One of the largest forts of South India, for it extends over 11 km and spans three hills, Chenji, named after Chenjiamman, the guardian deity, is also known as Gingee, the name it got from the British. Starting off as a mud fort belonging to the Kon dynasty in the 7th century, it was improved and added on by successive rulers – the Cholas, the Vijayanagar rulers, the Nayaks, the Marathas, the Bijapur rulers and the Nawabs of Arcot. It became the ruins that it is today under the French and the British. In a way, a visit to Gingee is a tour of South India’s history from at least the 9th century.
Gingee today has some very impressive monuments, lots of natural beauty and plenty of monkeys. At its foot is the stunningly beautiful Venkataramana Swami Temple. Atop a hillock is a Ranganatha Swami Temple, also worth a visit. In addition, Gingee is where Raja Desing, (Tej Singh actually), lived, romanced, ruled and died. Taking you around the place and bringing its history alive will be Sriram V, well known historian of Chennai.
Date: 25 November 2018
Charges – Rs 3000 per head.
5.45 am – Leave Chennai by AC bus
7.45 am – Have breakfast en route
9.00 am – Reach Gingee and visit the Venkataramana and Ranganatha Temples first
10.30 am – Climb up the Fort and see its ruins.
12.30 pm – Descend for a picnic lunch
1.30 pm – Leave for Chennai
4.30 pm – Arrive in Chennai
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