
city, Karnataka and is a protected monument under the management of the ASI - Archaeological Survey of India. Built near the banks 
of the river Tunga, it is named after the the popular 17th century king Shivappa Nayaka of the Keladi Nayaka dynasty. Though  the palace bears the name of  the Nayaka king, according to art historian George Michell, the huge bungalow was actually built by the famous Mysore ruler of 18th century, Hyder Ali, a sworn enemy of the East India company. The other version is the original palace was built by Hiriya Venkatappa Nayak of the Keladi Dynasty in the 16th century (ruling as chieftains under the Vijayanagara rule). Later it was  destroyed by Adil Shah of the Bijapur Sultanate. Later Shivappa Nayaka rebuilt the building into an exquisite palace  in the Indo -sarcenic style. When the British took over from the palace from the Nayak, they converted it  into
 a saw mill to store logs of wood, etc.

Ruler Shivappa Nayak

According to the locals, in the 16th century, the Maratha ruler, Rajaram, son of Chatrapthi Shivaji, when chased by the Mughal ruler Aurangazeb, sought asylam during the reign of  Rani Chennamma, wife of Somashekara Nayaka. The queen allowed Rajaram to stay in her palace. Infuriated Aurangazeb sent an army to defeat the queen, but in the ensuing battle,  the queen’s forces defeated the Moguls, forcing them to sign a treaty with the Nayaks. 
Entrance. Shivappa Nayaka Palace.

It is a  two storied building comprising a Durbar hall ("nobel court") with massive wooden pillars and lobed arched panels. The living chambers  at the upper level have balconies on sides from which one could look down into the hall. On display at the palace grounds -well manicured lawns  are countless antiques taken/collected  from the  near by temples and archaeological site sand these include  beautiful  sculptures, inscriptions and hero stones from the Hoysala era and later periods.  

Shivappa Nayaka Palace, KannadaTimes

The palace has the look of a well designed, rosewood-carved wooden palatial home with wooden pillars, courtyard, Mangalore tiled roof and two narrow wooden staircases, leading to a hall with balconies.
Shivappa Nayaka Palace,

Museum exhibit Vishnu (Anandasayanam pose)

The museum adjoining Shivappa Nayaka’s palace has some amazing  exhibits  that were excavated  from places around Shimoga.  Some of the notable artifacts include idols depicting reclining Vishnu, Surya, Uma - Maheshvara, Bhairava and Mahisasurmardhini. Included in the exhibits are a  number of memorial and Sati stones - stones carved with tales of brave warriors and women who committed Sati.