Andhra Pradesh flaunts some of the greatest ticketed monuments that form a vast part of Indian heritage. Out of these monuments, forts take a special place. Largely known for the graceful and timeless architecture of the past, the forts here have a story to tell.
Chandragiri Fort, located in Chandragiri, Tirupati is a visual grandeur with an enchanting saga of its own. Built in the 11th century, the fort is an out and out class for the timeline that it was built in. The fort is splendidly divided into a Raja Mahal (King’s Palace) and the Rani Mahal (Queen’s Palace), citing the fine example of the unique Indo – Saracenic architecture that was predominant during the period of Vijayanagara dynasty.
Chandragiri fort was actually built in 1000 AD, and the materials that were used in the making were bastions and steep moat. It is amazing that the structure stands the test of time even today. After being ruled by the Yadavarayas primarily for over three centuries, the fort came into the grip of the famous Viayanagara Empire, from where it gained prominence in 1568 AD.
The great Vijayanagara Dynasty shares nostalgic associations with the Chandragiri Fort. Some of the most important Kavyas of that period were composed here. The kings of Vijayanagara then made more beautifications, extending the fortified area to construct some magnificent buildings and temples. Inside these fortifications are eight ruined temples that speak of Saivite and Vaishnavite principles and beliefs.
The Raja Mahal is a picture of thousand words. An imposing three storeyed palace that is adorned by the towers symbolising Hindu architecture. The materials that were used in the construction were brick, lime mortar and stone and no timber. The central tower rises high in the midst of two storeys. Raja Mahal also has historic significance. It is the same venue where Sri Rangaraya granted the Fort St George site of the British in 1640.
The queen’s space is an elegance in its own self. Floors containing quarters that are adorned with ornamental Sikharas. Even though it is called as the Rani Mahal, the venue was also known to be commander’s quarters back in the day.
This great fort was later annexed into the Golconda regime and came under the rule of Mysore before sinking into the quiet oblivion. However, the soul and beauty of the monument remains, standing to be many of the country’s greatest historical structures.
Image Courtesy – WikiMedia Commons