Musafirkhana and Honda (Pond) - Santhebennur, Karnataka - Centrally protected monument

Musafirkhana District Court Santhebennur. commons.wikimedia.org



Pushkarani,  Santhebennur.Karnataka.  asibengalurucirclein/


The 16th century CE large pond  (Honda) was built by  ruler Hiriya Hanumappa Nayaka, son of Kengappa Nayaka. The tank has eight towers at  cardinal points, out of them six are fairly preserved. The impressive feature of the pond is  its beautifully decorated pavilion built on a square plinth with an arched entrance. There is a flight of steps to access the first tier. 


Santhebennur pushkarni, karnatakatravel.blogspot.com

The first tier is an open pavilion with slender pillars at the periphery and austere railings in between.   Arched pavilion are set in the cardinal directions  supported by a heavy stone, pushpa potika, corbels.  


Musafirkhana District Court Santhebennur. karnatakatravel.blogspot.com

The second tier is  similar to the first one; here  a moderate eaves supports a heavy parapet with slender minarets, the interspaces pierced with arches topped by foliate melons.  The pavilion, unlike the lower tier, is well decorated with two rows of elephants, swans and ganda bherundas (mythical twin-headed bird)

Projecting out at  the center is the ribbed dome  which  is topped by a finial and its neck is decorated with lotus petals bordered by guldastas

On the west  side lies the Musaffirkhana. It is a large spacious structure consisting of a large pillared hall  made of granite stones. The  pointed arches probably used as a prayer hall as well. The two pillars flanking the fa├žade of this building are well-made.


The pushkarani (pond) was built by  Kenga Hanumantappa Nayaka,  chieftain and palegar (in Tamil Palayakarar  widely used in south Tamil Nadu),  under Vijayanagara ruler. On the other hand the arched building was built by Muslim rulers.   The striking feature of the arched building is  its beautiful columns and arches that are built in a similar fashion.  with thick walls and high ceilin, the interior is cool regardless of outside temperature. Apparently, lime-sand mortar was used in the construction. 

Both Musafirkhana  and Pond  are under the management of the ASI.