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History Gingee Rajagiri Fort Krishnagiri Fort Kalyana Mahal
Sri Ranganatha Temple Gate way of Pondicherry Venkatramana Temple Gingee Hotels
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Gingee in Puducherry  is one of the finest forts in South India. Its origin dates back to the 9th century when it was a stronghold of the Cholas but the fort as it looks today is the handiwork of the Vijaynagara kings who made it an impregnable citadel. The fortified city is built on the seven hills, the most prominent of which are Krishnagiri, Chandragiri and Rajagiri.

Surrounded by high walls, it was so strategically planned as to make enemies think twice before they attacked. Strongly guarded by a triple gate beyond which lay equally heavily guarded courts, the summit of the Rajagiri could not have been easily attained by any of the enemies. Today, the summit can be reached after a two hour climb, still a strenuous task, but well worth the effort.

A place of great historic interest, Gingee, no longer an unsurmountable citadel, is one of the most interesting centres on the Tamil Nadu tourist circuit.

Though the construction of the hill fort at Gingee is traditionally ascribed to one Anada Kon, a local chief, it came into prominence with the rise of Nayakas of Gingee in early 17th century. The Muslim sultans of Bijapur, the Moguls, the Marathas are always recognised the strategic importance of the fort and everybody always fought hard to retain the fort. So much so, the vision of Sivaji, the great Maratha warrior became true, as Gingee was the seat of Maratha power for few months when Rajaram fled to Maharashtra in the wars with the Moguls.

The outer fortification of Gingee runs in a triangular form over the three prominent hillock viz. Rajagiri, Krishnagiri and the Chakklidurg and the intervening spaces. The fortification is about 13 km in length and the fort covers an area of about 11 There are two prominent gateways viz. the Arcot and Pondicherry gates.

The ancient city was located in the intervening space. The inner fortification runs around the royal buildings located at the foot and upon the prominent Rajagiri hillock. Important among the royal buildings are the Kalyana Mahal, the rows of enclosure for the royal staff (wrongly named horse stables) the huge granaries (wrongly named Gymnasium) besides the remains of the rulers exclusive quarters, King's audience hall and the private chambers for holding meetings of council of ministers, a palace complex, a massive tank called Elephants' tank, all located at the foot of the hillock. The remains like pleasure pavilions and the Krishna temple atop the Krishnagiri are also equally royal in nature.

Kalyana Mahal is a pleasure pavilion of seven stories. There is a stepped tank with fountains set in the masonry of the steps. The tank was possibly fed by a system of conduits and excess water from the rains. There is a spiral staircase running along the masonry of inner hall. The Inner hall in all the stories has an open veranda on all sides.

The private quarter of the ruler has a hall at the centre surrounded smaller rooms and provided with a private toilet. There is a spiral staircase to climb down to the Audience Hall. The Audience Hall has a square area marked by a high and ornate platform with bold traditional temple-type mouldings. There is a massive stone backrest. There are tied platform for the courtiers to assemble.

Upon the hillock are minor chains of fortifications. There is shrine for Kamalakkanai amman, the guardian goddesses of the place. Atop is granary, magazine, bastion with guns and temple.

The whole layout of inner fortification was so well laid out taking into consideration of needs of the occupants including security and sustainability in the event of protracted siege.
The structures outside the inner fortification include the Venkataramana temple, the temple of the ancient Gingee and the Sadaatullah Khan's mosque.

Open from 9.00 am to 5.30 pm
Entrance Fee:

Citizens of India and visitors of SAARC (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives and Afghanistan) and BIMSTEC Countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar) - Rs. 5 per head.

US $ 2 or Indian Rs. 100/- per head (Admission fee applicable only to all monuments within the Rajagiri Fort and Krishnagiri Fort)

(Free entry to children up to 15 years)

Important Phone Numbers

STD Code 04145

PIN Code - 604202

Govt Hospital -222015

Fire Service - 222074

Taluk Office - 222007

Police Station/Office - 222004

DSP - 222101

All Women Police Station - 224005

Panchayat Union commissioner - 222011

Note: These information is subject to change according to Govt orders from time to time

History Gingee Rajagiri Fort Krishnagiri Fort Kalyana Mahal
Sri Ranganatha Temple Gate way of Pondicherry Venkatramana Temple Gingee Hotels
The lower fort consists of the following important monuments:

    * Vellore Gate
    * Pondicherry Gate: probably improved by the French during their occupation (1751-1761).
    * The Prison on top of Pondicherry Gate.
    * Royal Battery: probably erected by the French.
    * Venkataramanaswami Temple: probably built during the Vijay Nagar period. The original tall, graceful monolithic pillars from the temple are said to have been carried away to Pondicherry by the French and to have been fixed around the Place de la République, near the old pier.
    * Pattabhi Ramaswami Temple: architecturally very important.
    * Sadatulla Khan’s mosque, contributed by the Nawab of Arcot.
    * Chettikulam and Chakrakulam tanks.
    * Platform where Raja Desingh’s (the hero of Gingee who fought gloriously with the Nawab of Arcot and died on the battle field). His body is to have been cremated by the order of the Nawab with full honours and in orthodox Hindu style, while his young Rajput wife committed sati.
    * A large stone image of Hanuman.
    * Prisoner’s well where the prisoners condemned to death were thrown and left to die of starvation.

The inner fort consists of the following important buildings:

    * Kalyana Mahal, perhaps the living quarters of the queens.
    * The Royal Stables.
    * The Royal palace that is in ruin. It has two large slabs of polished stones that had served as bathing platforms for Raja Desingh and his Rani.
    * Gymnasium
    * Anaikulam tank
    * Granaries
    * Magazine
    * Shrine of Venugopalaswami, where the sculpture of Lord Krishna playing on his flute is accompanied by two female figures. They are supposed to be his two wives, Rukmani and Satyabhama. This is the best piece of sculpture in the place. It is amazing to see that even the top of the fort is well provided with water supply and several wells, sumps and storage tanks are in the fort complex at various levels.

There is a site museum at the entrance of the fort set up by the Archeological Survey of India containing sculptures pertaining to various periods and many dynasties that ruled Gingee. There are also guns and cannon balls made of stone, strewn about the fort.

In order to reach the top one has to undertake a trek for over an hour. School children love to trek to Gingee Fort.

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