The Arani Palace, Satya Vijayanagaram

15 Apr

I thought it was due to the date… 13 March 2017… I was going round in circles, unable to find the palace of the Jagirdar in Arani.

This Jagirdar was a vassal of the Nawab of Arcot, and boasted a lineage going back to 1674 when the Maratha armies swept the Deccan, penetrating as far south as Thanjavur.

I knew that the palace was in a settlement called Satya Vijayanagaram. We asked people at the Magistrate’s Court at Arani and no one seemed to have heard of Satya Vijayanagaram.

“We are looking for the Arani Jagirdar’s palace”, I said…

“Oh hoho…Arani Arasanmanai… that’s in S.V.Nagar… I could have kicked myself… the place was no longer called Satya Vijayanagaram…it was S.V.Nagaram now…

Now it had become an easy task… skirt the Paiyur Lake, (12°40’23″N 79°17’31″E), cross the Poondi River and turn East towards S.V.Nagaram.

The Palace is in ruins, although the three storey facade still stands, complete with decorated pediments and Corinthian columns with Acanthus leaves and dentils.

It reminded me of the Lesser Lights of Freemasonry: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders representing Wisdom, Strength and Beauty.

I stepped into the ruined palace. The roof had caved in, the place stank of urine and there was little point in exploring any further.

The campus now houses a Regional Institute of Rural Development. There was considerable activity with groups of students moving in and out of the new building.

I walked in and stopped at the desk of an important looking man.

“Can I take a few photographs of the Palace and the campus please?” I asked.

“You have to get the permission of the Director.”

“And where can I find the Director?” I ask.

“You have to wait. He is taking a class.”

A female bureaucrat spoke to the man, “For taking photos, he may be allowed sir. Director’s permission not required.”

“It is always better to get permission”, the man in-charge asserts with some irritation.

“How long will it take before the Director comes, Sir?”

“Depends…on whether he is supervising an examination.”

I decided to make a move because I had miles to go… Vandavasi (Wandewash) was my next stop.

2 Responses to “The Arani Palace, Satya Vijayanagaram”

  1. Mano Chandra Dhas April 16, 2017 at 1:15 am #

    Interesting again, Ajit. The Architecture is very European. Probably designed somewhere in France? How old is the structure? It does not look more than a couple of hundred years old, at the maximum. I find it amazing how in India we do not care very much about our immediate past. 🙂 Other countries would make places of less culture, into Museums.

  2. Gina Ali khan April 16, 2017 at 2:31 am #

    Thank you for these wonderful pictures of lesser known places. What a little gem of a building ! I love the carvings on the impediments

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