Friday, 27 October 2017

Vizianagaram fort, Andhra - steeped in history

Front view.Vijayanagaram fort, APIndian Glories

Vizianagaram  fort (1713) India Tourism
The present day Andhra state has many well built forts as that region was  prone to  invasions from the neighboring territories  centuries ago. The sultanates of Golconda and Bijapur posed additional threats to the Vijayanagara and other rulers.  Invariably, these study historical forts were self-contained and had temples, palaces and buildings with adequate supply of water, food grains, etc.,  to face  any emergency situations  that may arise. Among the old forts of Andhra,Vizianagaram  fort is a popular one known for its better fortification.
 
Vizianagaram  fort, built by Vijay Rama Raju, the ruler of the kingdom in 1713, is a well secure fort additionally beefed up by fortification - construction of  bastions on all four corners of the fort. It is just 18 km from the shore of the Bay of Bengal. Built with only two main entrances to the  fort, the main gate being ‘Nagar Khana’.  Inside the fort lies an amazing palace - white-coloured ‘Moti Mahal’ that functioned as  ‘Durbar Hall’ (meeting hall) in those days. Two marble statues adorn the entrance. Currently, a  museum and a college function in this place. Other palaces inside the fort are ‘Oudh Khana’, ‘Alakananda Palace’ and ‘Korukonda Palace’.
 Vizianagaram fort is located in the city of Vizianagaram in northeastern Andhra Pradesh, South India.

The square-shaped fort has two main gates, as mentioned above, of which the main entry gate ("Nagar khana"/ east gate) has elaborate architectural features, exhibiting Rajasthani style. The royal orders and arrival of royal guests were conveyed to the people by beating the drum in the tower above. There are many temples and palaces within the fort and a victory tower.

The Western gate of the forten.wikipedia.org

The west gate, in the rear of the fort, has a pavilion atop. The gate  was used to take the dead bodies to the cremation ground  and to access the royal tombs. Presently, there is a park in the place that used to be a moat.

The Oudh Khana Vizianagaram

 stairway in the palace bathroom leading to the top

 The Oudh Khana is a well embellished  royal palace of the rulers  of Vizianagaram, giving us a glimpse of the affluent style in which the royal members lived. An interesting part of the palace is a unique royal bath room of the royal family. Octagonal in shape, the stone structure is next to  the Phool Bagh Palace. The  stone building  with a high ceiling -50 feet (15 m) has a spiral stairway leading to the water tank at the top that is fed by pumping water from a nearby well.
 
The Alaknanda Palace,Vizianagaram

 The Alaknanda Palace, a posh one, built in 1857,   was meant for the royal guests visiting the kingdom and is set within a well-maintained and  well laid out garden with walkways.The guest house offers the best comforts for the visiting dignitaries to feel at home.  In the recent past, for the use of the royal family, an air-strip was built Lately, the  palace is used by the 5th Battalion of the Andhra Pradesh Armed Reserve Police.

The Korukonda Palace   Vizianagaram

The Korukonda Palace is close to the Alakananda Palace. Built on a land, covering  about 1,000 acres (400 ha), it has  a playground and also well-laid out  gardens. Educational institutions have been established by the Indian Navy  in the palace ground and there a school being run by them to train youth who wish to join the defence forces.

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