Kondaveedu village, 25 kilometer from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, has a small range of rocky hills. Situated here are three forts (two unnamed forts) which are spread across hills, valleys, and the ridge. All of them are in ruins. It is a hill fortress. Located 1,700 feet (520 m) above MSL. It was believed to be then one of the strongest forts in the region and the rulers of various regions had an eye on this formidable fort. The earliest fort came up here in the 12th century. The main fort was established by the Reddy Kings; it was their base in the 14th and 15th centuries. Its ramparts are dotted with high towers and he fortifications enclose crumbling apartments, chambers, magazines, and granaries. The fort is accessed through two entry gates called the ‘Kolepalli Darwaza’ and the ‘Nadella Darwaza’. The entrance gate is three storied, massive structure made of granite stone blocks
A smaller fort situated in the valley has the remains of temples, mandapams, and wells spread across the place. The third fort was built by the Vijayanagar rulers who ruled this place in the early 16th century. Situated below the flank of a hill, it must have been a strong fort during their heyday. The most impressive monument in this fort is a 16th century temple called ‘Gopinath Temple’ that has a large outer ‘mandapam’ Efforts are underway by the ASI to classify Kondaveedu Fort as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
|Kondaveedu_Fort, andhra. deccanchronicle.com|
Constructed during the time of Telugu Chodas, Kondaveedu Fort later changed hands many times. This fort was built by Anapotha Reddy in 1250 A.D and later developed by Ana Venkata Reddy and Prolaya Vema Reddy. Kakatiya Ganapati Deva during his expedition in the coastal Andhra, captured the fort. During the rule of Gajapathis the three forts covered about 30 hillocks and 24 bastions. Upon the capture of Prataparudra by Tughlaq in 1323 AD, his associate Prolaya Vema Reddy became an independent ruler and shifted his capital in 1323 from Addanki to Kondaveedu for safety consideration. The fort fell under Gajpathis of Orissa and later terribly damaged by the Muslim rulers of the Bahmani kingdom (1458). After a long period of lull, the Vijayanagara ruler Krishnadevaraya took over the fort in 1516 and, subsequently, after sustained efforts, the Golconda Sultan Quli Qutb Shah captured it in 1579 and changed its name to Murtuzanagar. Later it was recaptured by Vijayanagara rulers.