The historical Bobbili fort, Vizianagaram

Bobbili Fort,Bobbili, AP,

Bobbili Fort in Bobbili town of Vizianagaram District of Andhra Pradesh is one of the important forts in that state. It is associated with the Zamindars (landlords) of Vizaianagaram and rulers of Bobbili and is being visited by lots of tourists. Peddarayadu of Velama community  is believed to be the founder of this town. In the historical war of Bobbili of 1757, the Bobbili rulers lost the land and, in the wake of the war, the fort became ruined beyond repair. The Rajas of Bobbili and the neighboring landlords of Vizianagaram  had been  at loggerheads   for some period and, over the years, their unrelenting feud brewed into a major battle.  The French openly supported the Vizianagaram landlords. Somehow, in the later years of the 19th century, the Bobbili rulers retrieved  the land and had a new fort built.

 Bobbili Fort,Bobbili, AP, Tripmondo
Chinna Ranga Rao, a descendant of  the ruler's family survived the war and later ascended the throne. The new fort built by the successors of this lineage  showed their better economic position, prosperity and their concern for the security of their country in the 19th century.

Spread over 10 acres of land, the new fort is built in the Indo-Saracenic style with high domes. Included within the confines of four walls of the fort are palaces, halls, and temples. The Durbar Hall is the place where coronations were done way back. The main palace comprises of a museum. There are two temples within the fort. 

Bobbili Fort,Bobbili, AP,  Monuments -

The fort has an impressive entrance and facade of the fort has  high walls - 20 feet (6.1 m). The royal family used to live  in this fort. The entire palace complex covers an area of 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2).

The four significant parts within the fort  are : the Durbar Hall, the palace of the prince, the palace for guests, and the Raja's palace, - the residence of the royal family with three floors being the largest, and  the Durbar Hall  or the main meeting hall  was meant for important royal events. Here, the the Maharajahs held their coronation ceremonies with pomp and pageantry according to their level of affluence.  The main palace, comprising  6,000 square feet (560 m2), has a museum and offices of the family

The fort complex has two Hindu temples, one being family temple dedicated to  Venugopala Swamy  built at the time of founding of Bobbili; the another one was constructed by Chinna Ranga Rao in the aftermath of the war, after he regained his territory. The tower - Gopuram or entrance of this temple was  built in 1851. The Vasant mantap (1825) in the center of the palace was built for the lord where Venugopala Swamy and his consort would take rest. After the image of the Venugopala Swamy is kept at the Dola Yatra Mandapa (1825) on the shores of the lake for one day  the deity will be moved back to the main shrine. The builder of both mantaps was Maharajah Krishna Das Ranga Rao. Yet another  palace in the fort is the Pooja Mahal and lies across this one is the residence of the  ruler . the Prangmahal, which is well maintained and adorned with  "tapestry, paintings and porcelain" brought from many countries.