This large structure is
about 137 metres to the west of the Mahanavami Dibba. Abdur
Razzaq states that it was the loftiest building in the Citadel.
Vestiges of pillar sockets and bases show that it was originally
a hall of hundred pillars. It faces north, on which side two
large flights of steps with a surul balustrade in green chlorite,
having lotus medallions, leads to an intermediate platform
which runs round three sides.
The southern side of this
platform has a staircase rising from the ground level to a
height of about 4.5 metres above the floor level of the platform.
On the western side, a similar staircase seems to have existed
through an annexe on that side, and very likely these staircases
were used by the Zanana women to gain access to the top storey
of the audience hall to witness the Dasara festivities and
The eastern side of the
platform almost abuts the entrance to the palace enclosure.
The general style of the King's audience hall suggests for
it an earlier date than the majority of the exposed buildings
in the Citadel area. There is a paved courtyard at the south-east
corner where probably the homa was performed during the festivities.
A row of pillar-bases is found on its southern side, and a
little further away on the west is a square moulded base which
probably was a shrine. Remains of a colonnade extend from
its east face almost up to the underground chamber and probably
formed part of a larger structure.
In front of the audience
hall is a large enclosure running from that end right up to
the Mahanavami Dibba. It was in this enclosure that all the
public festivities seem to have taken place during the Dasara
festival and other important occasions. In front of the audience
hall is the Arena, a large paved court, whereon dancers, jugglers
and wrestlers and other such people made their performances
and the chieftains and nobles came to pay their tributes.