Gingee Fort in Villupuram with untapped tourism potential

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The expansive Gingee Fort in Villupuram district has all the possibilities to become aperfect must-visit tourist attraction in the northern part of Tamil Nadu. Nevertheless, the fort has not been able to get the place that it deserves on the tourism map of Tamil Nadu, mainly due to the absence of elementary tourism facilities.

Known as the ‘Troy of the East’, the fort is situated on the top of three hillocks – Rajagiri, Krishnagiri and Chandragiri. It was thought to be unconquerable and was indicative of Tamil Nadu’s magnificent past. The fort had witnessed the growth and collapse of consecutive kingdoms for centuries.

The fort was erected by Ananta Kon of the Konar dynasty in 1,200 CE. The possession of the fort went into several hands many times. It was under the ownership of various empires like the Vijayanagar Nayaks, Mughals, Nawabs, Marathas, the British and the French.

D. Ramesh, Assistant Professor of History in Arignar Anna Government Arts College, Villupuram said that the first defenses were built by Ananda Kon in the 12th century. His descendant fortified the northern hill in 1,240 CE and it was known as Krishnagiri. Other buildings and erections were created by consecutive monarchs. The next wide-ranging structures at the fort were created with the backings of the Vijayanagar Empire.

The Gingee Fort was seized by Chhatrapati Shivaji in 1677. It stayed under Maratha rule till the time the Mughals conquered it in 1698.

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