Ginjee is a couple of hours drive from Chennai. An hour or so before Tiruvannamalai.
On the way from Chennai to Tiruvannamalai, one passes the town of Ginjee (a.k.a Senjee) and two ancient forts, built on top of hills on either side of the road. One is called the King’s fort and the other the Queen’s fort and the two together are referred to as the Ginjee Fort. Originally a small fort built by the Cholas in 9th Century AD, it has later been expanded and strengthened by other dynasties viz, the Vijayanagara empire, the Nayaks, the Marathas…The most famous occupant though, was Raja Tej Singh, known locally as Tesingh. So brave was he that his life and exploits have become a part of Tamil folklore – and to this day, ballads are sung about him…
This Ginjee fort was considered impregnable and has been compared to legendary city of Troy. Chatrapati Shivaji’s son, Chatrapati Rajaram stayed here, when he fought with the Mughals. So safe was the fort that although Aurangazeb’s forces laid a seven years long siege of this fort, they could not succeed in getting Chatrapati Rajaram.
Lets cut to some pictures now.
A picture that I took this May. The fort is on top of the hill seen in the background. The hill is around 800 feet high, and the fort has a massive moat around it.
Here’s a closer view of the hill and the fort, from a different angle.
And below are a few photographs I took a couple of years ago.
Here’s another view of the hill. The building on the right is the Kalyana Mahal – a multi- storey marriage hall, which is a part of the palace complex.
One really walks back in time when one visits the fort complex. Ruins and ancient trees. Here’s a tree-and-he picture.
It’s a hard climb up the hill. But is worth the strain. And you can find lots of place to step off from the steps and relax on the rocks….The outer wall of the fort can be seen in the back…
And the view from top is real cool. You could just take a deep breath and take off. Hang-gliding anybody?
Next stop – Tiruvannamalai….
…. To be contd …