Thirumalai Naicker Palace - Museum

The pillars of large diameters are of prime importance in the art of architecture of Thirumalai. Naicker times. The pillars here are having a circumference of 18ft and an height 18ft to 35 ft with a total number of 248 pillars. All of these pillars are plastered in the style of chettinattu plastering. The lime is mixed with the water in which gall nut and jaggery were soaked, then finely ground and used for plastering the pillars. The surface area is polished with the paste of shell lime mixed with white of egg and beautifully finished to a fine polish. This is called Fresco.

In the pillars at the countyard several artistic festoons called Makara Thoranam are seen. On both sides the Makara fishes are seen holding flower creepers and the lime mortar sculptures of yalzi are seen in between them. In the top portion of the walls of the court yard the sculptures of Bhootha ganas appear to support these. The western portion of the king's court is called 'Swarga Vilasam'. Near the window like structures of this area there are festoons, on the top of which, the heavenly ladies are seen showering flowers through them.

These pillars and the elephants over them and the sculptures of Thudhi Yalzi on them, are in the style of architecture of Naicher days. The hemispherical super structural dome appears to be supported by these figures. The inner side of this hemispherical dome is seen decorated with a lotus flower with expanded petals and the heavenly beings peeping through them. On each side of the pillar, the Mahara fishes are holding flower bouque from their months and the yalzies having protruding eyes are seen.

The place in which the king sits is called Raja chamber. This is built in octaganal shape and appear as if held by 12 pillars. For air conditioning in those days, this chamber was built with double walls, with air passage in between them, so that the chamber remained cool even in hot summer days.

The portion of Nataka Saalai (Drama House) is unparalleled in its artistic worksmanship. The hanging festoon like structures are in different types like yalzhi festoon, Simha festoon, Elephant festoon , cow festoon etc. The super structure is in the style of Baratham of Pallava days. Here we can see the lime mortar sculptures of peacock, Dove, Yalzhi bird & Dharwa Balaga etc. During the king Thirumalai's days, the city of Madurai consisted of the present four Veli streets, motes and inner walls called 'Paari Mathil' surrounding them.Thisfort contained 72 security watch towers. These were demolished during the British rule. There is only one watch tower situated near the Bus stand at south west of the city.

The huge pillars are the important ones in the architecture during Thiurmalai Naiker. These pillars are 18 feet in circumference, 18 to 35 feet high and a total of 248 numbers. All of these pillars are plastered in the Chetti Nattu plastering style. The lime was mixed in the water in which the gall-nut and jaggery were socked and then ground and the paste was used for plastering. Then the surface was polished after plastering with the paste of shell lime mixed with white of egg. These give beautiful appearance. This is called Fresco.

The Dance hall that was used for conducting dance performances during the rule of the king is now housing the museum. In this are exhibited several rare items like photos showing the history of the king, messages about Madurai on palm leaves, idols of Pandia kingdom, ancient coins, stone tools, pots of the Sangam period, terrakotta pieces from abroad, stone idols of centuries old, stone inscriptions and palm leaf writings etc., The visitors are allowed to see the museum from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm and then from 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm at an entrance fee of Rs.1/-. At 6.30 pm. there will be a light and sound show in English and at 8.00pm in Tamil for a duration of 30 minutes. Depending upon the seat entrance fees of Rs.2,3 and 5 are collected there is no charge for taking photographs. There is a children's park near the entrance of the palace.