Monday, 30 October 2017

Historical Gooty fort, Andhra needs urgent restoration

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Gooty  town, about  54 km north of Anantapur city, Andhra pradesh has a historical fort which is considered

Gooty fort, gooty, AP. gootyfort1.blogspot.in
a centrally protected national monument by the government. Spread across a series of hills, it is inferred from the inscriptions (eight in number)
found on the rocks close to the Narasimha temple located within the fort premises that this fort  had  some connection with the Chalukyan king Vikramaditya VI (r. c. 1076-1126 CE). The earliest of the existing fortifications and other structures can be dated to the late Chalukya period.  However the fort gained importance  during  the reign of Vijaynagaras. During the reign of Venkata II (r. c. 1584-1614), the Vijayanagara fort came under the spell of the Qutb Shahi dynasty. the Golconda Sultanate  from whom the moguls gained control of the fort. Later  around 1746 CE, the Maratha general Murari Rao captured the fort. For roughly eight years it was his residence and during this period commissioned the stucco ornamentation of the small gateways. Hyder Ali around 1746 CE, held on to the fort for a brief period and ultimately the East India company owned by the British  took over the fort as part of their imperialistic ambition. Its administrator Thomas Munro was buried at the cemetery located at the foothill.

Gooty fort, gooty, AP. twitter.com
The fort is on a group of hills that rise up to 680 m above the sea level and  are connected by lower spurs. The fort's citadel is  on the westernmost hill. On the summit of hill, there are two structures -  apparently a granary and a gunpowder magazine. The Narasimha temple  located near the summit is in a poor state. There is a place called Murari Rao's seat"on the rock cliff which is about 300 meters high  where he used to spend his time for recreation.

Gooty fort, gooty, AP. Onefivenine.com
The East India company under Thomas Munro put the ruined buildings - granaries, store rooms and magazines within the fort for better purpose - Some of these were used as prisons by the English company.

The lower fortifications comprise A series of ramparts, that are connected by gateways and flanked by bastions can be accessed on the lower fortification.  Numerous reservoirs  were excavated on the rock clefts  and this suggests that the rulers harvested the seasonal rainwater for survival during  dry summer months and their  ingenious skills in water management.  Besides,  there are more than 108 dug wells within the ramparts of the fort walls to tap potable water. It is a  self-contained fort that could handle long siege and survival during long-drawn wars.. 

In 2012, a proposal was made to repair and restore this historic fort which was in a shambles now for lack of funds. The ASI needed Rs.50 crores for major repair works, etc., inclusive of amenities for tourists. Thomas Munro was one of the finest British officers whose mortal remains are buried here. This fort needs urgent restoration.

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gooty_Fort