The Nayak niche

The Nayak niche

Surpur, a town about 110 km from Kalaburagi city, now a part of Yadgir district, is surrounded by hillocks. It’s here that the Surpur palace stands. Within its complex are Buddhist, Rajputana, Mughal and South Indian styles of architecture.

For, the palace stands as a testimony to the superior architecture that flourished during the Nayak reign.

Raja Gaddi Pidda Nayaka, the founder of the dynasty, ruled between 1636 and 1666 AD.  And the last ruler of Shorapur Principality, Raja Venkatappa Nayaka, rebelled against the British East India Company, a move to stop them from interfering into their internal affairs. These kings, however, were also patrons of art and architecture. 

The first sight is that of the remnant fort walls and the arched balconies with windows bearing geometrical and floral stucco patterns. From here, it’s said, the royal family watched processions.

The fort, which has transformed into a town now, has been altered several times throughout their reign.

It has an arched entrance, decorated with stucco work of fish and stars, that caps a wooden door. This leads to the palace.

There is a stone inscription in Persian language to the right of the entrance.

The three-storeyed palace, revamped during the reign of Raja Nalvadi Venkatappa Nayaka, is known for its fine wooden work, stone carving and plasterwork. The roof of the palace stands on wooden pillars.

A corner on the first floor is converted into a small museum where swords, daggers, guns, axe, shield, farmans, portrait paintings of all kings, and a few black-and -white photos are on display.  The silver and copper handles of swords and daggers bear  intricate designs.

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