Gandikota

Gandikota

Gandikota or Gorgefort, is believed, was founded in 1123 A.D. by a certain chief Kakaraja, a subordinate of Ahavamalla Someswara I, the Western Chalukyan king of Kalyana. The town played a significant role during the Kakatiya, Vijayanagara and Qutub Shahi periods.

Gandikota is a small village (Lat. 14º 47'N. and Long. 78º 16'S.) on the right bank of the river Pennar, 15Km from Jammalamadugu in Kadapa district, Andhra Pradesh in India. Here lies the famous fort of Gandikota, which acquired its name obviously due to the 'gorge' (in Telugu it is called 'gandi'), formed between the Erramalai range of hills, also known as Gandikota hills and the river Pennar that flows at its foot, reducing its width to a mere 300 ft (see the river image below). Situated amidst beautiful landscape and wild forests, it is endowed with vast natural resources. Surrounded by a deep valley and impassable hills, with massive boulders of red granite and the river Pennar that flows about 300 ft. below on the west and northern sides, its location affords strong natural defence to the occupants of the Fort. The exploits of Pemmasani Nayaks, rulers of Gandikota and commanders in Vijayanagar army to protect the honour of Telugu land are well known [Robert Sewell: A Forgotten Empire (Vijayanagar): A contribution to the History of India, http://historion.net/r.sewell-vijayanagar-history-india ] [K. A. Nilakanta sastry: Further Sources of Vijayanagar History, 1946,http://www.archive.org/details/FurtherSourcesOfVijayanagaraHistory ] [Vijayanagara, Burton Stein, Cambridge University Press, 1989, p.92, ISBN 0521266939] [Tidings of the king: a translation and ethnohistorical analysis of the Rayavachakamu by Phillip B. Wagoner. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu. 1993, Page 138-139, ISBN 0-8248-1495-9, http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=62773998] .

Vemana a famous Telugu poet, native of Kadapa district and believed to have lived in this Gandikota area.

Attractions Within The Fort

The area within is full of the debris of ages and many ancient structures in varying stages of decay. The fort has a Masjid, a large granary and a temple. The Jamia Masjid has two adjacent minarets. The large granary, with a vaulted roof, is now used as the traveller's bungalow. Within the fort are two ancient temples, dedicated to Madhava and Raghunatha.

The other structures within the fort, include another large granary, a magazine, a graceful 'pigeon tower' with fretted windows and an extensive palace built by bricks with some plastered decorations and some wells. There is an old cannon still lying in the fort. There is also the 'Rayalacheruvu' with its perennial springs irrigating some lime and plantain gardens. It is said that this 'Cheruvu' was connected to a fountain in Jamia Masjid by pipes, traces of which can still be seen.

There were another gardens and springs during the Muslim and pre-Muslim days. There is an undated inscription on a boulder, near the 'Nagajhari' outside the fort, recording the gift of two gardens at the place to the temple. There was also a garden called 'Parebagh' with a waterfall at the foot of the hills, on the bank of the Penneru. There is a Persian inscription on a boulder at the place.

External links

* [http://dsal.uchicago.edu/reference/gazetteer/pager.html?objectid=DS405.1.I34_V12_133.gifImperial Gazetteer of India: About Gandikota]
* [http://columbiauniversity.us/itc/mealac/pritchett/00glossarydata/places/gandikot/gandikot.html Water color paintings by Thomas Fraser and Sir Thomas Anburey-- in 1799 & 1802]
* [http://columbiauniversity.us/itc/mealac/pritchett/00generallinks/tavernier/vol1_chapter18.html French Traveller Tavernier's experience about Gandikota Fort & about Nawab of Gandikota while he was in India]

Notes

Fort and Temple


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