Restoration of the Gagan Mahal Palace, Anegundi (Karnataka)

The Gagan Mahal in the village of Anegundi, on the opposite side of the Tungabhadra river to the ruins of the medieval city of Hampi Vijayanagara, is a rare example of a complete palace from the 16th century Vijayanagara period. Though now dilapidated, the masonry building still stands proud; it is structurally intact, including its charming balconies surveying the adjacent village plaza and the fanciful towers that emerge from the upper storey.

 The specific objectives of the Gagan Mahal project are:

  • To restore and renovate the historic monument in an authentic manner;
  • To showcase the building as one of the example of finest Vijayanagara architecture;
  • To showcase the monument as a center of art, history, pluralism, tolerance and women’s empowerment which the Vijayanagara dynasty was known for;
  • To revive the palace as the locus of village life as a space for local women to showcase and sell their wares
  • To implement the standards of conservation set for the preservation of world heritage sites as per the World Heritage Convention.

The restoration of the Gagan Mahal has already begun under the direction of the Bengaluru office of the Deccan Heritage Foundation (DHF), with an anticipated completion date of Spring 2019. Once rehabilitated, the Gagan Mahal will not stand solely as a standout representation of 16th century Vijayanagara palace architecture but also be at the heart of economic and social regeneration: the restored building will be available to the women of Anegundi as an attractive historical venue to sell their ingeniuously homespun wares out of banana fibre and hyacinth, establishing the plaza as the commericial hub of the village once more.

Fundraising is still ongoing for the project.

Estimated Cost: US$ 160,000

Still seeking: US$ 100,000 (£75,000)