Impressive Venkataramana temple, Gingee Fort, Tamil Nadu

Venkataramana temple, Gingee fort.Flickr

Venkataramana temple atop the hill in Gingee Fort (Tamil Nadu), near Pondicherry city,  is a beautiful sprawling and artistically rich temple with east facing tall tower. Built by Muthialu Nayaka in 1540 A.D. - 1550 A.D, the temple is inside the Fort, and people who come to this temple are the visitors to this fort. This historical fort was once under the control of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. In this temple, there are  deities of Devi, Aandaal and Narasimha. There are two prakarams around the sanctum, besides halls -  Kalyana Mandapa, Urchava Mandapa and Yaga Sala Mandapa with stone (granite) pillars. Under the management of the ASI (Archaeological Society of India), it seems, no pooja protocol is observed here in the temple at present.
hall (mantap) and stone pillars,Venkataramana temple, Gingee fort. Tripoto

paneled stone carvings, Venkataramana temple . Gingee.

Venkataramana temple, Gingee fort.
Unfortunately, the impressive temple site, supposedly the largest one during the Vijayanagara rule,  has a forlorn and glum look as devotees do not come to this temple regularly  as in other places on the plains. In some places, parts of the temple are in a dilapidated condition due to either lack of funds to maintain  them or simply negligence on the parts of the ASI.  The amazing sculpture, including miniature stone carvings, ornate pillars, strikingly beautiful gopuram - tower, sculptured panels of  gods and goddesses, depicting episodes  from the great Hindu epics, pillared  mandapas, etc.,  clearly bring out the fascinating workmanship and the highly developed aesthetic skills of the sculptors and artisans of the Gingee Nayak dynasty. Also found on the walls of the mandapam are the Tamil inscriptions.  Because of several invasions by competing rulers including the Moguls, Marathas, the French and the British, many sculptures and artistic works were plundered in the past.  After the French occupation - 1761, this place fell into ruins.

A trip to this massive fort and Venkataramana temple on the hills will never disappoint you. It will be a unique experience in a serene, but eerie-like place,that witnessed many  battles centuries ago.

Venkataramana temple tower, Gingee fort.
Venkataramana temple, Gingee fort.


gingee fort atop the hill. Tamil Nadu. The News Minute
Gingee Fort or Senji Fort (also known as Chenji) in Villupuram District, 160 kilometers (99 mi) from the state capital, Chennai, and is close to the Union Territory of Puducherry is so strong a fort, the great Maratha warrior  Shivaji,  ranked it as the "most impregnable fortress in India". Built in the 9th and 13th century it  was often referred to as  the "Troy of the East" by the British. Built at a height of 800 feet with an 80 feet moat around it, this self-contained fort complex includes three well protected hills, each having a separate self-contained citadel. The strong fort walls, connecting the three hills,  enclose an area of 11 sq. kilo meters.