Sunday, March 6, 2016

Gingee Fort

Gingee Fort or Senji Fort in Tamil Nadu, India is one of the surviving forts in Tamil Nadu, India. It lies in Villupuram District, 160 kilometres (99 mi) from the state capital, Chennai, and is close to the Union Territory of Puducherry. The fort is so fortified, that Shivaji, the Maratha king, ranked it as the "most impregnable fortress in India" and it was called the "Troy of the East" by the British. The nearest town with a railway station is Tindivanam and the nearest airport is Chennai (Madras), located 150 kilometres (93 mi) away.

Originally the site of a small fort built by the Chola dynasty during the 9th century AD, Gingee Fort was modified by Kurumbar during the 13th century. As per one account, the fort was built during the 15–16th century by the Nayaks, the lieutenants of the Vijayanagara Empire and who later became independent kings (Nayaks of Gingee ). The fort passed to the Marathas under the leadership of Shivaji in 1677 AD, Bijapur sultans, the Moghuls, Carnatic Nawabs, French and the British in 1761. The fort is closely associated with Raja Tej Singh, who unsuccessfully revolted against the Nawab of Arcot and eventually lost his life in a battle.

The Gingee Fort complex is on three hillocks: Krishnagiri to the north, Rajagiri to the west and Chandrayandurg to the southeast. The three hills together constitute a fort complex, each having a separate and self-contained citadel. The fort walls are 13 km (8.1 mi) and the three hills are connected by walls enclosing an area of 11 square kilometres (4.2 sq mi).It was built at a height of 800 feet (240 m) and protected by a 80 feet (24 m) wide moat. The complex has a seven-storeyed Kalyana Mahal (marriage hall), granaries, prison cells, and a temple dedicated to its presiding Hindu goddess called Chenjiamman. The fortifications contain a sacred pond known as Aanaikula
m. On the top of the hillock, there are minor fortifications. The fort, in modern times, is maintained and administered by the Archaeological Survey of India. The fort is one of the prominent tourist destinations in Villupuram district.

Gingee- How to get there?
Gingee is a panchayat town in Viluppuram district (South Arcot district) in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. which is located on the Thindivanam to Thiruvannamalai road about 25 km from Thindivanam.

150km from Chennai.
65 km from Puducherry (Pondycherry)

The nearest town with a railway station is Tindivanam and villupuram
The nearest airport Chennai 150km (Madras)

Living Place of Jains :- B.C. to 6 A.D

In comparison with evidences available from other sources like the evidence of rock-cut inscription of Jain monk Chandranandhi, from the figures of twenty four Jaina Thirthankaras in Sinukadambur, from the figures of Jains ascetics in Thirunathar hill and from the evidences of rock-cut beds of Jains in the upper part of Krishnagiri hill and foot print on the hill top, Chakkildurgam (or) Sangilidurgam, historians strongly believe that Jains lived in Gingee from 200 B.C. in 500 A.D.

Gingee Under the Pallavas :- (600 A.D. to 900 A.D)

During the reign of the Pallavas a cave temple was excavated in the natural hill in Singapuram. They built a temple in Panamalai which is to the south of Gingee. In Mandagapattu, which is 17 kms, away from Gingee, a cave temple was excavated in a rock. A rock inscription portrays Pallava Mahendravarman (580 A.D. to 630 A.D.) as Vichitrachitha. We can conclude from these evidences that Gingee was once under the rule of Pallava kings and also the cave temples and rock inscriptions at Singavaram and Melacheri situated near Gingee tell about the Pallava regime in Gingee.

Gingee under the rule of Cholas :- (900 A.D. - 1103 A.D)

From the rock-cut inscriptions in Aanangur, East of Gingee, it is known that after the decline of the Pallava kings, Gingee was under the contrl of Adita Chola (871 A.D. - 907 A.D.) Then during the reign of Adita Cola II and his broter Rajaraja Cola I (985 A.D- 1014 A.D.) it was called "Singapuranadu". From these evidences we come to know that Gingee was under the rule of the Cholas.

Gingee under the rule of Later Pandya, Pallava and Hoysalas :- (1014 A.D. - 1190 A.D)

From the Book ""Karnataka Rajakkal Savistara Charitham" British Historian Mecans says that after the rule of the Cholas, Gingee came under the supermacy of Pandya, Pallava and Hoysalas.

Gingee under Konar Heritage : -(1190 A.D. - 1330 A.D)

Gingee was under the sway of chieftains, Anandha Koan, Krishna Koan and Pullia Koan even though there was no epigraphical evidences from Koan rule but it is specified in some books. By foreign sources we come to know that Anandha Koan built "Anandha Giri" and afterwards it became "Raja Giri" His son Krishna Koan built "Krishna Giri"

Gingee under the rule of Vijayanagar Kings :- (1400 A.D)

From the survey of books that were present during Vijayanagar period, we come to know that Gingee was under the authority of Kopnnarayer during the 14th Century A.D.

Historians hold the opinion that Kopannarayr, one of the Generals of Vijayanagar empire helped Kampannarayan, with a large army. In return, Kampannarayan handed Gingee over to Kopannarayer.

Gingee under the Nayakka rulers : - (From the end of 14th century A.D. for 150 years)

During the peak of Krishna Deva Raya's power (1509 A.D. - 1529 A.D.) he ordered, Krisnappa Nayyaka to rule a region with Gingee as its capital. He and his successors ruled for about 150 years having capital at Gingee.

The Nayyaka rulers, build tall and strong fort walls with granite, tall towers with sculptural workmanship granite temples on the plains and brick shrines on the peak. This architecture is similar to that architecture in "Hampi"

Under the rule of Muhammaadans:-(1649 A.D. - 1677 A.D)

There was no unity among the Nayakas of Gingee, Tanjore and Madurai. There where frequent skirmishes among them.

Taking advantage of this situation, the Bijapur Sultans, who belong to the Muhammadans dynasty, invaded Gingee at the beginning of the 16th Century A.D. and captured it. After this the army general of "Golgonda" , "Mirjeeva" defeated Krishnappa Nayyaka and handed Gingee over the king of Bijapur.

Gingee under the Marathas:- (1677 A.D. - 1697 A.D)

After the fall of the Muhammadans rule at the end of the 17th century, Chattrapathi Shivaji, a scion in the annuls of History wrested Gingee from the Muhammadans. Then he asked his brother " Sambaji" to rule Gingee in 1690 A.D. afterwards it was handed over to Rajaram in 1697 A.D.

Gingee, under the rule of the Mughals:- (1700 A.D-1750 A.D)

The Mughal General Zulfigar Khan (1697 A.D. - 1698 A.D.) captured Gingee fort after a tough fight against the Marathas.

Zulfigar Khan, then handed over the rule to Swaroop singh who was the army head at Bundalakand in 1700 A.D. on conditions that he had to collect tax under the supervision of Sad-ad-ullah khan of Carnatic.

After the death of Swaroop, his son Desingh Raja came to the throne. He hated to be a slave to the Mugal rulers and refused to pay the tax to the Nawab. So a war took place between Sad-ad-ullah khan and Desingh Raja. At the end of the war, Desingh Raja by killing himself made a supreme sacrifice to avoid being a prisioner in the hands of Mogul rulers. Historians say that though Desingh Raja ruled for short period, he deeply engraved his marks in the history of Gingee. His wife also throwing herself into fire committed suicide to safeguard her chastity which is considered as highly holy.

After the death of Desingh Raja, Sad-ad-Ullah khan conquered Gingee in 1714 A.D. and ruled till 1750 A.D. for about 36 years.

Gingee under the rule of the Foreigners :- (1750 A.D)

French people who came to India, for the purpose of trade and commerce, attacked Gingee under the command of "Puli" and his troops, captured Gingee and kept Gingee under their control for about ten years. During this period French People annexed Vandavasi in 1760 A.D. and Pondicherry in 1761 A.D. Then the Britishers under the command of General "Coot" attacked the French Army on April, 1761 A.D. by winning the war, they brought Gingee under the control of the British Captain 'Stephen Smith'.

After this time. the General of Mysore, Hyder Ali became the king in 1761 A.D. A.D. As Hyder Ali did not like the British rule in India, he waged war against the British many times. So the Britishers made peace treaty with Hyder Ali. After few years, when Warren Hastings became the Governor General of India, Hyder Ali blamed Britishers for going against the treaty and waged war in 1780, by moving his troops via Polur and Vandavasi to caputure Gingee. But he was defeated by the Britsh army.

After 1780 A.D., the southern parts gradually fell into the hands of the British without any opposition. Due to the political changes in Carnatic area, the Britishers made Chennai fort for the transport facilities and the French made Pondicherry as their capital and started to rule Indian territory.

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