Ranked 3 among Places to Visit in Thiruvannamalai
Time Required: 1-2 hrs
Known as the "Troy of the East" by the British, Gingee Fort is located in Villupuram District of Tamil Nadu, 160 kilometres from the state capital, Chennai and near the Union Territory of Puducherry. Locals have given the fort some notable names such as Senji, Chenji, Jinji or Senchi Fort. The majestic fort has three different hilltop citadels and a massive boundary of thick walls and cliffs. Owing to its enormous structure the fort is fortified to the extent that Shivaji, the Maratha king, named it as the "most impregnable fortress in India." Visiting the fort makes one learn the reason for why it has been called by such influential names. As you reach the fort, you realise that it has been located at the most strategic location which made it difficult for the enemies to enter its premise. The fort indeed is a result of genius minds.
Constructed mostly in the 16th century by the Vijayanagara Empire, the fort was later captured by the Marathas following the rule of Mughals, French and British on it. The fort was then sadly abandoned in the 19th century. Today while few foreigners visit her, Gingee is heavily flocked by the domestic tourists for starring in various films. The main road between Puducherry and Tiruvannamalai segments through the fort, just to the west of Gingee town. Out of the three citadels situated atop, the most unchallenging to reach is Krishnagiri which rises on the north side of the road. To the west is the highest of the three, Rajagiri, and the most distant and least compelling is Chakklidurg which lies in the south-east direction. The remnants of the Gingee fort and their dramatic beauty form a peaceful setting making it a very worthwhile spot. Hence, a day trip to the fort is no harm. You surely are going to return with some fantastic pictures and a rich sense of history.
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