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Thirumalai Nayak Mahal

Thirumalai Nayak Mahal, built in the year 1636 in Indo-Saracenic style by King Thirumalai Nayak with the help of an Italian Architect, is located 1.5km north of Meenakshi temple. The original palace complex, was four times bigger than the present structure. It was destroyed by Chokkanatha Nayak- the grandson of Thirumalai Nayak, and the valuables were shifted to his own palace in Trichy. The present building was the main palace where the king lived.

Thirumalai Nayak Mahal consisted mainly of two parts, namely Swargavilasa (Celestial Pavilion) and Rangavilasa. These parts consists of the royal residence, a theatre, a shrine, apartments or quarters, armory, palanquin place, a royal bandstand, a pond and a garden. The palace was renovated several times during the 19th century and what survive today is the 'swargavilasa' and few adjoining buildings.

'Swargavilasa', with its 3, 900 sq.m spacious rectangular courtyard, is surrounded by massive white circular pillars, measuring 20m in height and 4m in diameter and these pillars are connected by high decorated arches. Furniture and utensils used by the kings have been exhibited inside the palace. To the west of the courtyard lies the throne chamber, a vast room with an arcaded octagon covered by a dome of 60-70 feet high and this room leads to the dance hall. The courtyard and the dancing hall are the major attractions of the palace. A museum is also located inside the palace which exhibits the furniture and utensils used by the kings.

After independence, the palace was declared as a national monument and now it is under the aegis of the Archaeological Department of Tamilnadu. The palace is open for visitors from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m and 2.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. Sound and light show on the life of Thirumalai Nayak and the story of 'Silappathikaram' (a Tamil classic) is performed here daily in English (6:45pm) and Tamil (8:15pm). The ticket fee for the shows are Rs. 10/- for adults and Rs. 5/- for children.
Contact Address : 
Thirumalai Nayak Palace
Palace Road, Madurai - 625 001
Phone: +91-452-2332945/233899.

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