Muktambal Maratha Chatram, Orathanadu, Thanjavur
Orathanadu has a Maratha Chatram named after Muktambal, one of the queens of Serfoji II. This chariot shaped building displays religious sculptures in stucco and wood. Manora, an eight-storied miniature fortress, is near Orathanadu.
The Muktambal Chatram was built by Serfoji Raja II in 1802 C.E. It is said that it was a small palace built for Muktambal, the king’s beloved woman. She created the medical and rest house facilities of the Chatram which was sometimes also used as a royal camp.This Chatram has two large courtyards with grand arches. One is partially enclosed by an ornate colonnade. There are separate rooms and a kitchen with a large backyard. The first floor has an ornate hall with carved columns. It has excellent stone work. The front is designed as chariot and has wheels crafted in stone. The balustrades show carved elephants.
The best feature of this Chatram is that the bricks used in walls are carved to create a mini temple spire. This style of sculpting bricks, a specialty of Thanjavur, is now extant.