Mausoleum complex of Maratha kings to be renovated

Around 20 mausoleums at the “Kailash Mahal,” known as “Raja Gori,” (exclusive burial ground of Maratha rulers and their lineage) here would be renovated.

The project was conceived by Shri Jayamala Rani Charitable and Educational Trust of Sadar Mahal Palace, Thanjavur, as mausoleums display a fusion of Maratha, Mugal and Dravidian architecture built with bricks, terracotta and lime plaster on granite and laterite base. Some have intricate ornament works and carry stone inscriptions providing details of the Maratha dynasty including the name and titles of the kings, queens and their date of demise and others.

Among them the mausoleums of King Tulaja, Pratap Sing, Sarfoji II and Shivaji II and some of their queens were prominent. The “Raja Gori” situated at Vambulancholai on the southern bank of the Vadavar, is considered to be one among various sites in the country where memorial shrines of dynastic lineage have been built. This unique group of heritage structures with archaeological, historical, architectural and epigraphical importance have lost their sheen due to ravage of time, according to Sadar Mahal Palace sources.

So, the trust decided to renovate the mausoleums and revive the glory of the “Kailash Mahal” which had borne the brunt of unplanned urbanisation around the complex in the recent past.

Sundarraj, a former resident of Vadakkuvasal, who had moved to Nanjikottai Road, recalled that three decades ago he used to visit the mausoleum complex almost daily to receive the ‘prasadams’ – the cooked food offered to Lingam and Goddess Parvathi idols installed in the free-standing buildings constructed above the burial chambers of kings and queens and distributed to the public.

Participating in the bhoomi Ppja for the renovation here recently, Collector M.Govinda Rao urged the public to preserve the heritage structures in the district which have immense potential to attract tourists.

Stating that the trust aims to renovate and restore the glory of “Raja Gori” with the donation from public and heritage lovers, Sadar Mahal Palace sources welcomed liberal contributions to the Renovation Committee of Monuments.

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