Nalknad Palace of Coorg, Karnataka - the heritage structure should be repaired periodically

Nalknad Aramane / Palace,Coorg, KA

Palace in Napoklu in Kodagu district

Above image: The famous Nalknad Palace in Napoklu in Kodagu district was damaged due to heavy rain in the past three years and steps are not taken to get the damages rectified by the ASI.  Hundreds of heritage sites lie uncared for in Bengaluru and Mysuru. Reason: Apathetic attitude and a sheer lack of political affect their maintenance, preservation and conservation............   

Nalknad Aramane / Palace,Coorg, KA

It is quite unfortunate that the famous  Palace in Napoklu in Kodagu district  has not been publicized as it can be by the karnataka tourism. Nalknad Aramane Palace of Yevakapadi,  Coorg that resembles the palaces of Kerala in look and architecture can be made a promising tourist destination by the state agency. It is being poorly maintained by the govt. agency. Madikeri Fort and Nalknad Palace, built during the 17th century, lack maintenance and remain in a pitiable condition. In 2017, Virupakshaiah, a resident of Somwarpet, approached the High Court with a PIL, requesting preservation of Madikeri Fort, which has hosted district administration offices since 1924.

Built by a local  Haleri ruler Dodda Virarajendra in  1792 after his escape from the Tipu sultan's army during their war campaign, it is said that it was here Dodda Virarajendra married Mahadevammaji at in 1796. The palace is a two story structure with slopping tiled verandah on the ground floor all around supported by wooden pillars The slanting roof on the first floor is extended good enough to prevent rain water entering the building as the SW monsoon brings in lots of rain. The palace durbar used to be the meeting place of the king with his subjects and close officials. It was also used for entertainment dance, music performances, etc.

Nalknad  Palace,Coorg

Nalknad  Palace,Coorg

The ruler gave much consideration to the safety of his family in case of raids by enemies, in particular, Tipu Sultan, who was a In order to protect against enemy armies, Dodda Virarajendra built an underground tunnel which originated from the palace and ended at Madikeri. Because of its location which is at the hilltop, it was used to provide shelter from Tipu Sultan who had a formidable army. With a view to safeguarding him and his family from unexpected raids, Dodda Virarajendra  had  an underground tunnel constructed connecting the palace with  Madikeri atop a hill.  Because of its location on a hill the hideout gave him better protection from Tipu and his army.     During the colonial rule, the local ruler faced threats from the british and it is said that  the last ruler  of Halari family Chikaverarajendra took shelter in this palace when the British were raiding the the Kodagu region.  There are two ‘dark rooms’ which were used as the hiding place of the king. 

Madikeri, Coorg is a hill station, KA.

The walls and roof of the Nalknad Aramane / Palace,  have many carefully drawn  beautiful  ancient paintings and carvings / intricate wooden friezes and the enhance the grandeur of the ambiance indoors. The palace  gateway and a kalyana mandapa were attractive once and the latter used to be a venue for  marriage ceremonies. They are in poor condition. The entrance arch collapsed and no restoration work has been taken up.

damaged entrance. Nalknad Aramane / Palace,

The palace, a protected monument under the aegis of the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Karnataka, was renovated by INTACH in the past. But, it needs regular and periodic repair works as the rain fall is heavy in this region during the SW monsoon.  The palace is about  45 km from Madikeri and can be reached via Napoklu in Kakkabe.    The highest peak in the Coorg district Thadiyandamole is nearby.