Tamil Nadu’s Most Beautiful Palaces

Shreya Cheema

Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal, Madurai 

Combining the Dravidian with architectural styles from abroad, this palace, built in 1653 by King Thirumalai Nayak, stands out for its architectural brilliance. On your tour, don’t miss out on the massive courtyard, intricately painted roof, the arches and domes that display exceptional stuccowork, and the massive white pillars. 

Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal | Shutterstock.com

Padmanabhapuram Palace, Kanniyakumari  

The palace stands as the foremost expression of the region's history. Famed to be one of Asia's largest wooden palaces, the structure features never-seen-before woodwork. Besides its unique architecture, which came to be after Marthanda Varma rebuilt and renamed the 16th-century Kalkulam Palace, it is a must-visit to understand the region's history intimately.  

Padmanabhapuram Palace | Shutterstock.com

Kanadukathan Palace, Sivaganga District  

A trip to Karaikudi is incomplete without visiting this palace constructed by the visionary Dr Annamalai Chettiyar, located a mere 10 km away. With an imposing entrance, intricately carved wooden doors and panels, teak, marble, and granite pillars, and a spacious courtyard, the palace is a fine example of the typical Chettinad architectural style.  

Kanadukathan Palace | Shutterstock.com

Fernhill Palace, Ooty 

If you are visiting the Queen of the Hills and want a majestic view of the Nilgiris, put Fernhill Palace on your itinerary. As a former summer residence of the Maharaja of Mysore, the palace built in 1844 boasts a vibrant Swiss chalet-like facade and pruned gardens, surrounded densely by fir and cedar trees.  

Fernhill Palace | Shutterstock.com

Thanjavur Maratha Palace, Thanjavur  

Currently home to the Bhonsle Dynasty that ruled Thanjavur from 1674 till 1855, the palace houses a rich history that can be uncovered via the ancient artefacts, photographs, sculptures and weaponry housed across the Royal Palace Museum, Serfoji Memorial Hall, Darbar Hall, Saraswathi Mahal Library, The Art Gallery, The Bell Tower, Sangeet Mahal and Sarjah Madi. The painted ceiling and the walls in the lobby depicting Maratha rulers are also stunning. 

Thanjavur Maratha Palace | Wikimedia Commons

Thondaiman Palace, Pudukottai  

Home to Pudukottai's former ruler, Raja Rajagopala Thondaiman, the palace still exudes the grandeur of a bygone era. The reception hall, built in 1892 and housing panelled wooden wainscot walls and antique furnishings, will leave you awestruck.  

Thondaiman Palace | Shutterstock.com

Sivaganga Palace, Sivaganga  

Queens Velu Nachiyar, Vellacci Nachiyar and Rani Kaathama Nachiyar called this charming palace, also known as Gowri Vilasam, home. The old temple inside, which houses the royal family's revered deity, Sri Raja Rajeshwari, is must-see. In addition, the miniature pool known as Nadai Kinaru also stands out as an interesting feature. 

Sivaganga Palace | Tamil Nadu Tourism