Nalknad Palace: A Kodava palace in the lap of lush nature - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Nalknad Palace: A Kodava palace in the lap of lush nature

The beautifully sculpted elephant at the entrance of Nalknad palace, Coorg

It is surrounded by lush tropical forests of the Brahmagiri wildlife sanctuary. The towering Thadiyendamol mountain looks down upon it. And it was a place where the Haleri kings of Kodagu sought solace and refuge from their enemies. This place is the simple, yet beautiful Nalknad palace that was built in 1792 AD and that is nestled in the Western Ghats of southern Coorg.

Mercara was the main capital of Kodagu, but when the Kodagu kingdom was threatened by Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan and later the British, the then Kodagu king Dodda Veerarajendra decided to make his second base in a thickly forested area that is today called Yavakapadi village. It was here that he built his second palace, one that would protect his family during attack and from where he could manage his kingly operations during distress. This Nalknad palace was built in traditional Kodava fashion. It houses beautiful frescoes that have stood the test of time in spite of the heavy rains and consistent humidity. It has security outposts and beautifully designed stations to hold your gun and to aim at the enemy. It has dark rooms that are totally hidden and where the royal family can hide in case the palace comes under a siege. While the interiors of the palace are still standing, the fortifications of its boundary wall have started falling apart, especially during the heavy rains of the past years.

Beautiful moss covered carvings inside Nalknad palace, Coorg

Like I have mentioned before, the Nalknad palace is not spectacular like the Mysore palace, but it enjoys a pretty setting where nature is bountiful. I would visit this place just for its location and may be learn a little bit of history while I am in the lap of lush nature. This cultural attraction of Coorg is a must visit according to me. Don’t miss it on your next holiday to Coorg. And definitely don’t miss it during a monsoon trek to Thadiyendamol peak, one of the most beautiful treks of Karnataka.

Ornate steps that lead into Nalknad palace, Coorg

How to reach here:

The best way is to travel by road. Nalknad palace is about 265 kms from Bangalore. The route is Bangalore –> Srirangapatna –> Hunsur –> Goniakoppal –> Virajpet –> Kabinnakad –> Nalknad Palace. After Kabinnakad, travel straight for one km and then turn left and then travel about 3 kms to find the palace to your left.

Hunsur would be the nearest railway station, though Mysore and Bangalore would have better connectivity with the rest of the country.

Bangalore would be your best bet for the nearest airport.

Where to stay:

If you wish to stay in a homestay located amidst coffee estates, I would recommend trying Honey valley estate and Chingara estate. If you wish for uber luxury, try looking up Tamara Coorg. There are many other properties located nearby to choose from.

Moss takes over structure inside Nalknad Palace, Coorg

Nearby tourist attractions:

1) Trek to Thadiyendamol peak, the highest mountain in Coorg and the second highest in Karnataka

2) Chelavara waterfalls

3) Trek to Kabbe hills

4) Bhagamandala temple and the triveni sangam

5) Igguthappa temple, the most sacred temple of the Kodavas

6) Talacauvery wildlife sanctuary

7) Chingara waterfalls

8) Nilakandi waterfalls

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