Known as the ‘Troy of the East’ by the British, Gingee Fort is nestled in the Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu, 160km from Chennai. Known for its majestic grandeur, the Gingee Fort has been given several names by the locals such as Senji, Chenji, Jinji or Senchi Fort. It has three distinct hilltop citadels and a massive boundary of thick walls and cliffs which looks so grand and majestic that the Maratha king Shivaji named it as the ‘most impregnable fortress in India’.
Constructed in the 9th century by Chola dynasty, the fort is the result of genius minds and has been located at a very precise and strategic location which made it difficult for the enemies to invade. The fort was later modified by the Maratha empire following the rule of Mughals, French, and British on it. Today, the fort attracts a lot of visitors for starring in movies and because of its interesting history. The three citadels of the fort make it challenging for visitors to climb the fort but its worth it in the end makes for an adventurous day. Although the fort is not in very great shape, the remnants of it and its dramatic beauty makes it a worthwhile spot.
The Gingee Fort was originally built in the 9th century AD by the then-ruling Chola dynasty in Tamil Nadu region. It was then just a small fort which was later modified by other rulers who subsequently ruled the region (including the popular Vijayanagar empire during the 13th century, and the Marathas of Maharashtra under the leadership of Chhatrapati Shivaji in 1677 AD). The fort was built and developed with the main goal of fending away any invading armies.
The last Mughal emperor in India - Aurangzeb's campaign in the Deccan (the regions including Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka) also attempted to capture it. Jinji Fort was later seized by the French colony and then Britishers. The fort is currently maintained and administered by the Archaeological Survey of India and has become a prominent tourist destination in Pondicherry.
The Gingee Fort stands on three hillocks –
These three hillocks are connected by some bastions and gateways that provide access to some inner parts of the fort complex. The walls of the fort are 13 km (8.1 miles) high, and the fort is at a total height of 800 feet (240 m). It has total 400 stairs to climb.
It has various elements like –
The fort lies on a hill (that takes visitors an hour or so to climb) in Villupuram District, 160 kilometers from the state capital, Chennai, and is close to the Union Territory of Puducherry. Puducherry (or Pondicherry) is well connected to cities across India as well as other parts of the world. The city can be reached by air, rail, or road.
The ‘’most impregnable fortress in India’’ as called by the great Maratha warrior Shivaji, the Gingee Fort is built in such a strategic location in Villupuram, Tamil Nadu, that makes it extremely difficult to invade. Constructed in the 16th century by the Vijayanagara Empire, the fort was abandoned in the 19th century and now is mostly visited by locals because of its starring in many movies.
Gingee Fort has 400 steps in total.
The fort was made by the Cholas and was captured by the Maratha kingdom. It was captured by Mughals in 1690 who surrendered it to the Nawabs of Karnataka in 1698 under the Mughals and was then captured by the French in 1750 and British in 1761.
There are about 244 villages in Gingee taluka.
Gingee fort can be visited all days of week from 9am to 5:30pm.