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Killa Aul Palace

~ About Killa Aul Palace ~

Aul Palace has seen many changes and additions to its original structure over generations due to which one can find mixed architecture. Originally it started as a mud fort and latter on took the shape of a sprawling palace spread over thirty acres of land.

The location of Aul Palace is very unique as it has been built on the river side of RIVER KHARASROTA a tributary of river Brahmani. The river encircles and touches the palace walls from its west and north sides giving it a look of a river side fort.

The palace has many period buildings which were built during the Raj days for various purposes . The “ DURBAR GADDI GHAR” has got old ‘MEENAKARI FRESCO “ work and beautiful peacock and many ornamental motifs made out of Belgian colour cut glasses which is a rare piece of art in this part of India. It will take you back in time of a bygone era. The building was used by the ruler as a seat of power and to meet his chief administrators and courtiers to discuss matters of importance . And on the occasion of hosting special guest it was used as a place of theatre ,as it overlooks onto a open courtyard which has a open platform what used be a stage meant for witnessing various cultural programmes such as GOTIPUA DANCE , ODISSI DANCE , DASKATHIA AND LOCAL PALA SINGERS .

The palace also has a beautiful Guest House “TUNGI” overlooking the river which in earlier times used to be a ante room for receiving dignitary arriving by motorboat cruises from the river side. At present the river has silted extremely creating mud flats all along but in earlier times it use to be very deep allowing sea going vessels and sail boats to pass closely to the palace. The British Resident Commissioner of Cuttack Mr John Beames and his wife in the year 1867-68 had visited Aul and had written about the trip in his biography mentioning about his river journey on a steamer boat to reach Aul palace and his experience of the place.

Aul Palace architecture and its structure is a blend of old medieval art with “Garh”, Deoris, courtyards and colonial design with rooms which has present day amenities .The palace has all kinds of structures ranging from Kutcha huts with traditional Odissi designed woodwork to the ruins of the old palace which was made out of stones with crafted door chaukath and stone windows dating back to 17th century.

The palace also has a huge orchard consisting of various fruit and herbal trees and plants which were planted by past generations. Tamarind , berries, coconut, mango, palm, star fruit , litchee, jack fruit , sapatas and dates palm are found here.IN fact you can have a drink from the toddy pots which is fruit beer in the orchard. One can go for a nature walk through the wooded part of the palace estate and see some chirping birds , monkeys and elusive jackals who live inside the campus .You are completely in the lap of nature surrounded by river on oneside and ponds n wild orchard on the other.

There are also 2 big and 2 small ponds respectively inside the estate where fishing and angling is available as a leisure activity for guests.

The adjoining river is a tidal estuary with the feel of back waters as found in Kerala. This is a heritage site with a unique feature of tidal waters filling the adjoining river to its fullest capacity and then starts ebbing during the low tide to the point of exposing the surface at the bottom of the river at its lowest point. This creates the same effect to the river view as what one finds at Chandipur- on-Sea near Balasore town which lies apprx. 125 kms north of Aul. One can have a SWIM in the river during both tides and boat rides and cruises can be arranged. . A visit to the nearby island for a trekking trip is highly recommended for guest who are interested in discovering the uninhabitated island and finding place for a picnic spot.

The world famous Wetland RAMSAR SITE & MANGROVE “BHITAR KANIKA” NATIONAL PARK is located 20 kms downstream from The Aul Palace. One can visit the park by motor launches, steamers and boats from Ghats / Jetty very close to the Palace. Water Safaris can be arranged on prior request by the guests.

One can take a tour of local villages and see various activities involving manufacture of handicrafts, local pottery and stone carving near the Buddhist Monuments. The famous Buddhist Circuit of Odisha consisting of monuments at RATNAGIRI, UDAYAGIRI & LALITAGIRI can be visited from Aul Palace which are at a distance of 50 Kms only.

~ Nature's Beauty ~

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