Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bhongir Fort.


Since childhood I have passed by the massive Bhongir Fort hundreds of times; a Fort constructed on over 500 feet high monolithic hill - a monolithic hill considered to be the highest and largest in Asia. While travelling by train from Hyderabad towards Delhi, Kolkata or Chennai the Fort is distinctly visible. And while going to Sri Laxmi Narasimha Swamy Temple at Yadagirigutta by road (which we do as often as possible) we pass by the Fort from a close distance and we stop at Bhongir town for a cup of tea. The town that developed around this Hill Fort was originally called Bhuvanagiri but now it is called Bhongir and it has a railway station by that name. These encounters created an interest in me to visit the Fort but this was not possible for decades, I could only read and learn some interesting and historical facts about it. And then ultimately after so many years I could visit the Fort recently with my family. 
Considering that the Fort is just 50 Kms. from our house in Secunderabad en route to the nearby Yadagirigutta which we visit often one would wonder why I could not make this trip to the Fort much earlier. In reply I can only say that either my inclination was not very strong or it was just destiny. 
The above photographs are from our visit to Bhongir Fort. The Fort as you see in the above pictures was built on an isolated hillock; in the 12th Century by the Chalukya King Tribhuvanamalla Vikramaditya the VI. The Fort was named after him as Tribhuvanagiri and this name gradually became Bhuvanagiri and subsequently Bhongir. This monlithic hill is over 500 feet high and spread over 40 acres. The egg like shape of the hill and the construction of the well fortified Fort on it with just two well protected entry points made it virtually impossible for the enemy to attack or enter it. The Fort had all the facilities like water sources, living quarters, underground chambers, stables, armory etc. The citadel called Bala Hisar at the top of the hill provides a clear view of the entire area around the hill; up to great distances. This Fort is also associated with the subsequent well known rulers of the region Rani Rudrama Devi and her grandson Raja Pratapa Rudra. The walls of the Fort and steps are carved from rock and they are mostly intact even today. Perhaps a little more care and respect for history would have preserved it in a much better shape and made it more popular.

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