Shivavilas Palace Sandur, Hampi

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1. Front view of palace. Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hindurao Ghorpade, son of Bhujangrao Ghorpade and Tarabai, a descendent of Bahirji Hindurao Ghorpade and Murarirao Ghorpade, famously known as Chief of Gooty became king in 1928. Work started in 1938 and was completed in 1940. Palace was designed by M/s Taraporwala Bharocha Bombay, constructed by C.T. Gokhale & Co Poona.

2. Dusk time view. The ancestors of the Ghorpade & Bhonsle family, sieged the fort of Vishalgad (Kolhapur district) in an inventive way. They scaled the high ramparts of the fort by tying ropes around the belly of monitor lizards (Ghorpad in Marathi). The inimitable valour of these three ancestors earned them the title of ‘Raja Bahadur Ghorpade’ & the monitor lizard found a significant place as a symbol within the coat of arms.

3. Side view of palace. The Princely State of Sandur was once ruled by the Ghorpade family. Their former residence is now the hotel. It is 25 kms from the world famous heritage site of Hampi. Close to the palace are Sandur Kushala Kala Kendra, the oldest Sandur Manganese ore and iron ore mines and the Daroji Bear Sanctuary.

4. Courtyard. Palace is spread over 20 acres. Sandur is a quiet town, surrounded by the iron rich undulating mountains of Ballari district. The Sandur Valley is like a giant fortress, encompassed by an impressive range of hills, with two natural gateways on either side connected by a forest stream called ‘Narihalla’.

5. Courtyard inside. The palace is artfully embellished with intricate jali work, high ceilings, decoratively designed pillars and doors. See monochromatic photographs of the erstwhile Kings, objects d’art, antique collection of furniture and beautiful vintage cars. The centerpiece in the main lounge of Krishna’s chariot, announces the many significant milestones achieved by the Maharaja.

6. Durbar Hall. It has a rare collection of armour, weapons, artefacts and a grand silver-plated central throne flanked by taxidermy tigers.

7. Durbar Hall, different side view. On either sides of the entrance of the palace, are the temples of Lord Subramanya and Malahari Marthanda.

8. Entrance Portico. All palace related historical information in captions is provided by Shivavilas Palace.

9. Logo of Sandur Royal Family. At the very top of logo is a royal canopy “Chatr”. Heart of the logo is a Shivalingam with two temples on the either side, a monitor lizard and a canon, sword, with a shield. Bottom is ‘Hindu Rao’. Centre is supported by elephants on either side.

10. Ladies of Lambani tribe.

11. Maharaja Suite. It has a separate living room, hand carved artistic furniture and a regal ambience. A separate balcony overlooks the main gateway.

12. Maharani Suite. It is the most elegant room. Wooden steps fitted with brass struts lead you to the suite. The suite opens up into a large sunny balcony.

13. Deluxe room.

14. Breakfast lounge. The palace library is packed with books from history, classics in English, law and nature. You can also browse through books authored by M.Y Ghorpade.

15. Swimming Pool.

16. Billiards Room. Curios and posters adorn the walls and will surely transport you to the times of Indian Royalty and a reminder of the bravado that went behind it.

17. Dining Hall. A well-known photographer of India, M.Y. Ghorpade’s and other wildlife pictures adorn the Palace walls and verandahs.

18. Vintage Car. The Vintage Car Museum has four cars. Vintage Car. The Vintage Car Museum has four cars namely Mercedes Benz S 230 (1965-66), 1943 Ford GPW Jeep, 1961 Willy’s Station Wagon and 1932 Dodge Brothers with ‘Sandur 1’.

19. Back gate of palace. Hotel has a Spa facility and also lets out its lawns for destination weddings and large functions.

20. Set inside the Swamimalai forest, this beautiful temple complex was originally built by Badami Chalukyas. Kumarswamy Temple is a more than 1000 year old temple of Lord Kumarswamy and Parvati Devi. This temple for a period of time was lost to the forest. In the 15th century it was rediscovered by the Ghorpades, the local royal family.

21. Stone-chariot Hampi. It was made between 1510-1513 to commemorate Krishnadevaraya`s victory over the King of Orissa. The round wheels remind one of Sun Temple Konarak.

22. Lakshmi Narayana is amongst the popular monuments of Hampi. Lakshmi Narasimha is the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, stands at a height of 6.7 metres. Narasimha is seated on the giant coils of Adishesha, the sacred guardian snake of Vishnu, its seven hood acting as a canopy, arched by a Kirtitoran Mukha in front. The deity fashioned out a single granite bolder.

23. Lambani women doing embroidery.

24. Weaving Khadi at Sandur Kushala Kala Kendra. Besides Hampi and Tungabhadra Dam, one can also visit Daroji Bear Sanctuary and Mines.

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