June 22, 2009

Exploring History and Heritage

Chandragiri Palace, originally uploaded by srinidhilv.

This is something that I miss about India in the US. Places like the 800-year old Chandragiri fort which abound in our ancient nation. These amazing masterpieces of architecture are awe-inspiring and makes us feel humbled when we consider what the ancient craftsmen envisaged and created.

This fort was the headquarters of one of the branches of Vijayanagara Empire who ruled much of South India in their hey days. According to the sound and light show, this dynasty was responsible for the British East India Company to acquire and establish the modern day city of Chennai (Fort St. Geroge).

Sited barely 20 km from Tirupathi, the famed Chandragiri is built across and atop a massive rocky hill. This beautiful palace along with several other monuments adorn the base of the hill. When the Vijayanagara empire fell, this palace was looted by the invading armies and treasures plundered, many of which are still proudly displayed in London museums.

The monument is currently under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India, the Chandragiri fort also presents a sound and light show every evening at 7.00 pm (Telugu) and 8.00 pm (English). Entry fee costs Rs.30 ($1) per person but the show is worth every penny you pay for.

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