What Lured Me To Gingee Fort?

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Priti
Nov 20, 2019   •  54 views

I remember the day I went to this fort riding on 2 buses, one from my University entrance road and the other from Pondicherry Main Bus station. I started the journey  at 6 in morning and reached the destination by 9 am. My friend and I had some biscuits, fetched entry coupon and started climbing the rock stairs of Raja Fort. It was a sunny day and I easily got faint. Let me tell you about the location and some interesting facts on the fort.

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Image by Sasank, Rani Fort Entrance

History

Gingee Fort is located in the Gingee town(Panchayat) Villupuram District of Tamil Nadu. The nearest Railway station is Tindivanam and the Thiruvannamalai. The distance from the capital of Tamil Nadu is 157 km and 72 km from Puducherry. This is one of the popular tourist attraction near Pondicherry and I saw more foreigners than the locals and citizens visiting the place. The fort was built by two dynasties.

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Image by Sasank, Rani Fort

Kon dynasty laid the foundation of Gingee fort in the 1190s were as the Chola dynasty continued and finished the building in 13th century. The Fort was under control of several kings and also foreign invaders such as France and British. Meanwhile, the sculptural rocks of the fort were shifted to Pondicherry by French rulers. In 19th Century there no rule over the fort and it was abandoned. The rocks on Gingee Fort are used in the building of Raj Niwas in Pondicherry. Presently Gingee Fort under the control of Archaeological Survey of India.

Overall Look & Architecture

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Image by Sasank

The locals of Gingee call this fort Senji, Chenji, Senchi, Jinji fort. The enormous structure of the fort is stretched to 3 km perimeter. Gingee Fort is built on three hillocks. There are 3 citadels, Raja, Rani and Krishnagiri Fort. King Shivaji, when the fort was under his control called it “the most impregnable fort in India”. The reason behind such a title could be confirmed after going to the place only.

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Image by Sasank

The view from the top of Raja Citadel which took us one and a half hour to reach. This is the most beautiful view and I really could see a vast area I had trecked to be there. It is truly a safe place and the genius building the fort for sure used their intelligence to protect the royals from enemies. The main road between Thiruvannamalai and Pondicherry was the way we took. The North fort is Krishnagiri, besides it Rajagiri the highest fort and in the south-east Rani Fort also known as Chakkalidurg.

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Image by Sasank

There are attractions with scenic beauty, Kalyan Mahal, Chanjiamman Temple, Anaikulam Pond, Kamalakkani Temple, Ranganathan Temple, prison, granaries.

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Image by Sasank, Krishnagiri entrance

The domestic tourists flock into the fort for film shooting. I had tiresome fort climbing but the picturesque aura of the place is amazing and you will get a rich sense of history from the fort. I used to sit in every half hour beside a domestic tourist or the securities there. The securities were so kind and friendly. I did not have a language barrier in interaction with the securities for some of them were from UP and the others were working in Indian military force once upon a time.

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Sasank at Way in

Nearby Religious Places

Desingu Raja the king of Gingee Fort built Shiva Temple on the foothill. Ranganathan Temple is a few miles away from the fort. Pasumalai Murugan Temple is situated near Gingee town. Villupuram has been a Jainism town since long back and a Jain Math in Kanchipuram was shifted to Gingee.

Special Care

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Image by Sasank

Carry a water bottle with Glucose to get energy while climbing. The whole fort is a hub of monkeys, I am scared of this animal but what if you are accompanied by a friend who is 3 fold more terrified than you are, you get to show some courage. We climbed till the peak point but on the way, I started loving those tiny cute monkeys. Thankfully they did not harm us. I have heard the monkeys take tourist’s bag open the chain and look for food and snacks. So beware of monkeys in your Gingee Fort Trip especially at Raja fort.

Don’t make the same mistake I did in August, visit the fort in monsoon or winter i.e in between October and February.

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