Shivappa Nayaka Palace, a protected monument - Shimoga

Shivappa Nayaka Palace,, Shimoga, KA  KannadaTimes

Shivappa Nayaka Palace,, Shimoga

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  made of beautiful rosewood in the city of Shimaoga is a fascinating  one. It is  not a  palatial building, but is fairly big  steeped in history.  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. 

Shivappa palace, Shimoga,

Built near the banks  of the river Tunga, it is named after 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 -Saracenic  architectural style. When the British took over  the palace from the Nayak, they converted it  into a saw mill to store logs of wood, etc.

Ruler Shivappa Nayak

 Above image: Equestrian statue of   Shivappa Nayaka (r.1645–1660). He  was a popular  ruler in South India during the 17th century AD.  Known as Keladi Shivappa Nayaka,  he  ruled the Keladi Nayaka Kingdom from 1645 to 1660 AD diligently. Generally, the Keladi Nayakas belonged to Veerashaiva Lingayath Community, He  introduced ingenious  tax systems which were called Sist. he was a brave warrior.  The Keladi Nayakas were successors of the Vijayanagara Empire in the coastal and Malnad (hill) districts of Karnataka, India, in the late 16th century........................... 

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  and tried to protect him. Infuriated Aurangazeb had 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. 

It is a  two-story building comprising a Durbar hall ("noble 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

Shivappa Nayaka Palace, Shimoga, KA

Shivappa Nayaka

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. 

The following are the fine features of  Shivappa Nayaka Palace:

01. Darbar Hall:  Well supported by massive  high quality wooden pillars. The main hall of the palace was meant for meetings  visiting dignitaries and others. Despite the time factor, the  Darbar hall building is well- preserved and it shows the quality of wood being used in the palace. Among the four rooms in the Darbar hall, one was was used to store weapons.

02. Mini Balcony:  The balcony is above the Durbar hall. A stricking feature of the balcony is its railing system for exterior and interior. Since  balcony is in the interior part of the palace wooden balusters are used as railing.  Spindles appear to be lathe-made. The wooden  balustrade with top wooden rail enhances the beauty of this palace. The nicely carved  wooden pillars and motif on the walls  will baffle you. The wood work was one of time-consuming jobs and the intricate wooden carvings would have taken quite a bit of time.   

.Museum, Shivappa nayak palace, Shimoga, KA.

03. Museum:  The museum houses quite fascinating idols, statues, stone monuments and artifacts, etc of great  antiquity (from the Keladi period along with the Chalukya and Hoysala eras). discovered from  this  region. They are all  nicely  preserved and presented in the Palace.

04. Garden:  The palace is set in the midst of greenery. Outside of the palace lies a well-maintained  garden 

Shivappa Nayaka Palace is open  to public from 9 AM till 6.30 PM. This Palace can be visited all through the year.