Friday, August 3, 2018

Muthu Mandapam, Vellore

Muthu Mandapam, Vellore
Muthu Mandapam is a memorial built around the tombstone of Sri Vikrama Rajasingha, the last ruler of Sri Lanka. It is the resting place of the last ruler of the Sri Lankan kingdom of Kandy, Sri Vikrama Rajasingha, since 1832. The tomb of this king stands tall inside this pearl-shaped structure that was raised in 1990. It also houses tombs of seven of his family members. This King was known as Prince Kannasamy, Sri Vikrama Rajasingha, a king of the Nayaka dynasty, was sworn in during 1798.

He ruled Kandy till 1815, after which he was exiled by the British. He, along with a few of his family members, were taken as royal prisoners and imprisoned in Vellore Fort in 1816. He was the Sri Lanka’s last Tamil King. He was housed in a room inside the fort for 16 years. This room later went on to be used as the Registrar’s office of the Vellore district. He died on January 30, 1832. Among his family members, who were laid to rest here, are his queen Savithri Devi and other spouses.

The Tamil Nadu government had constructed pearl-shaped structure over the tombs, which were earlier in the open amid huts in the area, at a cost of Rs. 7 lakhs. Former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi inaugurated Muthu Mandapam on July 1, 1990. The pearl-shaped structure was known to be designed by him. The chess board and boomerang used by the king are on display at the museum. While the chess board is made of wood, the chess coins and boomerang are made of ivory.

The Muthu Mandapam is under the maintenance of the Public Relations Office. Staff said that every year, the descendants of the king living in Madurai and Chennai visited the memorial on his death anniversary. This Memorial is situated near the banks of the Palar river, off the busy Katpadi Road.

Muthu Mandapam is located at about 1 Km from Vellore New Bus Stand, 2.5 Kms from Vellore Old Bus Stand, 3 Kms from Vellore Fort, 3 Kms from Vellore Town Railway Station, 4 Kms from Vellore Cantonment Railway Station, 6.5 Kms from Katpadi Railway Station, 137 Kms from Chennai and 128 Kms from Chennai Airport.

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