Saturday, March 26, 2011

Gingee Fort - RajaGiri - Part 1

Date of Visit : 5 Mar 2011

The origin of this 14th century fort dates back to Vijayanagara period. Wikipedia says that "So well fortified was this place that Shivaji ranked it as the "most impregnable fortress in India" and it was called the "Troy of the East" by the British."

This place was also ruled by Raja Desingu known for his valorous deeds...The extract from wikipedia given below will be an interesting read-

"Senji (Gingee) is around 160 km from Chennai and 35 km from Thiruvannamalai, stands an imposing remnant of a glorious past dates back to more than 700 years. Going by the rock inscriptions on the hillocks, historians opine that Jains had dwelt in Senji even earlier, from 200 B.C. to 500 A.D. Senji came under the Pallava, Chola and Hoysalas rule successively. It was during the Chola regime (900 A.D. – 1003 A.D.) that a small fort was first built atop the hill. However, it was later under the Konar regime (1190 A.D. - 1330 A.D.) that the fort was further strengthened. When Senji came under control the Vijayanagar empire in the 14th century, Krishnadeva Raya entrusted Senji to Krishnappa Nayak. During the Nayaks' governance, the fort was expanded to massive proportions. In the subsequent centuries, Senji was under the control of the Bijapur Sultans, Marathas, Mughals, Nawab of Arcot and later was annexed by the French and finally by the British who warded off valiant efforts by Haider Ali to seize the fort.

However, the one name that invariably crops up at any mention of Senji is that of Raja Desingu, who ruled the kingdom, albeit for a short period, with sagacity and valour in the 18th century. Over the years, the saga of Raja Desingu has been become an enduring and endearing part of Tamil folklore. Countless ballads, stories, puppet shows, dance, stage and street shows have been inspired by the tragic tale of this brave hero of Senji."

For further interesting story read from!

This place has been on my list for quite sometime and when my son proposed a visit to this great fort on a Saturday (5-Mar-11), I readily accepted.
Myslef, My son Krishna, his friends Vipin,Deepak and Harish set out in my Honda City on a Sat morning to this Fort..!
There are forts on two hills Rajagiri (King Hill) & Ranigiri (Queen Hill) . Since we had to return before 4pm, we skipped Ranigiri this time with a plan to visit Gingee again..

This post is about Rajagiri.. ! I understood that most of the fort on top of the hill have gone now..But the strenuous climb was interesting and the buildings at the base of the hill were fantastic..!

From L-R Vipin,Krishna,Deepak,Harish
The early morning freshness is visible in all the faces..! just awaiting the breakfast at Hotel Brindavan on the GST Road at Mamandur..!

With a few idlis and Pooris..we resumed our journey..!

 Here it is we are at the base of Rajagiri..This is the entrance..!

The hill in the form of a huge rock is Ranigiri..

We've got company..!

At the base is Kalyana Mahal.. Marriage Mahal..!

We said we will visit this place on return..We were keen on getting to the top before it gets hot..!

At the entrance of the Gym
Inside GYM..?!

Just opposite to the Gym at the base of the hill lies the sprawling court yard..

Believe me .. he was struggling to maintain balance..!

If any one disputes the origin of mankind..see this..!

The climb starts here..!

Interesting & conspicuous offering at an inconspicuous temple on the path way

Below this rock runs ice cold water stream very thin though, the water is so refreshing after such a strenuous climb..

 The scenic steps and breath-taking areal view made us forget the strain of the steep climb

Kalyana Mahal and the sprawling courtyard overlooking it... as seen from the hill...!

 There are a few mandapams in between for people to relax...We sat in each one and relaxed..! All of us were tired at this point..!

We weren't the only ones to tire..!

So tiring the climb is that you too need a break...See you in the Next part >>........!


  1. Lovely pics , This one of my favorite forts visited .

  2. This place is amazing Sridharan...and I didn't even know about it! The first shot is lovely...

  3. Fantastic shots. This fort looks really huge and interesting.

  4. Amazing pics...The fort really seems an interesting place to visit, will eagerly await the next part!

  5. What a place! I can understand why this fort had the reputation of being impregnable...I guess that those who lived there tried not to forget any thing on their shopping list when going to market in the valley....:)))
    Love your comments about the origins of mankind :D
    It's good that your son and his friends are interested in visiting ancient buildings and places and don't think that "it's not cool"!
    Loking forward to the next post.
    Kind regards,DeeBee

  6. Beautiful place! And a perfect breakfast to start off too!:-) Reminds one of the forts in Deccan.

  7. Great pics, I am tempted to visit the place.

  8. Another incredible tour of another gorgeous place! Always love the history that you include, Sridharan! And it was delightful to see your son and his friends enjoying the visit/the place/the history!! Looking forward to your next installment!! Hope your weekend is going well!


  9. Thanks all for the kind comments!

  10. wonderful capture, you are becoming adventurous Sridhar, good ..good.

  11. Thanks Chitra.. Not as much a thrilling adventure.. but one nonetheless for some of us..!
    I really liked the trip, probably just because, I didn't have much expectation.
    I should soon visit the other hill..!

  12. hi. gopinath here. Hotel Shivan in Gingee offers neat, clean and comfortable rooms a/c and non a/c rooms to visitors of Gingee fort. Anyone requiring accomodation please get in touch with me. 9443232218. or bye


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