Oct 7, 2017

Gagan Mahal - Sky Palace, Anegundi

August 13, 2017
Gagan Mahal is the most prominent building in Anegundi village. This brick and lime-mortar structure was built in the XVI Century by Vijayanagara rulers. From the heights of this palace, women of the royal family would watch the market during festivals.. window shopping from the lap of luxury :) The architecture is a mix of Hindu and Islamic designs. It's look and feel are in the  same lines as Kamal Mahal (Lotus Mahal) at Hampi and Gagan Mahal of Penukonda.

Gagan Mahal has three levels- ground, first and terrace. The ground floor is always locked, out of bounds for tourists. In the elevation, the building is symmetrical; it has 3 balconies; capped by three towers; and flanked by towers with balconies at the top. The terrace can be reached through the tower on the right. As you see the towers are stepped, the signature style of Vijayanagara's residential buildings.

Lets go into the building.. this is the first floor.. the door is at the far end of this aisle cum balcony. The building has plenty of windows.. ample way for air flow. The walls at the right and far end seems to be recent additions.. guessing by their looks.

Its one long hall inside; there are three balconies and two rooms. Graceful arches join the building's columns and beams. The interior is similar to Islamic buildings excepting the sharp corners here.

The arched balcony covered by a grill. The balconies are designed for one way view. Those sitting inside can see outside but from outside, the inside of the building wouldn't be clear. Also the dimness would help keep the interior cool.

A comfortable nest. Back then the platform would be covered by soft beds and colorful sheets. Ample pillows and cushions to lean on. One would not leave this place on a hot summer day. The building designed for good for night life too, especially a moonlit night.

Through the spiral stairway in the tower the terrace can be reached. All the towers have shelters.. probably they were sentry posts. After all a king's palace needs security.

End to end view of the terrace.

The corner tower has a small staircase leading into a nest. Its also possible lamps were placed inside the nests.. the palace would have an enchanting look during a dark night.

I wish this monument was better maintained.. Kishkinda Trust who's in charge of preserving this heritage village should take steps in restoring the palace like how Andhra Tourism has maintained Gagan Mahal at Penukonda.

No comments: