Gingee FortGingee Fort also known as Chinji or Jinji in Tamil Nadu, India is one of the few surving forts in Tamil Nadu - which is much more popular for its temples than forts. It lies in Villupuram district, 160 km (100 mi) from the state capital, Chennai, and is close to the union territory of Pondicherry. So well fortified was this place that Shivaji ranked it as the "most impregnable fortress in India" and it was called the "Troy of the East" by the British.
Originally the site of a small fort built by the Chola dynasty in 9th century AD, it was later modified by the Vijayanagar empire in the 13th century to elevate it to the status of an unbreachable citadel to protect the small town of Gingee.It was also the head quarters of the Gingee Nayaks, during the Nayak domination in Tamil Nadu. The fort was built as a strategic place of fending off any invading armies. The fort was further strengthened by the Marathas under the leadership of Shivaji in 1677 AD, who recaptured it from the Bijapur sultans who had originally taken control of the fort from the Marathas. During Aurangzeb's campaign in the Deccan, Shivaji's second son who had assumed the throne,Chhatrapati Rajaram escaped to Ginjee in the distant South and continued the fight with Moghuls from Ginjee. The Moghuls could not capture the fort for seven years in spite of laying siege. The fort was finally captured in 1698, but not before Chhatrapati Rajaram escaped. It was later passed on to the Carnatic Nawabs who lost it to the French in 1750 before the British finally took control in 1761 despite losing it to Hyder Ali for a brief period.
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