Punganur: A symbol of Kannada-Telugu harmony
Kolar district was a part of Madras province and therefore is a symbiotic relationship and harmony between Kannada and Telugu speaking people.
A palace in Punganur in the border district of Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh is a mute testimony to the glory of Kannada land in the past.
Punganur is a town and a Municipality in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.
Punganur is an important junction for the arterial roads to Madanapalle (and onwards to Anantapur ), Malur (and onwards to Kolar and Bangalore), Chittoor ( and onwards to Tirupati and Katpadi) and also to Kuppam (and onwards to Dharmapuri, Salem).
It is probably one of the oldest towns in this region and records indicate that this region indulged in trading with the Romans.
This palace was built in 1866. Thimmaraya II was a zamindar of Punganur. When the Sultan Adil Pasha laid a seige to Penukonda, Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagar Kingdom was assisted by Thimmaraya II.
As a token of gratitude, Krishnadevaraya gave him the administration of Mysore and Anekal region.
After the death of Thimmaraya II, Chikkathimmaraya, who belonged to the same family got the Kolar and Sugatur provinces.
Construction of fort
The family of Chikkathimmaraya became the zamindar of Punganur. Chikkathimmaraya built a beautiful fort for his queen. The administration of Punganur came under the British in 1801.
The Punganur region was ruled by eight zamindars. There was prosperity during their administration. Chikkabasavaraya III ruled for fifty years.
He won the confidence of the people of Sugatur in Kolar taluk of Karnataka and then became a chieftain of the region.
After Independence in 1947, after the end of the Zamindari system, many antiques and artifacts of the Palace became part of museums.
It is said that there was a secret passage from Punganur to a place called Nakkebande, three kilometres from the Palace.
It was to be used only in case of emergency. It is now closed. The palace with architectural grandeur is now neglected.
The descendants of the palace are now living in Bangalore. The Gangamma temple next to the palace is called Sugatur Gangamma temple reminding one of its links to Sugatur in Kolar taluk in the past.
Even today, the Gangamma jathre held here is commenced by the family of the zamindars in Sugatur.