Deadline for renovation of Nayak Mahal extended

Almost ready: Around 75% of renovation works have been completed at Tirumalai Nayak Palace in Madurai.

Almost ready: Around 75% of renovation works have been completed at Tirumalai Nayak Palace in Madurai.  

The deadline for completion of renovation works at Tirumalai Nayak Palace originally set for June has now been extended to September.

Labour shortage and inability to ferry material due to lockdown are said to have caused the delay.

In October last, the Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department received a loan of ₹3.3 crore from Asian Development Bank as part of a group tender to give a facelift to major monuments in the State.

Constructed in 1636 A.D., the Tirumalai Nayak Palace is spread over an area of over 20 acres.

The objective of the renovation efforts is to provide better stability, weatherproof the structure, whitewash walls and complete carpentry works so that the palace sports a fresh look, says R. Sivanandam, Deputy Director, Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department.

It is also to ensure better display of the sound and light show held inside the palace every evening. Around 75% of the renovation works have been completed, he adds.

Assistant Executive Engineer, K. Olimalik, says whitewashing and weatherproofing are yet to be completed. “The unique part of the project is non-use of cement till date. We are heavily reliant on river sand from the Cauvery delta and limestone from Sattur and Kalugumalai, Thoothukudi, as we want to maintain the quality of the age-old structure.”

Since the materials have to be transported and labour is from north India, there have been delays in completing the project.

Also, mixture of limestone and other compounds needs to be preserved for two days before being used. It is yet another reason for the delay, a department source points out.

The crew have noticed cracks on the domes while whitewashing. “We will ensure that we work on them. We are also looking to paint over graffiti on the wall. So, the works will take until September for completion,” Mr. Olimalik adds.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2020 1:10:43 AM |

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