Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal is one of the tourist places in Madurai city.
Thirumalai nayakkar was the most notable of the thirteen Madurai Nayakkars rulers in the 17th century..
Thirumalai Nayak wanted the grandest palace for himself and constructed the palace which is a blend of Dravidian and Islamic styles.
This palace is situated 2 km south east of the Meenakshi Amman Temple.
It is considered a wonder of South India…
Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal 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.
Thirumalai Nayak Palace is a 17th-century palace erected in 1636 AD by King Thirumalai Nayak. The Nayaks ruled Madurai from 1545 till 1740, after the Pandya kings. History of Madurai reveals that they were originally governors of the Vijayanagar Empire (based in Karnataka). As the empire broke up and declined, the Nayaks gained control over their governing regions and became rulers of the cities they controlled.
The king and the Nayak Prime Minister Arya Natha Mudaliyar was instrumental in restoration of other architectural monuments in the city like the Meenakshi Amman Temple, the Thirupparamkundram Temple and the Mariamman Teppakulam (water tank). The palace was actively involved in the Scepter festival, Navarathri, Chithirai festival, Masi festival, Float festival and Panguni Peruvila.
Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal Architecture:
It’s like a Dravidian architecture style.
Thirumalai Nayak Palace has a minimalistic and rather-bland exterior. But on the interior, its grandeur is unparalleled and extraordinary that many of its contemporaries in India. The palace is a blend of Italian, Islamic, European and Dravidian style of architecture.
The structure what we see today with a rectangular court-yard in the center flanked by huge and tall colonades was the main palace portion. The original entrance to the palace was said to have been to the north of the present structure (ie) very near to the Vilakuthoon. During the middle of the 19th century the present entrance came into use. The court-yard measures 50mts east and west, by 32mts north and south, surrounded on all sides by arcades of very great beauty.
The pillars are made of granite undressed stone rings in the middle and it is covered with lime mortar upon which brick bats had been affixed.
Again it is covered with fine lime and for polishing jaggary, kadukkai and white part of the egg yoke .
The pillars supporting the arches are 13m tall and are again joined by foliated brickwork that carries a valance and an entablature rising up to a height of 20 m.
The palace complex area was originally four times bigger than it is now, consisting of two portions :
- Swarga vilasa
- Ranga vilasa.
Specalities for Thirumalai nayakkar Mahal:
The palace has an archaeological museum which houses artifacts, idols, pottery, pillar-stones, scripts and paintings unearthed from various places in South India.
Many more festivel celebrated in this mahal.
Thirumalai Naick instituted a number of special festivals in the temple of Meenakshi, among them the Chitrai Festival was the most celebrated one. Originally this festival was celebrated during the month of Thai (January). Because of busy harvest season people in and around Madurai were not able to attend this festival and took part in pulling the Temple Car. In order to solve this problem, the King Thirumalai Naick changed the festival to Chitrai (April) for the convenience of the village yoke.
- Scepter festival,
- Chithirai festival,
- Masi festival,
- Float festival and
- Panguni Peruvila.
Shows on Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal:
- The Indian cultural department conducts the famous Sound and Light Show at the palace premises daily.
- Show an amazing spectacle of sound and light, narrates in a subtle and interesting way the lifetimes of King Thirumalai.
- The palace turns into a symphony of sound and light at night time, with every pillar becoming an eloquent story teller and every cornerstone narrating the glory of the past.
- The Sound and Light show takes place every day from 6.30 PM (IST). The English show happens at 6.30 PM while the Tamil (local language) show is scheduled at 8 PM. The duration of each show is half an hour.