Viluppuram (also Villupuram and Vizhupuram) is one of the thirty two districts which make up Tamil Nadu state situated on the southern tip of India. The district headquarters is located at Viluppuram. Viluppuram district came into existence on 30 September 1993 when it was created out of South Arcot district. Viluppuram is the largest district in the state. The district lies in the middle of the Tiruchirapalli to Chennai National Highways No. 45. It is well connected by the rail road and it is major junction. From here one can go to any corner of the Tamil Nadu as well as to other part of India. This district is having variety of tourist spots which are more than 100 years old. The district has temples, mosques and churches which are very old and famous.
Viluppuram District was earlier a part of South Arcot District along with Cuddalore District. It was then bifurcated from Cuddalore and became a separate district on 30 September 1993. Because of this, the history of Viluppuram district closely resembles that of Cuddalore.
The Chola were the early rulers. Among these rulers, Karikala Chola was the most famous and powerful.
For a short period, the Cholas were overthrown by Simhavishnu Pallava and the Region came under the Pallava rule for sometime. Vijayalaya Chola again revived Chola rule. This was the beginning of great Chola Empire. The later Chola rulers were weak and the power passed on to the hands of Eastern Chalukyas.
Cholas regained their lost position but with the rise of Jatavarman Sundara Pandya-1 (1251), Chola supremacy came to an end. The sway of Pandyas lasted for over 50 years, followed by Muslim domination from 1334 to 1378. By 1378, the region came under the rule of Vijayanagara Empire and Nayaks were appointed as the rulers of the region.
In 1677 Shivaji took Gingee area with the assistance of Golkonda forces. Then came the Mughals. During the Mughals regime, both the English and French acquired settlements in South Arcot. During the Anglo-French rivalry, the entire district was turned into a war land. After sometime, the entire area came under the control of East India Company. It remained under British authority till 1947 when India became independent.
Nestled on three hills, and enclosed by a huge rampart 60 feet thick, stands the majestic GINGEE Fort, in the Villuppuram district, which is located on the Thindivanam to Thiruvannamalai road about 25 km from Thindivanam and 130 km from Chidambaram. The indomitable courage and valour of its erstwhile rulers, caused Father pimenta, a Jesuit priest to call the GINGEE Fort the Troy of the East Besieged by the Mughals and battered by the British, the fort still stands at 800 ft. in height, guarded by a moat, eighty feet wide. Much of the early history of this 800Year old fort is shrouded in mystery,as the fort seems to have changed many hands times before it was annexed to the Vijayanagar empire.
Gingee is known as GINGEE in Tamil. The small town of GINGEE was once a capital city, With its province extending from Nellore in the north to the Coleroon (Kollidam) in the south. According to local legend, GINGEE Amman, was one of the seven virgins who were the guardian deities of the Village. Legend has it that at around 1200 A. D. , GINGEE was fortified by Ananda Kone, chief of the local shepherd community. In 1240 A. D. Krishna Kone . His successor is said to have fortified the northern hill which later came to be known as krishnagiri.The kone dynasty gave way to the kurumbars, who established their headquarters at Sendamangalam,which later came under the powerful Chola empire. Recorded history goes back to the 16th century, when Gingee (GINGEE) became the seat of the Nayaka rulers, who were under the lordship of the expanding Vijayanagar empire. Krishnadevaraya appointed Krishnappa Nayaka, and he was considered the founder of the Nayaka line of Gingee.
Most of the structures, fortification walls and temples were built during this period. The fortifications and defenses were further strengthened under chatrapati shivaji, the great Maratha ruler, was captured Gingee in 1677 A. D. Gingee came under the hegemony of the Moghul emperor Aurangazeb in 1691 A. D., and sarup singh was appointed as the chief of Gingee by the emperor, under the control of the Nawab of Arcot.
Sarup Singhs son. Raja De singh, revolted against the Nawab of Arcot, and was defeated and killed in the war that followed. Though Gingee became a part of the Nawabs territory in 1714 A. D . the young and courageous De Singh became a legend and his heroic deeds were sung in the form of popular ballads. Thus Gingee too became quite well known. In 1750 A. D., Gingee came under the French rule and remained so till it was surrendered to the British in 1761
GINGEE today, with its ruined forts, temples and granaries, presents a different picture from the glorious splendor of its bygone days. But the remains of that valorous past, speak volumes about the numerous invasions, warfare and bravery that it witnessed. We invite you to this land of the brave and mighty, to witness a glorious past that still lives in the ruins of the GINGEE fort.
The forts are located on either side of the road to T. V. Malai . They are open from 8.00 hrs. to 17.00 hrs. Any assistance can be sought at the ASI office or the ticket counter
The massive fortification walls of Gingee interconnect the three inaccessible hills-krishnaglri, chakkilidrug and Rajagiri. The three hills are disported in the form of triangle, while the main wall connecting them is 20 meters thick. The tops of the three hills form impregnable citadels, while the inner fort contains many fortifications and gates. The Rajagiri citadel is the highest, about 800 ft. in height, and the most inaccessible. The 20 meters deep chasm is now connected by a bridge.