Friday, May 6, 2016

Thanjavur Maratha Palace - Bell Tower (Maadamaaligai)

Thanjavur Maratha Palace - Bell Tower (Maadamaaligai)
Bell tower is situated in the Northwestern side of the Arsenal Tower. This tower is also known as “the wide holed ear pavilion” to the public and designed in the style of the Gingee Nayaks. The seven-story bell tower has superb views of the Big Temple and a bird’s eye view of the city of Thanjavur.

It is also believed that Vijayaraghava Nayakkar climbed it every day at noon to worship the towers of the Srirangam Ranganatha temple, visible from the top of this tower.

Today this tower has only seven storeys though it is said to have been higher with more levels that were damaged by thunder and lightning. A research note says that there was a huge and unusual clock on the tower in which the figure of a monkey used to strike the gong every hour.

There is nothing particularly found in the Bell Tower. People use this place to climb up and get aerial view of Thanjavur city. This is another interesting building with a construction style exactly opposite to the Arsenal Tower. It looks like rectangular construction resembling the modern day skyscrapers. Maadamaaligai in Tamil describes it accurately - Rectangular Mansion.

This building is shorter than the arsenal tower and has 7 floors. It once housed a mechanical bell which rung every hour from the top. The people of Thanjavur used it as their time teller. For this reason, this building is also called as "Manikoondu". 

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