Sivaganga Palace (40 kms from Madurai)
Called "Gowri Vilasam", the palace situated in the heart of Sivaganga about 40 km from Madurai, was the seat of many Marava kings. Now,only the dilapidated portions of the palace remain. Built in the architectural style of Thirumalai Nayak's period and infused with Rajputana arts, which the remains are mute witness to, the palace is said to have been ignored during the period of Rajah Doraisingh Thevar (1898-1941). Citing "bad luck" as the reason, he abandoned this palace to occupy another palace called "European Bungalow" on the Madurai Road. This led to the neglect of the palace and its plundering, mainly by the British.The worst damage is said to have been done during the period of late Vijayaraja Karthik, who sold most of the properties, antiques and wooden carving.
South of the temple is a huge hall supported with numerous pillars. All the functions of the royal household are said to have taken place there. But now the hall remains locked. In the front fašade of the palace lies a palanquin in a dilapidated condition.
Due to its close proximity to Madurai, Sivaganga is easily accessible to the tourists. Both buses and taxis are available from Madurai.