Visiting Pondy? Then, Trek Up To This Gorgeous, Centuries-Old Fort That’s Just An Hour Away

Gingee Fort


Want your Pondy itinerary to look different? Then, slot a trip to the majestic Gingee Fort that sits on a hill. And don’t forget those trekking shoes!

Troy Of The East

Largely unknown, Gingee Fort is one of Tamil Nadu’s best-kept secrets. Part of the Villupuram District, the fort is an ideal getaway for those of you who want to up the adventure quotient on your next trip to Pondicherry. Said to have first been built all the way back in the 9th century, the fort was made formidable by the Vijaynagar empire and later the Gingee Nayaks. After which it has passed through the hands of the Marathas, the Bijapur Sultans, the Mughals, Carnatic Nawabs, and the French. The British who also claimed the fort in the days of the Raj often referred to it as the “Troy of the East” because of its impregnability.

Spread across three hillocks, the Gingee Fort complex makes for an enthralling sight. To explore the complex, you have to make your way up around 600 steps so pack your most comfortable pair of shoes. You’ll also need sunscreen and carry water bottles with you. Since the area is not very tourist heavy, it’s best to travel with a group and don’t let the monkeys catch sight of your food.

The Three Hills

For just five bucks {for Indians} you can gain entry into the fort complex. You’ll have to make an 800mt ascent and then skip across a moat. The fortification run through three hillocks and the most prominent among them is the Rajagiri. Considered the most impregnable of the fortifications, the citadel here consists of temples, granaries, mosques, and even prisons. You can also peek into the living quarters of the erstwhile kings and queens.

Another interesting feature of Gingee Fort is the towering, elegant Kalyan Mahal. Spread across seven levels, this structure houses a marriage hall, temples, and storage rooms. As you walk along, you’ll also catch sight of sculptures {the one with Lord Hanuman is particularly popular}, abandoned cannons, and serene ponds.

Gingee Fort