The ‘Temple City’ not only holds the history and pride of holding various temples, but also stands atop in having a national monument. “Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal”, a palace built by the king Thirumalai Nayakar with the help of an Italian architect, in the 17th century. The amalgamation of the Dravidian and Islamic architecture style resulted in the erection of this glorious majestic palace. This site is famous for its pillars, which stands at a height of 82 feet and at a width of 19 feet. The palace has an arcaded octagon covered by a dome of 60-70 feet high, which is held up and supported by stone ribs. What arouses our curiosity is how they built the palace? The palace was built using bricks, stucco and the white egg of an yolk. It really bristles when pondering of how many eggs were used for building this palace. The palace was built in a way that it was comprised into: Sorga Vilasam and Ranga Vilasa, but the saddest part is that only the former part of the palace still remains. The palace, then, was so huge and extended up to the North Masi Street with the combination of both Sorga Vilasam and Ranga Vilasam.
The grandson of Thirumalai Nayakar, Chokkanadha Nayak, wasted and demolished the palace by transporting the things and removed most of the jewels when he shifted his Nayak dynasty to Trichy. The Governor of Madras (1886), Lord Napier, took an initiative and renovated the palace as much as he could. The Palace was erected 4 times bigger than what you see now. This palace is meant for its beautiful and minute architecture perfectly sculpted in the ceilings. The interior of the palace attracts the tourists with those big, big pillars constructed in the palace. Many film shoots have been shot, especially the ‘Kannalane’ song from the movie Bombay was shot here because of the the attraction given by those pillars. The government now decorated the entry of the palace with a garden that adds scenic beauty to the palace. There is a full sized statue of Thirumalai Nayakar inside the palace.
The palace is now under the control of Tamil Nadu Archaeological Department and the palace became a national monument after the independence of India(1947). This site is now almost a museum that shows the used things, vessels, palm scripts and other weapons that were used in the historic period.
The site is open for tourists, visitors from 0900 hours and up to 1700 hours. In the evening, “Light and Sound show” are screened from 1845 – 2245 hours in both English and Tamil languages, which depicts the life history of Thirumalai Nayakar.
This palace is one of the wonders in South India and the locals call it as “Southern Taj Mahal”.