Staff Reporter

ANANTAPUR: The legendary 16th century royal palace located in Penukonda, known as Gagan Mahal, built during the Vijayanagar period, is now getting a facelift and efforts are being made to restore the pristine glory of the ancient palace.

The palace which was in a dilapidated condition, is now being restored to its past glory with the help of architects from Tamil Nadu by the State Department of Archaeology.

Legend has it that a beautiful royal dancer by name Gangamma made Gagan Mahal her abode for entertaining the visiting kings and dignitaries.

The architecture of Gagan Mahal is a combination of Hindu and Persian and the same is now being renovated by the Department of Archaeology without disturbing its original beauty.

Assistant Director of Archaeology Vijaya Kumar told The Hindu that State director P. Chenna Reddy had sanctioned Rs. 26 lakh for the restoration and renovation work, which is now in full swing. He said Gagan Mahal would be opened to the tourists soon, with a photo exhibition on the history of Penukonda town and the archeological remains in the Gagan Mahal. The palace would be an ideal spot for film shootings, the locals say.