Spread over three hills, it is enclosed by a huge 6oft.thick rampart.Inside the fort there are Venkataramana Temple, Kalyan Mahal, Horse stables,Granary, Mosque and Prisoner's Cell.
Nestled on three hills, and enclosed by a huge rampart 60 feet thick, stands the majestic GINGEE Fort, in the Villuppuram district, which is located on the Thindivanam to Thiruvannamalai road about 25 kms from Thindivanam and 130 kms from Chidambaram. The indomitable courage and valour of its erstwhile rulers, caused Father pimenta, a Jesuit priest to call the GINGEE Fort the Troy of the East Besieged by the Mughals and battered by the British, the fort still stands at 800ft. in height, guarded by a moat, eighty feet wide. Much of the early history of this 800Year old fort is shrouded in mystery,as the fort seems to have changed many hands times before it was annexed to the Vijayanagar empire.
Gingee is known as GINGEE in Tamil. The small town of GINGEE was once a capital city, With its province extending from Nellore in the north to the Coleroon (Kollidam) in the south. According to local legend, GINGEE Amman, was one of the seven virgins who were the guardian deities of the Village. Legend has it that at around 1200 A. D. , GINGEE was fortified by Ananda Kone, chief of the local shepherd community. In 1240 A. D. Krishna Kone . His successor is said to have fortified the northern hill which later came to be known as krishnagiri.The kone dynasty gave way to the kurumbars, who established their headquarters at Sendamangalam,which later came under the powerful Chola empire. Recorded history goes back to the 16th century, when Gingee (GINGEE) became the seat of the Nayaka rulers, who were under the lordship of the expanding Vijayanagar empire. Krishnadevaraya appointed Krishnappa Nayaka, and he was considered the founder of the Nayaka line of Gingee.
Most of the structures, fortification walls and temples were built during this period. The fortifications and defenses were further strengthened under chatrapati shivaji, the great Maratha ruler, was captured Gingee in 1677 A. D. Gingee came under the hegemony of the Moghul emperor Aurangazeb in 1691 A. D., and sarup singh was appointed as the chief of Gingee by the emperor, under the control of the Nawab of Arcot.
GINGEE today, with its ruined forts, temples and granaries, presents a different picture from the glorious splendor of its bygone days. But the remains of that valorous past, speak volumes about the numerous invasions, warfare and bravery that it witnessed. We invite you to this land of the brave and mighty, to witness a glorious past that still lives in the ruins of the GINGEE fort.
The forts are located on either side of the road to T. V. Malai . They are open from 8.00 hrs. to 17.00 hrs. Any assistance can be sought at the ASI office or the ticket counter
The Ponds : The way to the Hanuman Temple, outside the lower fort, abounds in temple ponds and many impressive structures. Chakkarakulam and chettikulam are the two famous ponds in this fort.Chettikulam was built by Raja shetty during the Maratha occupation of the place, towards the end of the 18th century. To the north of this pond is a platform believed to be Raja Desingh funeral pyre, where his young wife committed sati.
NANDIESWARAR - THIRUVAMATHUR TEMPLE
Thiruvaamathoor : An ancient Chola temple. Dedicated to lord Sri Abiramaeshwarar is found here. 1500 years old temple . As the temple seems to have changed many hands Times between. Rajaraja Chola I (AD 985-1012) and Seerangadeva Maharayar. (1584.AD) The Amman Named Muththambigai.
Venkataramana Temple :
Venkataramana Temple : This sprawling temple, with its striking sculptures and carved pillars, narrates the aesthetic skills of the Nayaka dynasty. Built by MuthialuNayaka (1540-1550 A. D ) this is the largest temple to GINGEE. The later Vijayanagar period. The temple abounds in gopuras, mandapas and sculptured panels depicting gods and goddesses in scenes from the Hindu epics. Many Tamil inscriptions are also found in the walls of the Mandapas.The temple seems to have faced hard times during the French occupation (after 1761 A .D.) From this period the temple experienced forms of decay and old archaeological wealth was plundered by subsequent invaders.
Krishnagiri Fort :
Krishnagiri : This is a small hill made up of granite boulders, located to the north of Rajagiri on the main road from GINGEE to Tiruvannamalai. The citadel on this hill, can be reached by climbing a flight of steps over a steep slope. Within the citadel are two stone-built granaries, a pillared hall, two temples and an edifice built of brick and mortar known as the Audience Chamber.