Ours is a land of striking architectural wonders. And the several historically-significant forts of India are a proof.
A glimpse of the magnificent forts of India down south
The southern states of India are known for their natural beauty, for the picturesque beaches, alluring hill stations, wonderful architectural structures such as the temples, the churches, and the forts, and more. Among the most important forts of India are the magnificent forts from the Southern states. These forts are all monumental, giving an insight into India’s rich architecture, craftsmanship, and history. We take a look at five prominent forts of India, one from each southern state.
Gulbarga Fort, Karnataka
Recognized as the national monument by the Archaeological Society of India (A.S.I.), Gulbarga fort is an archetypal Islamic architecture. As is typical of well-built forts of India with warfare strategies, Gulbarga fort is surrounded by a canal on the sides. There’s Jama Masjid mosque within its premises. The mosque, built in 1367, depicts the beauty of Persian architectural style. The fort also boasts of having the longest canon in the world, made in alloy. Making it more beautiful is its setting close to Krishna and Bhima rivers. Historically, the fort gained prominence during Al-ud-din Bahmani’s reign, from 1327 to 1424. Under his rule, the fort was overhauled, to include significant Islamic architectures such as the tomb of Khwaja Bande Nawaz.
Distance: 3 km from Gulbarga railway station
Palakkad Fort, Kerala
The Palakkad fort was not only built considering fortification but housed important landmarks. A water body circles this fort, built by Sultan Hyder Ali of Mysore. Built in 1766 A.D., the fort is also known as Tipu’s fort. Considered one of the magnificent forts of India many tourists throng this fort, every year. However, it’s the locals who frequent it for morning walks or leisure purpose otherwise. The sprawling fort ground serves as a good venue for exhibitions and other public meetings. There is a lovely garden within the fort, as well as the Palakkad Special Sub-jail, Lord Anjaneya’s temple, and a museum. On the grounds of the fort there’s also an open-air auditorium known as Rappadi.
Distance: 5 km from Palakkad railway station
Chandragiri Fort, Andhra Pradesh
Yadavaraya rulers built this small yet historically-significant fort in the 11th Century. Built atop a hill, the fort signifies the splendor of Vijayanagara architecture. Inside, the fort is divided into two parts, the upper fort and the lower fort. The lower fort includes Raja Mahal (The King’s Palace) and Rani Mahal (The Queen’s Palace). Raja Mahal is a fine example of Indo-Sarcen architecture, which prominently saw the use of stone, brick, and lime mortar in construction. Today, this three-story palace is an archaeological museum. It is considered one of the major forts of India as a tourist destination. Every night, the fort turns into a beautiful sight with the light show.
Distance: 14 km from Tirupati
Golconda Fort, Telangana
The grandeur of this fort certainly attracts many to witness its architectural nuances. Built in the 12th Century, it is one of the most noteworthy historical and architecturally-rich forts of India. It derives its name from the Telugu words, Golla meaning Shepherd and Konda meaning hill. This magnificent fort, located atop a hill, has eight huge gates. Originally built in mud, later the fort was renovated into a granite structure. Within the fort you can still notice the remnants of important architectures such as palaces, mosques, and mounted cannons. One of the remarkable aspects of the fort is its acoustical effect. So, if you clap at the Fateh Darwaza, the sound reverberates at the hilltop pavilion, about one kilometer away. Another highlight of the fort is the light show at night.
Distance: 11 km from Hyderabad
Vellore Fort, Tamil Nadu
One of the striking forts of India, Vijayanagara rulers built this fort in the 16th Century. Historically speaking, the fort has been witness to several empires. The moat surrounding it, the ramparts, and its architecture, in general, is proof of its strategic engineering. One of the finest examples of architectural beauties of the forts of India, Vellore fort is known across the world for its warfare-significant engineering nuances. Another noteworthy feature of the fort is its religious importance. Within the fort there’s Jalakanteshwara temple, St. John’s Church, and a mosque. The Jalakanteshwara temple signifies the remarkable craftsmanship of those times, with impressive sculptures on its ceiling and pillars. Also, on the fort ground there are public offices and Vellore Christian Hospital.
Distance: 7.5 km from Katpadi railway junction in Vellore