Gingee Fort in India - visiting the Forts on the Hills - Rajagiri and Krishnagiri.
Gingee Fort is situated in the Villupuram District of the Indian State of Tamil Nadu - around 160 kilometres to the south of central Chennai. Gingee Fort actually comprises of three forts sat on their respective hills - only two of them are in any sort of condition for visiting - namely Krishnagiri which is the smaller of the two and the much larger
complex which is called Rajagiri. The third fort is called Chakkiliya Durg - this is sat on a much smaller hill which is covered with scrub and just a few remains exist so there is little to look at anymore. The Hillforts are open from 08:00 to 17:00 hours daily apart from official Government Holidays. However note that access to the very top of Rajagiri i.e. up to the Citadel may not be
allowed after 15:30 hours as it is considered too late after that to get to the top and back before closing time.
Looking round Krishnagiri Fort - part of Gingee Fort, India - with Photos.
This hilltop Indian Fort is perhaps the most obvious to visit first of all since it is clearly visible on it's compact hill from some distance away. There is a small parking area just off the road and then a few hundred metres to the base of the hill where there is the ticket office. Entry fees for
non-Indians is 100 rupees and this also includes entry to Rajagiri too so keep hold of it. There are a couple of ways to get to the top although one route is badly damaged due to rock-fall - the way up now is on a often quite steep granite based series of steps. Bear in
mind that the steps are quite irregular in width and depth and if the weather is hot (which it normally is of course) then the walk up is to say the least quite hard going. There are just a couple of places on the way where you can stop in some sort of shade - do remember to take water with you since nothing is available up there. Coming back down can be just as difficult - there is
often scree on the granite steps, sometimes they are only a few inches deep and it can be very hard on your knees - perhaps taking a walking pole or stick is a good idea. Once up there are several buildings to look at varying in condition plus of course the fortifications - quite a lot of clambering is involved to get round the hill top area.
Krishnagiri Fort was originally just a small fort built by the Chola dynasty in
the 9th century however the fort was considerably fortified and modified by Krishna Deva Raya who was Emperor of the
Hindu Vijayanagara Empire and reigned from 150 to 1529 CE - the name of the fort thus coming from Krishna i.e. the King and giri which means hill.[ Click the thumbnails for a larger picture - use the back button to return to this page. ]
Krishna Temple carvings
The Krishna Temple is in not too bad a condition considering it's age and the years of exposure to the elements. There are quite a lot of carvings adorning the temple - especially the pyramid shaped spire is covered with many sculptures - still in good enough condition to be worth a close look.
Sri Ranganatha Temple
Visiting and wandering around Rajagiri Fort - part of Gingee Hill Forts in India.
The hillfort part of Gingee Fort which is known as Rajagiri is just a few minutes drive away from Krishngiri and entry to the very top part i.e. the Citadel - may not be allowed after 15:30hrs. However most of the buildings and tanks etc. are situated within the lower parts of the fort
and can be visited up to nearly closing time. Also it is worth mentioning that - because of the angle of the sun - getting decent photos of the battlements and very top is poor from the middle of the afternoon onwards. The lower parts of Rajagiri are really very interesting to wander around - the area is quite flat and there are some trees scattered around to provide a bit of shade.
As with Krishnagiri remember to have some bottled water with you - there are a couple of drinking water taps around though if you want to risk it.
The Kalyana Mandapam (white tower) at Rajagiri Fort.
This Mandapa is easily the most impressive building within the lower fort area (Mandapa or Mandapam means a pillared outdoor hall) - the condition of the buildings is good and
their is also a really impressive tank beside the hall.
Rajagiri Citadel entrance
Gingee Rajagiri fort
Kalyana Mahal area
Kalyana Mahal Pond
Kalyana Mahal stables
Kalyana Mahal courtyard
Kalyana elephant tank
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