Gingee Fort is one of the surviving forts in India, located in Chennai and also famous as Senji Fort. The fort is placed in Villupuram District which is 160 kilometers away from Chennai. During the period Maratha Kingdom, Chhatrapathi Shivaji gave very preference to the fort and ranked it as the most impregnable Fort. The British also called the fort as the ‘Troy of the East’.
Gingee Fort History
During the 9th century, the Chola kings built a small fort and were modified by Kurumbar. Kurumbar declares himself an Independent king and fought against the Cholas. Later, the Kurumbar king fought with Vijayanagar Empire during the 13th century. When Vijayanagara Empire occupied the fort, the Nayakas, the lieutenants of the Vijayanagara Empire extended the fort in a wide range. Later the nayakas became an Independent king and ruled his kingdom by making the fort as the prime protecting area. When Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj founded the Marata Empire and expanded the kingdom in all directions.
Then he thought about the importance and strategic place of the Gingee Fort and decided to conquer it. Hence, the Marata Empire conquered the fort under the leadership of Shivaji in 1677 AD. Later in 1691 AD, the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb sent his general Zul Fikar Khan to occupy the fort and succeeded to capture from the Marathas. However, the local king Santaji Ghorpade defended the Mughal Empire and succeeded to protect the Fort again not going into the enemies. Later, the fort passed into the hands of Carnatic Nawabs and lost to French in 1750 AD. Finally, the British took under their control in 1761.
Gingee Fort Hill view from the road
The Gingee Fort is located on and around three hillocks. We can see Rajagiri to the west, Krishnagiri to the North and Chandrayandurg to the Southeast. The fort walls are very long with 13 km and the hills connected with high walls. The main fort is at the height of 800 feet with many magnificent monuments. We can see here seven-storeyed marriage hall, prison cells for culprits and a beautiful temple which dedicated to Goddess Chenjiamman. At present the Archaeological Survey of India administrating the fort and open for the public to amuse them with the fort’s history.