An artistic excellence, Sural or Sooralu palace highlights the culture and heritage of undivided Dakshina Kannada. A vernacular artistic structure unique in its features, with a structure of 7 courtyards, built in mud and wooden carvings by artists is the essence of the Sural palace. Sural was the capital of the Tolah dynasty and it is approximately 30 KM’s from Udupi city in Karnataka. It is a distinct palace of Tolah dynasty of 1511 AD, in terms of construction, ‘Vaastu’ and other aspects. It lies on a plot of one acre and dates back to the 15th century, and is completely built from the earth.
Suralu place has a blend of Vaastu derived from Hindu – Jain cultural hierarchy. It also depicts the regional sculptures and Vaastu of that era. It was built using earth and timber. It’s a testimony for the skills of the ancient people as the structure has been built without a foundation except at the front portion.
The walls are built of clay and country tiles cover the roof-top while there are sculptures on doors, windowsills, pillars, and the ceiling. The only addition of a modern floor was done in the front portion of the palace during the reign of Koosammadevi Tolaharti in 1858. The palace has seven spacious blocks including a worship center called Jain Basadi for Parshwanat.
Restoring the Architectural Ruins
The government of Karnataka had released RS 1.67 crore for the restoration of Magni Chavadi, one among the 7 courtyards including 3 corridors. The tender was awarded to Nirmithi Kendra by the Department of Kannada and Culture.
The Nirmithi Kendra under the leadership of Project Director Arun Kumar initiated the restoration work of Magni Chavadi and 3 corridors. The work is now completed. The carvings on pillars of the Magni Chavadi and other courtyards pictures artistic excellence. Carpenters and artists have tried to match the artistic excellence of the pillars which have been either damaged or are on the verge of being damaged. The roof and the flooring of Magni Chavadi are partially restored and partially being newly constructed.
Thanks to Mr. Naveen Aladangadi for sharing these wonderful pictures. These pictures were taken during his recent visit to Sural Rathosatava. We thought it is worth sharing such wonderful architecture still standing strong in Tulunadu.
How to Reach Sural from Mangalore, Bangalore and Udupi
Distance between Mangalore to Bengaluru by Road is about 350km. Mangalore Airport is the nearest airport to Sural. Udupi Railway Station is the nearest railway station. The Mud Palace is reachable by road from Udupi. One can reach the palace via Udupi-Bramhavar-Santhekatte-Mandarthi route or Udupi-Bramhavar-Kokkarne route. Call Mangalore Taxi +91-9972722878 to book the Taxi and to visit Sural mud palace
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