Formidable Kondapalli Fort, Andhra that was never owned by a single ruler for a long time!!

Kondapalli Fort, AP

Kondapalli Fort, Andhra Pradesh, S.
Kondapalli Fort located in the hill range of   Kondapalli in the Krishna districtof Andhra Pradesh  is an old fort first built in 1360 by  Anna Vemareddy of the Kondaveedu Reddy dynasty after he had captured Kondapalli from Mudigonda Chalakyas.  Actually, the Chalakyas established this fort in the 8th century. Since then, it had been controlled  by various rulers and finally, after some struggle,  Krishna Devaraya of the famous Vijayanagar Empire won the battle against Gajapati Prataprudra Deva and took possession of the fort. After the war Krishnadevaraya married Gajapati  Deva’s daughter, Kumari Jaganmohini and a peace treaty was signed  restoring lands up to the southern boundary of the Krishna river to  Orissa; included in it was  Kondapall.  Between 1519 and 1525,  ruler Gajapati  Deva had tough time defending his country against the invasion by Sultan Quli Qutab, the Sultan of Golkonda, but the final  assault, in 1531, brought Kondapalli under the rule of the Sultan.   Govinda Bidyadhar, the successor of Gajapati Deva had a treaty  with the Sultan of Golconda. 

 While under the Mogul rule, the disintegration of the empire in the 18th century resulted in the ownership of local  agent/ ruler Nizam ul-Mulk,  who later  became the Nizam of Hyderabad. The East India Company got a  chance to strengthen their presence in the south by recognizing the Nizam rule and a treat of alliance  (12 November 1866) was signed to protect the Nizam's interest and for an annual sum of 90000 pounds. In return, the English company could use the fort and garrison its troops there. However, in the same year the British took control over the territory as per agreement with the  Mogul ruler Alam Shah. Later second treaty was signed between the English company and Nizam - 1 March 1768 in which he recognized the grant given by the Mogul ruler. In 1823, the East India Company made an outright purchase and took control of the entire stretch of  the Sarcars from the Nizam. The Nizam ruler became powerless aaginst  the British army's  good firing power. Thus, this formidable fort never came under the control of one ruler for a long spell of time. 

The fort, built in a picturesque area   can be accessed through three entrance gates. The main one   15 foot tall and 12 foot wide is called Durgah  Darwaja  because of the proximity of the tomb of  Gulab Shah.  Next one is   the Golconda Darwaza set on the other side of the hill overlooking the village. ‘Dargha Darwaja’ is built with a single block of granite.  Besides, Darhga Darwaza, another entrance gate called the Golconda Darwaza is located on the other end of the hill, which leads to Jaggaiahpet village. The fortified wall has towers and battlements

 Kodpalli Krishna

At the far end of the fort there is the Tanisha Mahal or Palace built on a crest between two hills. The palace had many chambers on the ground floor and a huge hall on the upper floor. In addition, there are several buildings still standing in the fort, which are ruins.

In the lower fort you will  find the remains of barracks.  About a km uphill, there  lie the ruins of the palace. The upper fort can be reached by the road and this part has Tanisha Mahal or palace atop a crest  between two hills. The Tanisha Mahal has a colonnaded ground floor. On the upper level, it has a reception hall and a few chambers.

There are many reservoirs, some fed by springs. They go dry during the summer. These water sources  were meant to be used by the former rulers in case of a siege. There  are severely damaged granaries near the durgah. So are  many  dilapidate buildings in the fort that clearly show the passage of time and the the impact of several wars over its possessions till the early colonial time. 
Prison, Kondapalli fort, Andhra.

The Archeological Department of Andhra Pradesh undertook the restoration and strengthening work, in particular, of  the historical fort walls, places like Jail Khana (prison house), Koneru pond , etc. Plans were afoot  to improve the  museum, inner roads, providing toilet facilities, food courts, etc. To give a better look, they did plan to landscape many areas  and build rope way uphill for easy transport of  tourists from the lower levels.   The museum on the fort premises contains various artifacts found in the historical site besides numerous Kondapalli  Wooden Toys for which this place is famous because of the availability of light weight, but strong cheap wood.

The fort is located  west of Vijaywada city in the Krishna district, AP.